The Academy embraces a bilingual approach to language learning. While sign bilingualism supports the use of British Sign Language as the main and preferred language of instruction to deliver a broad curriculum and develop positive Deaf identities in the students, a major goal is still the development of English and literacy. To this end, deaf students need access to sign language, cued speech or oral language through hearing aids or cochlear implant, for language and literacy development to begin.
Providing experiential learning opportunities is an effective means of aiding cognitive processing and internalising information as well as making these experiences relevant to their situation so that they may become more active language learners.
A focus on relevant, meaningful learning where new information is related to established conceptual structures is important. Teaching should build on the rich life experiences and general world knowledge of students. Teaching materials should be relevant and meaningful and selected together with the students.
Effective teaching and learning requires engaging students in active joint construction of knowledge, problem solving and answering questions that are meaningful.
Deaf children generally respond quicker to visual cognition tasks than hearing peers, make better use of their peripheral vision and have strengths in their perception and memory for complex visual signs. Pictures help deaf students identify what they are learning about in the environment so that the learning can move from concrete to abstract. The use of visual aids, however, are more than just good educational practice, they optimise the learning of deaf students - it should be seen as a cultural right.