AS of September, the Gaudem School in Madrid will become the first in the community to give lessons in Spanish sign language as part of the primary curriculum.
The school has already made a name for itself where catering for all types of pupils is concerned, and in 2010 was praised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports for its work with students with special needs, and now it is prepared to take this a step further with its new bilingual system.
The initiative, headmistress Natividad Roldan explained, is part of the school’s philosophy of ensuring equal learning conditions for all students, and puts Royal Degree 126/2014, which lays down the possibility of including Spanish or Catalan sign language as a curricular subject at primary level, into practice.
The school, Roldan explained, has always been very aware of the fact that each child has their own character, interests, capabilities and different needs, and believes that the education system should be the one to adapt to these rather than the other way round.
Also, she said, in her experience sign language “not only favours development, but also gives students the same linguistic opportunities as their classmates, and facilitates their integration in daily and school life.”