VIDEO: Norfolk children sign and sing their way into the record books

Hundreds of children across Norfolk put their sign language skills to the test as they attempted to sing and sign their way into the record books yesterday.

Brundall Primary School, Earthsea School in Honingham and Elm Tree Primary School in Lowestoft were among a number of schools which took part in the sign2sing Guinness World Record attempt.

It is thought that more than 70,000 children across the country and overseas bellowed out the 1970s New Seekers song I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing while simultaneously signing at 2.45pm.

The charity SignHealth, which provides health-related services for deaf people, organised the event to raise their profile and funds.

The charity produced a DVD to show children how to sign the song before they took part in the record.


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Nine-year-old Brundall Primary School student Sean Tyler said: 'I learnt how to do sign language and we learnt the song. It went very well. Everybody I could see was singing. Parts of sign language were easier and parts of it were harder. It is really good because we have achieved something.'

Fellow student Melissa Ryan, 10, said: 'We had to sing and do sign language as well. It went very well.'

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At Earthsea School in Honingham, between Dereham and Norwich, pupils were joined by staff, families and carers as 25 people joined the sign2sing effort.

Assistant headteacher Katrina Warren said rehearsals had been carried out during assemblies and that some children had raised charity cash by donating their own pocket money.

She said: 'It has given them an understanding that every child and every young person is different and they all have different needs. Now, if they were to see someone signing in the street they will understand what it is all about.

'It has been really fun and it has given an opportunity for the adults and children to do something together, and it has been really exciting for everybody to be part of this record attempt.'

At Elm Tree Primary school in Lowestoft, children gathered in the hall to take part.

Brundall Primary School headteacher Rick Stuart-Sheppard said it seemed like a good idea to take part because the school had a commitment to both working with disabled children and in music.

'There is a whole other language that people connect with. It seemed quite child friendly.'

Evidence from all the schools taking part now needs to be handed in before the record is verified.

Steve Powell, chief executive at SignHealth said: 'The schools taking part range in size from 30 to 800 pupils, which means from our calculations more than 70,000 schoolchildren nationwide will participate in total.

'The current world record is 13,418 people so we know that we'll smash this, while also raising awareness of deafness and the work we are doing at SignHealth. The event will also be a fundraiser for the charity through sponsorship from businesses and a suggested donation of �2 for everyone taking part.'

nIn Great Yarmouth, four schools put 'singing at the heart of learning' for their pupils as they collaborated on National Sing-Up Day. Cobholm Primary & Nursery School in Great Yarmouth hosted pupils from neighbouring Edward Worlledge Junior School and two Norwich schools, Woodland View Junior and Sparhawk Infant for the day. Pupils worked together on a variety of songs – the theme was 'The Seaside'.

Headteachers praised pupils and staff for their achievements.

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