We enjoy a strong relationship with the Blanche Nevile School for Deaf Children, whose secondary department is in a specialist building on the Fortismere site.
Integration of students from both schools
Some Blanche Nevile students attend lessons at Fortismere, during which they receive one to one support from qualified teachers of the deaf and support staff. Fortismere students also attend Blanche Nevile classes, which provide small class sizes and specialist language support. Students from both schools are together at break and lunchtimes, extra-curricular activities and in PE lessons.
Blanche Nevile students also attend vertical tutoring groups at Fortismere, where students meet daily in small, mixed-age groups. These groups are supported by both Fortismere and Blanche Nevile staff.
Our headteacher, Helen Glass says, “There are many school partnerships which are really little more than notional, but the relationship between Blanche Nevile and Fortismere is real, meaningful and impacts on the lives of staff and students from both schools on a daily basis.”
Training for staff
Fortismere students and staff can learn British Sign Language (BSL) at Blanch Nevile. The school teaches BSL at levels one, two and three. Blanche Nevile also provide deaf awareness training for Fortismere staff and students.
What do staff say?
Catherine Coles, who is an English teacher at Fortismere, says, “I have six Blanche Nevile students in my tutor group and the whole class learn BSL on Wednesdays. I really enjoy working with Blanche Nevile school and have really benefited from their expertise.”
Melissa Vangucci, who is a PE teacher at Fortismere, says, “I learnt BSL when I started teaching one day a week at Blanche Nevile four years ago. It’s a really valuable skill, as I can now communicate and understand the children, which has very much developed my relationship with them.
Teaching Blanche Nevile students is very rewarding; they love PE. They look forward to our lessons each week and the amount of progress they can make in one lesson is fantastic. They integrate well with Fortismere students and enjoy being part of events like Sports Day, where they are able to succeed and to be part of a team/college.”