We are asking for your support to make our first annual SIGNING FAMILIES DAY a real success.


“Signing Families Day” on 17th September 2016 is linked to the first anniversary of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 being passed by the Scottish Parliament last year. This celebration day will be held every year on the Saturday nearest to 17th September.

This year’s theme is “Sign Language is Cool”. We want to let everyone know why families and deaf children enjoy learning and using Sign Language every day – communicating together without language barriers!


This year we are focusing on social media to promote “Signing Families Day” We are encouraging everyone, however good or bad your signing is, to send a positive message that Sign Language is Cool!


Have a look at our short video promo . Please consider making a short video yourself and encourage friends and colleagues to do one too!


Please use #SigningFamilies when you upload your video to your own social media (Facebook, Twitter, Intstagram etc) so that we can share yours with others.


It doesn’t have to be done on Saturday 17th September, you can do it before or after! The most important thing is that we all celebrate families and deaf children/young people using Sign Language.


Remember: “Sign Language is Cool!”


Kind regards


Head Office Manager

e: headoffice@bda.org.uk
skype: christie_bdaheadoffice

Learn2Sign and the Spring Concert at St Anne’s Cathedral


In December 2015 my class, Form 8B from St Dominic’s Grammar School, were given the opportunity to attend the Learn2Sign course in Jordanstown School. I was excited to learn some words in sign language but I doubted if I would be able to remember any of them as my memory is worse than a goldfish!


When I arrived at Jordanstown School I was a little apprehensive because even though my whole class was there, I had never met any of the people who would be teaching us.  However I was soon able to relax as both the pupils and the staff were extremely welcoming, helpful and friendly. Before we learned some sign language we were told about how to communicate with a deaf person. Next we were split into groups and taken to our teachers, who in fact were pupils of the school. We were taught how to sign various things such as the colours, foods, feelings, feelings, numbers, the alphabet and place names.  Their approach to teaching sign language was confident and intelligent and it is that which has helped me remember most of the signs to this day. I left the school happy that I had learned some sign language and been introduced to some really nice people.


St Dominic’s has a Spring concert every year and it was a privilege to be able to perform a song in sign language with the students from Jordanstown School this year.  Form 8B and some of the Jordanstown School signing choir signed along to the song ‘Climb Every Mountain’ accompanied by St Dominic’s chamber choir. I’m not lying when I say a few audience members were moved to tears. I really enjoyed the experience and will cherish it as one of the best memories from my first year in St Dominic’s Grammar School.


Written by Edel


On 15 March 2016, the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure launched A Consultation seeking your views on a Framework promoting Sign Language to ensure that Irish Sign Language and British Sign Language users have the same rights, responsibilities, opportunities and quality of life as those in the hearing community. This will be achieved by enshrining equality and social inclusion in legislation for the current and future generations of Deaf Sign language users and their families.

Please see link below for further information.



Justice System Flyer


The Right Hon Lord Justice Gillen is chairing a Review of Civil and Family Justice in Northern Ireland. He wishes to engage with blind and partially sighted people, and also parents of children who are visually impaired, to seek their views of the Justice System.


Tuesday 19 April 2016 │ 6.45PM till 8.30PM │ Jordanstown School

85 Jordanstown Road, Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 0QE


Please confirm your attendance to Thomas Quigley: 028 9036 0953 / tquigley151@c2kni.net


JT Show


The John Toal Show recorded a very special edition from Jordanstown School which was aired on Saturday 26 March 2016 on BBC Radio Ulster.



The edition included big musical performances from students, a chat with parents, teachers and staff, and also a cookery demonstration from Paula McIntyre in our Home Economics department with some of our pupils.



Click the link below to listen









BeFunky Collage2


On Tuesday 22 March 2016, Jordanstown School held an ‘All Performance Musical’ at Theatre at the Mill, Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey. Our annual concert showcases the amazing talents of all pupils and staff at Jordanstown.


This year marks the retirement of Mrs Anne P Magee and such as this year’s concert held special significance. Our ‘All Performance Musical’ not only gave us the opportunity to showcase the wonderful talent we have here at Jordanstown, but also gave us a chance to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution Mrs Magee has made to the school.


This year we also wanted to give more people the opportunity to share in the achievements of our pupils and as such were very fortunate in being granted the use of the wonderful Theatre at the Mill for our show by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.


A packed theatre enjoyed a captivating evening of dance, drama and music, signs, songs and poetry.


For just under forty years, the past ten as principal, Mrs Magee has been an integral member of staff and a leader of Jordanstown School. She has overseen many achievements at Jordanstown over the years but possibly the biggest of these, the building of a new school, which opened five years ago.


Anne Magee, School Principal said, “I am so proud of every one of the children who participated in tonight’s performances. The hard work put in to learning words and signs for such a wide-ranging programme showed great commitment but also the talent we have at Jordanstown School. A very special thanks must go to all of the staff who ensured the children were well prepared for tonight. I think it would only be fitting to mention a few people in particular without whom the show wouldn’t have been the success it was, they are Sam Murray and Margaret Moore. I would also like to thank all the parents and families for their support and encouragement throughout the year and not only on nights like this. It has been a privilege to serve both as a teacher and principal in Jordanstown School, the enthusiasm and can do attitude of the children has always filled me with immense pride”.


Anne Magee is leaving Jordanstown School in a very healthy, happy and secure place, safe in the knowledge the commitment, drive and enthusiasm she has demonstrated over many years will continue.




On Sunday 13 March 2016, Dean Newbronner and Seani Heaney received the sacrament of Confirmation along with the pupils of St Vincent de Paul PS, Belfast.

Jordanstown and St Patricks 02


For the second year running, Jordanstown School Choir captivated the audience in Belfast City Hall. The choir in partnership with St. Patrick’s College, Antrim Road, were taking part in the final of the Flax Trust Inter-Community School Choirs Award (FISCA).


FISCA is a musical project aimed at reconciliation through the art of music, enabling children in Northern Ireland from all walks of life to integrate, converse, improve their confidence, self-esteem and work together towards an end shared goal.


Jordanstown School and St. Patrick’s choirs came together for musical and vocal workshops, learned new music and engaged in activities to promote inter-relations, confidence and team building.


The culmination of months learning and rehearsing was a performance on Thursday 3 December 2015 at the FISCA Christmas Gala event in Belfast City Hall.


Anne P Magee, Jordanstown School Principal said, “I can’t congratulate all the students from both Jordanstown School and St. Patricks College highly enough. The commitment, enthusiasm and hard work they’ve demonstrated make me immensely proud! I would also like to thank all of the teachers involved, without their commitment and effort we couldn’t have achieved these fabulous performances.”


Soft Play Area


Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has visited Sign Language classes at Jordanstown School. The classes, which are funded by the department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), are for parents of children who are deaf. The courses offer parents the opportunity to study British Sign Language (BSL) Levels 1 and 2.


The Minister said: “As 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents, I am delighted that my Department has been able to assist with providing these vital classes.


“It is widely accepted that the key years for language acquisition for all children is 0-2 years and early intervention to teach sign language in this time span is fundamental to improving educational prospects.”


“After meeting with Emma Rogers, whose son is deaf, I felt it was necessary to help these parents to be able to communicate with their children.”


Parents have previously raised concerns, aside from costs of classes, that Further Education Sign Language classes are not always appropriate as they preclude parents from attending due to the difficulties with childcare.


The Minister added: “The DCAL funding also helps to provide crèche facilities for all of the parents’ children to enable both parents, where applicable, to attend the classes. The crèche includes specialist one-to-one care where their deaf child has other special needs.


“I hope all the parents completing these courses have enjoyed them and have no doubt that they will benefit immensely from them.”


Anne Magee, School Principal said: “I am delighted that Jordanstown has been able to host these DCAL funded Sign Language classes for parents. I should particularly like to thank the Minister for her personal interest and support. It is so important that parents are equipped to communicate with their deaf child from as early an age as possible. I am also proud that both qualified tutors of the Level 1 and 2 classes are former pupils of this school. They are a source of inspiration to our current pupils.”



On Wednesday 9 March 2016, NDCS held the annual award event for young authors and artists in the grand surroundings of Belfast City Hall’s Great Hall.


The competition, which celebrated its 30 year anniversary, awards young deaf people for their creative writing and visual artistry.


This year as in many previous years, Jordanstown School featured prominently, receiving eight commendations, four top three places and three special awards including one for our very own Principal, Anne Magee.


The pupils who were highly commended for their entries were, Elliryn McPhillips for creative writing, Charlotte McCann, Charlie Cunningham, Chloe Lennon, Dean Newbronner, Elliryn McPhillips and Emmanuel Ofor-Manteaw for Visual Artistry.


Emmanuel Ofor-Manteaw also took third place for Creative Writing, as did Cain Taylor for Visual Art.


Rhys Newbronner took home second place for Creative Writing whilst Aliyah Black scooped first place for Visual Art.


The Bob McCullough award for best overall creative writing entry went to Alanis Millar, and Olivia Bamber took home the Marks and Spencer Cup for best overall work by a child with additional complex needs.


Jordanstown School principal Anne Magee was delighted to receive the Commercial Connections Cup, the award to a professional who really makes a difference to the lives of deaf children and young people. Anne was nominated by a large number of parents and one parent wrote, “Mrs Magee has dedicated her career to supporting the education of deaf children and young people. She recognises the individual needs of each pupil and is a strong advocate to ensure every pupil is given the opportunity to reach their full potential“. A very fitting award as this was the final Young Authors and Artists awards Anne attended as Jordanstown School Principal.