Children at The Rookeries Carleton, Junior, Infant & Nursery School, part of Pontefract Academies Trust, celebrated Deaf Awareness Week last week. They focused on what It means to be deaf and explored the differences encountered by deaf people. The Rookeries are proud that their school is home to the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Resource, which is a Wakefield Local Authority provision that provides access to the curriculum for deaf pupils.
Deaf Awareness Week is a unique campaign in that so many different organisations participate, each able to promote their own work within the broad spectrum of deafness. The focus for the week this year was “coming through it together”.
The Rookeries were lucky enough to hear from a special guest, Gerry Hughes, who became the first deaf sailor to solo circumnavigate the world. The children studied Gerry’s achievements and watched his documentary, Silent Odyssey, as part of their learning. Each class then received a virtual visit from Gerry and had the chance to ask him questions.
Gerry Hughes said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time meeting the children as part of their Deaf Awareness Week activities. I was impressed by all the children. They asked me detailed questions that made me really think about the challenges I faced. I hope that my story shows them that, like me, they can achieve their dreams and ambitions.”
Richard Grogan, Headteacher at The Rookeries said: “We believe that the Rookeries Deaf Resource in our school provides a nurturing environment, which encourages all children to develop and grow into confident and independent young people. We have a highly qualified team who are committed to ensuring that our pupils are fully included in school life; educationally, socially and emotionally. The teaching and support that pupils receive is tailored to their individual needs to give them the very best chance to fulfil their potential. We have had a fantastic week celebrating Deaf Awareness Week and it was great to hear the challenges and difficulties Gerry has had to overcome on his amazing journey. It was a truly inspiring session to see what can be achieved through determination and courage.