10:30AM, Friday 03 August 2018
A video of schoolchildren signing the words to a song from a hit film has received tens of thousands of views on Facebook.
Every year special educational needs school Manor Green runs an activities week on a given theme and to mark the end of the week a celebratory ceremony is held.
This year, the theme was ‘our wonderful world’ and all children took part in the ceremony. Standing together in the playground of the Elizabeth Hawkes Way school, pupils used makaton to sign the words to the song This is Me by Keala Settle, from the film The Greatest Showman.
Makaton is used throughout the school as an alternative to British Sign Language.
Headteacher Joolz Scarlett said of the song choice: “We wanted to instil the feeling of being proud of who you are, despite any differences.
“We want our young people to feel they are ‘glorious’ and that there is a place for them in the community.”
She added: “We put a video out there of staff doing it and we couldn’t believe how many views it got.”
The staff version got about 40,000 views, prompting Ms Scarlett to think that the video of the children signing the words could move people to donate money for communication equipment.
She said: “We thought we could raise money in an uplifting way rather than a begging way.”
The pupil video has now had 49,000 views and a dedicated fundraising page has raised £1,475 of a £10,000 target to go towards communication equipment for pupils.
Technology and resources children use depend on their needs and the cost and level of technology needed varies greatly. Some pupils use eye gaze equipment whereby software tracks where the children are looking on a screen. This enables them to point to symbols or words with their eyes and the program speaks for them.
To donate go to www.gofundme.com/this-is-manor-green
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