The acquisition of mathematical skills are initially developed through play, where there is a visual focus. Once basic mathematical skills are in place the use of visual strategies, such as the use of Numicon, continue to be an integral part of their development.
Pupils will develop mathematical skills and understanding through a variety of learning contexts including problem solving, patterns in numbers, money, shape, angle, measurement and handling data. Problem solving may be through investigation or practical tasks. An important focus in lessons, and sometimes in homework, will be the development of mental arithmetic skills as these support the overall development of skills and understanding. Pupils will be expected to learn their number bonds to 10 or 20 so they can recall facts quickly and their times table facts.
Computers and iPads are used when appropriate to enhance understanding of ideas and to practise skills.
Literacy development, in the Primary Department, is facilitated by effectively combining sign language with visual experiences of English. Cued English is used in the Primary Department as it gives deaf children visual access to English, enabling them to turn English into ‘inner speech’ which leads to ‘written speech’. Cued English helps us develop phonological awareness and face to face interaction in English, both vital ingredients to the successful development of reading and writing.
The children learn to read using books from the Oxford reading tree. These books include Biff and Chip, Project X and traditional tales.
Phonics is taught using the Read, Write inc. program using phonics by hand to make this visual for our Deaf learners.
Skills are developed through discussion, role-play, individual and group presentations. Various Drama activities are integrated into Literacy lessons, where appropriate, to enhance learning. Writing is encouraged through visual stimuli, sensory activities and multi modal texts.
iPads are used both in class and at home to support reading through the use of Cued English and BSL. Students and parents are able to use QR codes to access books and new vocabulary the students are learning.
The children get weekly specialist support from Speech and language therapists, Educational audiologist, Cued speech tutor, BSL tutor and the Teacher of the Deaf.
Literacy links directly with the topic work for the term and links to texts are made based on this.
Books: Sharing a Shell, What the Ladybird Heard, Six Dinner Sid, Handa’s Hen, The Great Pet Sale, The Zoo, Hunwick's Egg, Dora’s Chicks, plus non—fiction books on living things.
Visits: Eden project, Rare Breed farm, Paignton Zoo, local farms.
Books: Wonderwise-What if? A Book About Recycling, Rubbish and Recycling (Usborne Beginners), Out and About: The Recycling Centre, Eco Works: How Recycling Works, Cycles In Nature: Water Cycle, Why Should I: Save Water?, Watery Worlds: Coasts and Seashores.
Visits: Beach at Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, recycling centre
Books: People Who Help Us: Fireman, Police, Doctor, etc,
Visits: fire station, hospital, shops, police station, bakery.
Swimming and lifesaving, Trampolining
Swimming, Outdoor education,
Living things, including humans, plants.
Water cycle, Materials e.g. rocks
States of matter, Electricity.
Experiential learning is key to the development of social and emotional aspects of our students’ lives. Children learn through looking at news, different religions, special days and working together in the Forest School. They have several opportunities to get real life experiences through trips out or external companies/people visiting the Academy.
The students take part in forest school once a week at the Deaf Academy. The sessions cover a range of areas:
Self esteem and confidence, working co-operatively, motivation, team work, knowledge about the world and their environment, changing materials, plants and animals and awe and wonder. The sessions give the students a wealth of experience that they can communicate about using BSL, writing and drama.