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Nursery staff learn British Sign Language in their spare time to communicate with profoundly deaf mum

24-Feb-17
Article By: Sue Learner, Editor

Two nursery practitioners have been praised by a mum who is profoundly deaf, for doing a British Sign Language course in their spare time, so they could communicate with her.

The Corbett family

Elizabeth Corbett and her husband David who are both profoundly deaf, put their children who can hear, into Bright Horizons Bumpers Day Nursery in Derby.

People who have hearing loss can feel marginalised and excluded. However Bumpers Day Nursery which is rated Outstanding by Ofsted has always done its utmost to make Mr and Mrs Corbett feel welcome and included.

Elizabeth Corbett left a review on the nursery on the leading nursery review site, daynurseries.co.uk, saying: “I can't recommend the nursery highly enough! It's fantastic, warm and welcoming, the staff couldn't do more for you. Both of my children flourished at the nursery, and as a deaf mother, the extra language input they put in for my two is marvellous and two members of staff even went to learn BSL so they can communicate with me and my children. My daughter loves attending nursery and often talks about her friends and staff.”

Amelia aged three has attended the nursery, since she was 14-months-old. Jacob went for a year before starting school.

Mrs Corbett was attracted to the nursery mainly because of its “small family feel setting and how happy the children looked when we went to visit and also because the location is perfect for us as my husband works for Toyota and I work at the Royal School for the Deaf which is situated just off the A38 as that is where the nursery is based, also just off the A38”.

The nursery made us feel welcome

She says: “I can't speak highly enough about Bumpers Day Nursery and how welcomed they made me and my husband feel.

“As deaf parents the nursery have always supported my communication by making sure that we were facing them and talking clearly to us and provided a daily diary. Two members of staff Danielle Hasell and Emma Dodds went on a BSL course so they could communicate with me and my children because when my youngest daughter started, her main language was signing and bless the two girls, every Christmas play for the last three years they have taught all members of staff the signs for the songs, so they all sign singed to us which is a really touching thing for them to do.”

We felt 'very included and part of everything'

“For parents’ evenings and plays or special events, the manager of the nursery always booked and provided a BSL interpreter so that my husband and I had full access to what was happening. They have made me and my husband a part of everything and we have felt very included and feel very lucky we found such a good nursery that can meet with our needs, as two deaf parents with hearing children.

Elizabeth and Amelia Corbett with nursery practitioners Danielle Hasell and Emma Dodds

“I will be very sad when my youngest leaves to start school in September but I will have fond memories of the nursery and their staff and intend to keep in touch.”

It was always vital for the nursery that the parents and their children felt included in everything, according to Juli Jones, manager of the nursery, who said: “We have always made sure they didn’t feel left out. So we have interpreters at parents’ evenings and at any events we hold. The children’s key workers volunteered to learn BSL and do the training in their spare time so they could communicate with the parents. They have been able to teach the staff and the children at the nursery some BSL as well.

“Last Christmas, when we did our nativity play, the children and the staff had learned to sign Away in a Manger.”

She revealed that “it was amazing to read the review that Elizabeth put up on daynurseries.co.uk. We have a brilliant relationship with them and it is so nice to know we have made a difference to their lives. We did it to help them but it is also lovely to be recognised for the dedication and hard work we have put in.”

• The reviews of nurseries on daynurseries.co.uk help parents and carers to choose a setting that is right for their child. daynurseries.co.uk currently has over 27,000 reviews of day nurseries and nursery schools.

click here for more details or to contact Bright Horizons Bumpers Day Nursery and Preschool

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