The Margaret Wix school vision and values are at the core of everything they do. They underpin teaching and learning and provide an environment which prepares pupils to be confident, happy citizens. They believe children should be the central focus and that, together with teachers, staff, parents and the wider neighbourhood a whole school community worthy of everyone’s education and support is built.
Damien Johnston, Headteacher at Margaret Wix, explained why the school decided to enlist the services of a BSL interpreter:
“On this occasion, a BSL interpreter was needed for a deaf parent. We are an all-inclusive school, and as such, it was important that a deaf parent could join us at a Celebration Assembly where her child was to receive an award.”
We (terptree) fully understand that finding a ’good fit’ for each situation is not always straightforward for clients. They often don’t know what will be involved and, indeed, whether it will be beneficial to them.
A large proportion of our work finds its way to our inbox through testimonials and recommendations. Therefore, choosing the right interpreter for the client and providing a first-class experience is paramount to our success in delivering the service we are all passionate about. with the initial information required to take that first step towards engaging with us, good communication is vital. And we need to ensure our service levels are of the highest standards.
In that way, our reputation matches us to happy customers! Margaret Wix school is a perfect example of this. Headteacher, Damien Johnston confirms:
“We were made aware of terptree through a previous BSL interpreter we had used. This particular interpreter wasn’t available for a date we required but highly recommended we contact terptree as an alternative. Had we not been given that advice we would not have known where to begin when searching for a reputable interpreter that fitted our requirements exactly.”
Connection through word of mouth is followed by gaining an understanding of their situation and individual needs. The customer is then partnered with the right BSL interpreter. terptree are adept at fact-finding and can quickly understand particular circumstances and requirements with minimum fuss and intrusion into daily activities. Damien confirmed:
“Not only did terptree provide a fantastic BSL interpreter but she also arrived early, allowing time for a meeting before the assembly. This was so important and added positively to the service we had booked. In particular, the time spent in the meeting improved my own understanding of BSL.”
This is the norm rather than the exception for the team at terptree. We firmly believe that the full picture is essential when providing their service. In that way, we can advise and offer the perfect solution every time.
For example, in the case of the parent at Margaret Wix School, and on the advice of the terptree, the parent was seated at the front of the Celebration Assembly with the headteacher, Damien Johnston.
Damien confirmed: “By taking this approach, terptree further helped my appreciation and understanding of the parent’s specific needs. And it allowed her to emerge in the school fully and to celebrate her child’s achievements with us.”
He continued, “One of our school’s aims is to provide equal opportunities for all, and I believe this particular assembly helped to develop the children’s understanding of equality and diversity. I had previously found it difficult to relate to this parent and was confused by her emotions. I hadn’t fully understood that, as a deaf person, it’s necessary to communicate entirely through signing, facial expressions and emotions. So it was challenging for me in so many ways. Spending time with the interpreter from terptree allowed me to understand, and then make adjustments that suited everyone. I’m now able to share this new understanding with others in the school.”
Although the pupil has moved on and Margaret Wix School don’t currently need the services of an interpreter, Damien believes they have made a long-lasting connection with terptree. He says:
“If we required similar support in the future, we would not hesitate to call terptree again. The quality of the service was excellent, and the interpreter was amazing.”
He continued: “Encouraged by our experience with terptree, we’ve improved our practices, and it’s made us more aware of our responsibilities. We plan to make the school environment even more inclusive in the long term. As a school, I feel we have a better understanding of what equality means for deaf people.”