The signs are very good for Ardfert N.S.

Stephen White of Ardfert NS pictured with his third class pupils who have all worked extremely hard over the last few months to perfect their sign language skills
Stephen White of Ardfert NS pictured with his third class pupils who have all worked extremely hard over the last few months to perfect their sign language skills

Fergus Dennehy

Ardfert, a village already so rich in history and tradition, has just added a little bit more to its legacy, all thanks to the hardworking staff and pupils from Ardfert N.S.

The school, one of the first in Kerry to make Irish Sign Language (ISL) a part of its day-to-day teaching, has received great praise around the county these last number of weeks after details of the school's two-year long efforts to learn the inclusive communication tool.

For the past two years the children and staff of the school have been kept busy learning ISL from the Chaplain for the Deaf John Patrick Doherty and SNA's Eileen Drumgoole, Stephen White and Marie Burke. "It is all part of the school's inclusive ethos.

The school believes that learning sign language is learning a life skill which will enable children and staff to communicate with members of the deaf community whenever and wherever they meet them," said Principal Betty Stack.

"The children enjoy learning the signs and practising in the classroom and the school yard; they really enjoyed signing as they sang their Christmas Carols last month.," she finished.

There are 5,000 deaf people in Ireland who communicate through sign language as their first or preferred language. An estimated 40,000 other people - family members, community workers, teachers and students use the language on a daily basis.

Kerryman

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