Since 2014 BSL has been formally recognised as a language in Wales.
In 2018, COS was commissioned by the Welsh Government of how British Sign Language could be introduced into schools as part of the new Curriculum Wales as an international language.
The study included many aspects, but the following areas highlighted key findings that would significantly impact introducing an effective teaching method. They were as follows:
As part of the report, COS widened its sphere of study to include not only BSL, but also Sign Supported English (SSE) and Makaton.
Wales moved ahead of any other UK nations and introduced BSL as an international language for all children to access ages 4 to 16 years. However, it is extremely difficult to achieve such a needed roll out without the correct infrastructure in place such as qualified teachers, trainers and resources for mainstream schools . All of which are essential for children's learning.
COS with the support of Catrin & Abi have created the Abi project. COS have invested in expanding training teachers and helping children learn sign in mainstream schools.
We have bought Catrin & Abi books in Welsh, English and BSL to be used in North Wales schools as part of the project. The books provide a child friendly introduction to BSL and IAC.
Our Education Support Specialist will advance both the children and teachers learning and knowledge of BSL and IAC by going into schools with more advanced lessons.
You can find out more about Catrin & Abi here.