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Deaf and Hearing Impaired Integrated Resource

Silverdale School has a large Deaf and Hearing Impaired Integrated Resource within the school. The Integrated Resource (IR) currently supports 18 students across years 7-13 who have a Statement of Educational Need. The students have varying degrees of deafness and include, oral deaf children with cochlear implants and hearing aids, children who are BSL first language users, those with additional learning needs to their deafness, and deaf pupils learning English as a second language.

Teachers and roles

Mrs Kathy Grieve

Co-ordinator of the Integrated Resource and Teacher of the Deaf

Mrs Ruth McHale

Teacher of the Deaf

Mr Chris Dollimore

Teacher of the Deaf

Mrs Rachel Dickens

0.6 Teacher of the Deaf

Mrs Hannah Ashcroft

0.6 Teacher of the Deaf

Ms Loraine Durkin

Specialist Teaching Assistant

Mrs Deborah Nolan

Specialist Teaching Assistant

Mr Stephen Douglas

Specialist Teaching Assistant

Mrs Dawn Blackwell

0.6 Specialist Teaching Assistant

Mrs Cathy Doyle

0.4 British Sign Language Instructor

The Integrated Resource for Deaf and Hearing Impaired

A Deaf and Hearing Impaired Unit was first established in Silverdale School in 1980 after the closure of Sheffield’s Maud Maxfield Special School for the Deaf. It is staffed by an experienced team of teachers of the deaf and teaching assistants employed by Sheffield Specialist Services.

The Integrated Resource is an example of Sheffield Education’s inclusive approach to teaching Deaf and Hearing Impaired children. Each pupil is part of a mainstream form group, enabling deaf children to spend time with their hearing peers and benefit from exposure to natural oral language. In addition, the dedicated IR provides opportunities for the children to be with a deaf and signing peer group, provides radio hearing aids to enhance the listening environment and co-ordinates monthly visits from the Children’s Hospital team to check health of ears and functioning of hearing aids.

Finding the right approach for each child

The IR aims to provide a full and varied curriculum for pupils with full access to the assessment process whether this is through English, Signed Supported English (SSE) or British Sign Language (BSL).

Depending on the planned use of BSL, English or SSE, and their individual abilities and needs, deaf pupils follow the same curriculum as their hearing peers. Some students are in mainstream for most of their curriculum, some with specialist support from the team within the lessons, or backup lessons within the IR. Other children need additional support from the IR with teaching in small groups. The Integrated Resource also provides BSL teaching where the pupil and family want this.

Each pupil’s language, ability and communication needs are taken into consideration when planning individual timetables. The style and range of teaching and learning activities provided, acknowledges that deaf pupils learn in different ways. By varying the style of lessons, staff aim to make the work accessible to all children whilst maintaining motivation and interest.

Supporting deaf and impaired pupils at Silverdale

It is important to us that all our deaf and hearing impaired pupils have a positive experience in education and form part of the main student body. To support this, we work with all our pupils and teachers to ensure that their learning experience gives them the best start in life. Many pupils joining the main school in Year 7 will not have met children who are deaf or hearing impaired before and we provide deaf awareness sessions to help them understand how best to support their deaf and hearing impaired peers. We also provide signing in school assemblies and presentations so that our deaf pupils can integrate in all parts of school life.


We take care to ensure there is a successful transition; work is done with primary aged children and families at Annual Review meetings. In year 6 Silverdale IR staff visit the primary schools and there are opportunities for an extended transition programme to Silverdale.

After key stage 4 where pupils meet the required entry levels for the sixth form, support can continue to meet their needs post 16. This will take account of the importance for them to develop independence and study skills. We have several deaf students from the Integrated Resource have gone on to Higher Education in universities in Sheffield and Durham and have been successful in their studies.

We also have extremely good links with Sheffield College and in the last 10 years all of our students have gone on to Further Education placements. Several have then continued to university.

To contact us please email here.