Irish Sign Language

Say Yes to Languages” offers an introduction into a variety of modern foreign languages and looks to also raise awareness among pupils of the diversity of languages being used by their peers both in school and the wider community. 

As part of this programme, we were assigned a sign language tutor to run lessons in term 2.  

This was an amazing experience and all our pupils did so well during the course. 

JP Doherty was our tutor throughout the programme, he is also the Chaplain with the National Chaplaincy for Deaf People. He runs Irish Sign Language classes for the Kerry Diocese: clerics, volunteers, pastoral workers, professionals from parish, school, youth service  and other settings. 

Preparing the ground towards the future inclusion of additional languages as part of the redeveloped Primary Curriculum Framework, the targeted groups are third to sixth class pupils, with all of 3rd to 6th classes taking part in Caherdaniel NS. 

The aims of the module are to:

  • Generate awareness among pupils of the range of languages used by their peers, including Irish Sign Language, in their schools and communities which may help support greater inclusion and appreciation of diversity in society,
  • Encourage uptake of languages at post-primary level,
  • Provide opportunities for increased levels of collaboration among the school community with regard to the celebration of languages and cultures. 

It’s truly inspiring to see the dedication and progress each of our pupils has shown during our sign language lessons. Their eagerness to learn and embrace a new way of communicating is commendable. Sign language is not just about using your hands to communicate; it’s about opening your hearts and minds to understand and connect with others in a deeply meaningful way. The enthusiasm and perseverance all pupils displayed is remarkablke.