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NZSL immersion day school and playgroup

NZSL Immersion Day Schools

NZSL Immersion Day Schools are known by their other name NZSL Hub. These Day Schools are set up around Aotearoa, New Zealand, to meet the needs of primary aged (Y0-Y8) Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in their local area. They are a complimentary service to the Outreach School, providing a Deaf space for children to enrol in one day a week. These Deaf spaces focus on improving educational outcomes for students with NZSL as their preferred and primary language of instruction. The Philosophy of the Day School states:

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Immersion Day Schools are sustainable, inclusive learning spaces where NZSL is at the heart of quality curriculum-based teaching and learning. NZSL and Deaf culture are actively preserved and protected, through the delivery of Deaf-centred education, to enhance students’ wellbeing, identity, aspirations and achievements.

“Learning through Immersion- NZSL and Deaf bilingual practices. This bilingual educational approach gives children the opportunity to learn sign language alongside spoken/written languages and grants them access to the curriculum in whichever language is most accessible to them in an environment that values deafness, sign language and Deaf culture.”

–Swanwick 2010

58 A6929 Sm

What happens at the NZSL Immersion Day Schools?

The set up and planning for each day are done by a local team of Resources Teachers of Deaf, alongside NZSL tutors. These days are designed based on the needs of the children enrolled and include working on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals for the child, their language needs, and learning through strong use of NZSL and visual language to augment the learning for the learner. It is just like a regular day at school, just with time and space to focus on the individual needs of the learners.

Learners also get the added benefit of socialising and learning alongside other Deaf and Hard of Hearing peers, which can often not happen in their school. These connections are so important for the identity development and wellbeing of Deaf and Hard of Hearing learners.

There are six main points of focus for the running of the NZSL Immersion Day Schools that align with the Ministry of Education Learning Support Delivery Model (LSDM):

  1. Family and whānau connections are vital to include them in the learning that is happening and inviting them on the identity, belonging and learning journey for their child
  2. One plan is used for each child to connect all teachers, professionals and adults that are working with the learner, including any Teacher Aides, CESWs, Education interpreters or NZSL tutors working with the learner
  3. Working together as one team with the student and whānau voice at the centre
  4. Flexibility around adaptations and trying new things to meet the needs of the learners
  5. Facilitation is smooth, with each NZSL Immersion Day School having a local Lead that meets the local and changing needs of the learners enrolled
  6. Sharing data and progress with the mainstream school, whānau and family and Ko Taku Reo professionals working with the child to ensure regular planning for the learner is accurate and meets their needs