No barriers to performing in Warwick - The Leamington Observer

No barriers to performing in Warwick

YOUNGSTERS with additional needs in Warwick have proved everyone can put on a show.

The pupils at Evergreen School performed in front of their parents and the High Sheriff of Warwickshire Sophie Hilleary after learning to sing and dance using an innovative visual language system.

The budding performers took part in a series of music and dance workshops hosted by Widgit, the developers of the visual language which uses symbols and imagery to help children and adults with speech difficulties communicate more easily.

Lisa Cleveley, head of my language and literacy at Evergreen School, said: “Communication is essential for children who struggle with speech and language as it allows them to express their feelings and emotions and become more independent as they grow.

“The symbols Widgit has created for the school helped to give every child a voice and I know how excited the pupils were to put on a show for our local dignitary, and be shared with their families and peers.”

The sensory workshops run at the school gave pupils with additional needs the opportunity to learn new song lyrics, stories and dance choreographies using symbols to visually illustrate moves such as ‘squeeze and explode’ and ‘rainbow’, with the help of creative arts not-for-profit organisation Spectrum Community Arts.

In addition, Widgit, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, created symbolised signage to help children navigate their way around the school independently and a communication board in the playground which includes symbols such as ‘be kind’ to encourage pupils to make friends and play safely.

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