A Falkirk school for deaf children is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Windsor Park, one of only three purpose-built Schools for the Deaf in Scotland, opened its doors on 6 November 1972.
Pupils and their families, staff and representatives from close partner organisations turned out to celebrate the anniversary at an event in the school’s gardens last week.
Pictured: A celebration was held on Friday 11 November 2022
The school and sensory service shares a campus with Bantaskin Primary and Falkirk High, and welcomes pupils from Falkirk and neighbouring local authorities.
Windsor Park caters for pupils with different levels and types of deafness and uses a Total Communication approach to meet the varying communication needs of learners. 132 pupils have been supported over the last 50 years with 14 currently attending.
Over 150 deaf and 70 blind and visually impaired children across Falkirk are also supported through the school’s outreach programme
In recent years pupils launched an accessible climate comic in partnership with Forth Valley Sensory Centre, and got to the finals of a national ‘pocket garden’ design competition.
Windsor Park recently adopted its own 'sign name', a signal that identifies the school amongst its community and peers – fingers on both hands pointing upwards, index fingers and thumbs touching. Coincidentally, it is the same sign for the word 'excellence'.
Pictured: The school's uniform features its distinct 'sign name'
And the school has marked its 50th year with the very first Windsor Park uniform – something headteacher Amanda Walker was “immensely proud” of:
“Our new uniform comes at the perfect time as we celebrate our golden anniversary.
“It’s an opportunity for us to give our school its own identity while creating a positive deaf identity for our young people.
Mrs Walker was quick to pay tribute to Windsor Park’s staff and pupils, past and present:
“We have the most amazing staff, who are so highly specialised, so dedicated and passionate about what they do.
“The children are an absolute delight, they live out the school’s values every day.
“I feel blessed to be the headteacher of Windsor Park.”
But she also applauded the school’s community, praising parents, families, and partner organisations such as Forth Valley Sensory Centre.
“We also have some wonderful partner organisations, parents and people in the community supporting our school. We couldn’t do what we do without them.
Falkirk Council’s Education Portfolio Holder, Councillor Laura Murtagh said:
“I want to wish everyone at Windsor Park a truly happy 50th anniversary, and many congratulations on the school’s achievements over the years.
“The energy and enthusiasm of Windsor Park’s pupils and staff is truly impressive, and I was so inspired during my last visit.
“Their recent climate change comic shows the importance of partnership working to the school, and these young people will no doubt go on to become positive d/Deaf role models.
“Windsor Park is a special place and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the school community.”