'I love my life' - Cornish schoolchildren sign Robbie Williams song for Autism Awareness Month

  • Braddock Primary School children sign and sing 'Love my Life' by Robbie Williams

Children at a Cornish school have made a video of a Robbie Williams' song to celebrate Autism Awareness Month - learning sign language to get the lyrics across.

Braddock Church of England Primary School near Liskeard is a small village school with only 85 pupils, but a tenth of the school community either has a diagnosis of autism or displays autistic tendencies.

April is World Autism Awareness month and headteacher Tom Riggs said: "The children were keen to find out how they could support and encourage their autistic friends or relatives both in and out of school.

"In the spirit of our school motto, 'Nurturing Every Talent' and with the support of our Chair of Governors, Gemma Adams, the children put together this video to demonstrate that no matter what your background, learning barrier or ability, everybody has a unique talent that we can all bring to school each and every day."

Joseph Adams and two of his schoolmates signing the words to Robbie Williams hit, 'Love my Life'. Credit: Braddock CofE Primary School

They chose to perform the Robbie Williams song 'Love my Life' which has very powerful lyrics.

Gemma Adams' six-year-old son Joseph is autistic and uses makaton to help him communicate.

Ms Adams taught the children the sign language for their performance of the song and Joseph loved taking part.

What is makaton?

  • Makaton is a language programme that uses signs, together with speech and symbols, to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention, listening, comprehension, memory and expressive speech and language.

Gemma Adams said: "My son Joseph has found it hard feeling different to his peers. So to see everyone using a form of communication he's always preferred was very special to him.

"The part at the end, 'Finally I'm where I wanna be', sums up the journey he's been on to find the right setting that accepts him for being himself."

Six-year-old Joseph has his assistance dog Shadow to support him - who really lives up to his name! Credit: Gemma Adams

Joseph faces a number of challenges in his life and has an assistance dog, Shadow, to help him navigate his way through them. The pair even have their own Facebook page, Joseph and his Shadow.

Joseph has been allowed to bring the young Portuguese Water Dog to school to support him.

He said: "Thank you to my teachers and friends at Braddock School for helping me, being kind and making me smile."

Gemma is now running a Makaton Signing Club at the school, saying "so it's not just something we do for an awareness month".

Children at Braddock CofE Primary School singing the soundtrack for their autism awareness song. Credit: Braddock CofE Primary School

Headteacher Tom Riggs said: "I am incredibly proud of the care, compassion and empathy shown by every single child in their contribution to this video, and our staff who are equally as passionate and dedicated to inclusivity.

"The last year has been particularly challenging but the strength, determination and commitment shown by the whole school community has been immeasurable.

"This project has been completely child-led during a time where both schools and the education of children has come under some intense scrutiny. It demonstrates that there is so much more to consider than just the standards in which children are achieving in the classroom."

'We've got the power' - three of the pupils who took part in the filming of the 'I Love My Life' video. Credit: Braddock CofE

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