Charlie Styles, a year 6 Deaf student at All Faiths Children’s Academy in Strood, has been acknowledged for his Deaf poetry by Richard Carter – one of the UK’s most inspirational Deaf poets, teachers and storytellers. Charlie has been learning all about poetry and more specifically Deaf poetry which resulted in Charlie creating, writing and recording his very own signed poem called ‘The Hearing Tree’.
Being profoundly Deaf, Charlie has always found the English Language a difficult and challenging concept to grasp and has at times left him feeling confused and deflated. Charlie was introduced to Deaf poetry and the works of Richard Carter via online videos by Specialist Teaching Assistant Adam Jessup-Smithers who works alongside Charlie every day. Adam said “I could not be prouder of Charlie and all his has achieved. He has worked hard, perfecting every aspect of his project and has tackled this learning with a mature and determined attitude. I have no doubt that he is destined for greatness and I am honoured to be part of his journey to achieve this.
After watching the works of Richard Carter for ideas and improving his own understanding of Deaf poetry which he included into his own poem, Charlie was so moved and inspired he decided to write a letter to Richard along with a DVD of his signed poem and invited him to attend his school performance taking place on Thursday 27th April 2017.
Charlie was shocked when Richard replied with a heart-warming letter acknowledging Charlie’s poem calling him a “fantastic young Deaf role model for other young children”. Richard then went on to say “I am very impressed with your perfect BSL poetry” and wishing Charlie the very best of luck finishing with “when I watched your poetry it made me feel so inspired.”
Head teacher, Cormac Murphy, said “Charlie is an excellent role model for our younger pupils, always maintaining a positive attitude to his learning and demonstrating perseverance. I am delighted to see that Charlie’s talents and effort continue to receive recognition both in and beyond our school community.” Lead Teacher of the Deaf, Ruth Everingham said “These are the times when working within a Total Communication environment comes into its own. Here, deaf pupils have confidence expressing themselves using their first language in a fully inclusive, accepting and supportive environment”.
Charlie will be leaving All Faiths this year and continuing his education at Hamilton Lodge School and College for Deaf Children based in Brighton. Charlie said “find English boring because sometimes can’t read and don’t understand spellings. I find different parts English hard confusing but Deaf poetry super exciting. When write act Deaf poetry feel amazed and happy.” Charlie then went on to say “I watched Richard Carter on YouTube again and again and again because Richard make me feel wonderful and give me idea for acting, Richard inspire me write more poems. Hope continue write and act poems when go Hamilton Lodge”