About Us‎ > ‎News‎ > ‎

The Day The Oscars Came To Percy

posted Mar 16, 2018, 6:44 AM by Nicholas Basson   [ updated Mar 19, 2018, 3:37 AM by Google Google ]

Over 400 pupils at Percy Shurmer Primary Academy in Birmingham had an unforgettable day when two British Oscar winning stars returned from Hollywood to see for themselves that the support the school gives to deaf children is not just top quality but also supported by the whole school community.


Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton had, only days beforehand, both scooped Oscars for Best Short Film, (Live Action) with 'The Silent Child' at the star studded 90th Academy Awards. The film features a profoundly deaf four year old child living in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her to use sign language to communicate. Rachel wrote and starred in the film which was directed by her fiance, Chris. Rachel's father became deaf when she was just 12 which prompted her to learn sign language and qualify as an interpreter. She famously signed as she presented her Academy Award acceptance speech to the world..

During their visit they toured the school, took part in a 'signing' class, were interviewed by the school's media team and enjoyed an assembly which featured every child singing and signing. At the end of the morning they spent quality time with the children from the Deaf Learning Base who were thrilled at the opportunity not just to meet them, but also hold a world famous - and very heavy - Oscar in their hands. The celebrities, children and staff were also joined by representatives from local newspapers, regional and national tv.

Eight year old Mawadah from the Percy Shurmer Deaf Learning Base told the media: "It is important that everybody knows sign language."

Marie Duffy, Assistant Headteacher - Teacher of the Deaf , explained: "It was wonderful that Rachel and Chris were able to support our school's vision that being deaf does not stop you from doing what you want. It was an amazing inspiring day for all. The children loved sharing their passion for learning British Sign Language with Rachel and Chris."