Focus Provision for Deaf Pupils

In  September 2021, we formally welcomed Nottingham City’s Focus Provision for Deaf Pupils to Mellers.  The Focus Provision is a well-established Nottingham city resource, which was at its previous setting for 26 years and where it was described by Ofsted as ‘a strength of the school.’   There are places for 13 primary-aged deaf pupils, and each pupil’s individual needs are met by qualified teachers of the deaf and specialist teaching assistants. Communication is according to each pupil’s individual needs, eg speech, BSL or SSE.  The pupils are taught maths and English in the focus provision (although there are exceptions to this, based on each pupil’s needs).  Other subjects are taught in their mainstream classes, where they are supported by specialist staff. Our deaf pupils make exceptional progress, and we’re really proud of this!

As a community, we were so excited about having 13 deaf pupils and their teachers coming to Mellers to join us, and we spent the summer planning transition events and visits to ensure the deaf pupils felt very welcomed.  We are all learning to sign British Sign Language: the pupils and teachers have weekly lessons, and we all learn a sign together each week.  We are looking forward to the building of a purpose-built, state of the art unit with 2 classrooms and 2 small group rooms which will adjoin the key stage 2 building; we hope this will be finished by the summer term 2022.

Our teachers of the deaf are: Lou Burrows, Angela Knowles, Becky Bryan, Gudrun Middleditch.  Our BSL teaching assistants are: Jo Potter, Julie Blatherwick, Tracy Spence, Karen Bannister, Kelly Littlewood, Michelle Carlyle and Alison Salmon.

We currently have 12 deaf pupils with us, with capacity for 13.

We’re so excited and have been learning some British Sign Language already!  Here are some signs to start you off:

BSL greetings

BSL alphabet

Here are some videos made by Kelly Littlewood, one of our wonderful BSL TAs, whose weekly BSL sessions for the staff are a huge success:

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