Barlborough pupils learn sign language to help friend who was born deaf

Barlborough Hall School pupils were tasked with learning 50 words in British Sign Language to help them communicate with their classmate who has cochlea implants.

By Sophie Wills
Thursday, 13th May 2021, 4:52 pm

Penelope, aged five, who was born completely deaf, enlisted the help of her big sister eight-year-old Bella to present a special virtual assembly to their friends about what it is like to be deaf.

As last week was Deaf Awareness Week, the whole school was then tasked with learning 50 words in sign language by headteacher Karen Keeton.

Mrs Keeton said: “Penelope simply doesn’t let anything stand in her way, and she was so excited to share her assembly about what it’s like to be deaf with her friends.

Penelope and Bella.

“Their video is so inspirational and uplifting that we’ve shared it far and wide with our school community, and it’s been extremely well received.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have been setting a whole school Tuesday challenge for pupils. Last week they were tasked with learning 50 words in sign language and as expected the children have loved exploring a new way of communicating.”

Mrs Keeton added: “Our community at Barlborough Hall School is one big family and caring for each other is at the heart of everything we do – this is just another fantastic example of this.”

Barlborough Hall School is the Preparatory school for Mount St Mary’s College, an independent school for girls and boys aged 3-18.

You can watch Penelope and Bella’s assembly by going to

You can watch Penelope and her friends signing here:

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