A deaf teacher who uses sign language and lip reading to teach and engage a primary school class has been recognised for her work.

Alysha Allen, who teaches at Brimsdown Primary School in Enfield, is profoundly deaf, and teaches pupils using a combination of British Sign Language and lip reading.

Despite being a mainstream school, every child at Brimsdown learns BSL and it runs free staff and family signing lessons, creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

The school recently celebrated 10 years of being an accredited hearing impairment resource base by Signature, the leading awarding body for deaf communications qualifications in the UK.

Tottenham Independent:

Teacher Alysha Allen with her pupils. Photo: UGC

In December Alysha was presented with the Special Contribution Award at the Teacher of the Year ceremony, hosted by Maths Hub London North East, a programme involving around 600 schools which helps to lead improvement in mathematics.

Ms Allen said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I had been nominated, let alone won. It's an absolute honour and a privilege to have received this award.

"I love teaching and the children in my class really enjoy learning sign language - after a while they don’t even think about what they’re doing anymore, it just becomes natural to them.”

Deputy head teacher Eleanor Painter, who nominated Alysha, said: “Despite being profoundly deaf, Alysha teaches and engages an entire class of hearing children, which is a remarkable achievement. The children absolutely love learning sign language and not only does this help to create a really inclusive environment at the school, research has shown that it can help with language and speech development too.

“Alysha has inspired us all with her positivity and resilience. She has had much more to deal with in her life than many of us but every day she comes to school with a positive attitude and that’s reflected in the enthusiasm of her class, who love to learn.”

Brimsdown provides evening classes on Wednesdays for anyone in the local community who wants to learn BSL. Learners can gain their Level 1 and 2 awards. A fee is payable for this. For more information, contact the school on 0208 804 6797.