A CHOIR that does not actually sing is still able to make some beautiful music at a school in Wrexham.

All of the songs are performed with the use of British Sign Language (BSL) for Sign of the Times – a group based at St Christopher’s School on Stockwell Grove in Wrexham – making music inclusive to all.

The choir was formed by Amy Pritchard, who works with the school to support 18-year-old Lewis Evans – a student who is profoundly deaf.

She said: “At the school we have several deaf pupils, but Lewis is the only person that is profoundly deaf. The other students wanted to communicate with them but the only way they can communicate is through sign language.

“We launched the choir as Lewis really enjoys music and dancing. It has really grown in popularity over the past couple of months and brought people from all over the school together through one common language.”

The Leader:

Some members of the Sign of the Times choir based in St Christopher's School

Miss Pritchard has been working with Lewis as a support worker since he was about eight-years-old and she says that the choir has done wonders for his confidence.

She added: “Starting the choir has really brought Lewis out of his shell as an individual and he has become a much more confident person now that he can communicate with people around him much easier through the universal language of signing.”

The choir has a repertoire of songs they perform and are already practicing classic Christmas songs to master the signs ahead of the festive season.

Amy said it is her dream for sign language to be incorporated into the national curriculum one day.

“There are more than 3,000 deaf students in Wales alone, and by doing this, we aim to build their confidence and their skills”, she said.

Bethan Matthias, a student and friend of Lewis’, told the Leader how the choir has grown in numbers since it was first formed.

She said: “The group started with about six of us that wanted to do something for Lewis but we have grown to more than 30 people. We are all really good friends now and do things together outside of choir practice.”

The choir now visit different venues across Wrexham – including schools, care homes, charity events and, more recently, the Singing Streets organised by Ian Lucas MP.

Headteacher Margaret Davies says she is very pleased with what the choir offers all students at the school.

She said: “I think what the school are doing with the choir is a wonderful thing. It helps to bring a lot of areas within the school together and it is great for developing the social skills of our learners.

“It is such a lovely thing to see the students have come together with this aim of including those with hearing impairments into something that they can enjoy just as well as those without an impairment. I am very proud of all these pupils and I could not thank Amy enough for the work she puts into it.”