Ian Skye (IS) Some former pupils have been back to school meeting some of the current pupils there. They organised a coffee morning where the two generations swapped stories and played a few board games. Sally Swinfen went along to meet staff and pupils and talk to them through a sign language interpreter.
Helen Shepherd (HS) Hello. I’m Helen Shepherd, Headteacher at RSDD
Sally Swinfen (SS) So tell me what is the idea behind this coffee morning this morning?
HS What we are doing is getting our older community who were at the school to come and share their experiences with the younger children. We are very much into keeping our heritage of the school so we thought ’Who better than the people who actually attended?’ So they come, and they chat with the children.
SS And the children are quite excited also? HS They’re really excited as they have never done anything like this before. It’s the first time and they have been practicing games that they want to play and are going to be teaching the deaf adults their games and hopefully we’ll get conversations going between them.
David (D) My name is David and I am 7.
SS I see that you have a huge box of Lego. Is that your favourite toy? D I love Lego. I love it.
SS So what sort of things do you make?
D Boats. At home, I’ve got lots of Lego. A big pile of Lego and I like making police figures and getting them to arrest people
Calen I’m worse, I have much more Lego
Isola (I) My name is Isola and I am six.
SS Are you enjoying playing with the Tumble Tower Isola>
I Oh yes.
SS Is that your favourite game? I Yes and I like playing with dolls. I like having my nails done, I like dressing up and I’ve got a unicorn game. I’ve got one brother and two sisters. I play with my sisters, my brother doesn’t want to play with me. I only play with my sisters. The Tumble Tower, I have got at home. Sometimes they win, sometimes I do so it’s good fun.
Squeals and giggles in the background from playing
Michael Bacon (MB) I was at school in 1957 in the nursery and I left age 16 in 1968 and my name is Michael Bacon. When I was at school, I really enjoyed it. Through my time we did a lot of sports – football, swimming, javelin and shot putt. All these types of things. I really enjoyed my school time.
SS What do you think about coming here with all these youngsters and their games?
DM Oh I think it is lovely. You know I wasn’t like this at their age. I couldn’t talk. They are very expressive. They’re able to say how they feel. They talk. Their sign language skills are amazing and I congratulate these children. As they grow, they will have so much more than we did when it was my time. It’s very interesting to see these youngsters today and it’s had a huge impact on me.
The Duke ‘I won’t go on and on as the weather is poor’
The High Sherriff ‘I thought it was inside and am worried about my hat!’
The Duke ‘ It gives me great pleasure to formally open Lydia House after a refurbishment which will allow an extra twelve students to live from January. It will make a big difference to them. It’s wonderful. I was very happy to help and to thank Lynn who volunteered a lot of her time to support too. Now I will cut the ribbon and formally open Lydia House’
Wendy ‘Good morning. Ladies and gentlemen. Children small and big. I have the words in English – Once Upon a Time. Deaf people do this another way. (Wendy demonstrates how to begin a story in BSL) 125 years birthday of the school for the deaf!
‘I will tell you a brief story. Like with Dr Roes book of snapshots.’
‘What is this? ‘ ‘It’s my old school!’
‘Here is the school that was on Ashbourne Road. Why Ashbourne? One is because of Ashbourne and Shrovetide and two because of the railway bridge. Hence the sign for Ashbourne.’
‘The front of the school cost £12,000. Later, there was a flag added. The other buildings were added later.’
‘Queen Victoria visited Derby one year before the school opened. Queen Victoria looked around and sat on that chair. 125 years later, the chair is still in here in the Council House. So I went to look at it. 125 years ago, Dr Roe had the chair in the school entrance and told all the children that Queen Victoria had sat on it. Unfortunately there are no photos of this. Now you can take photos but cannot bring it into school.’
‘Who is this?’ Sarusan joins Wendy on the stage. ‘Lovely clean shoes’
Sarusan ‘Thank you’ ‘It is Dr Roe’ ‘Hello’ My name is Sarusan’
Wendy ‘Thank you. Oh and your signing in the choir was beautiful’
Emma A message from Jerry. ‘Jerry. My father. You know who? Well he FaceTimed me this morning. He was disappointed not to come as he wanted to. He said that it is important that I tell everybody that this school has been going for 125 years and should go on for 125 years more. Have you got that?’
Helen ‘On a birthday, you would have a cake. And today is no different.’
Lauren ‘We want to say thank you to all the ladies who have worked so hard cooking this amazing food. Please say a big thank you.
Marie Watson, our English Teacher and BSL Lead has won The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education at The Pearson Teaching Awards in London.
As well as being an outstanding teacher, Marie runs an extra-curricular drama club and leads the deaf choir – which she was a member of herself as a child. She also runs literacy workshops for parents, develops methods to encourage reading and leads the filming of a weekly BSL Newsround video, which allows parents and pupils to know what is happening in school and has viewers all over the world.
Marie is an excellent role model to deaf children and an inspiring teacher and person. Her lessons are always positive and there is a buzz of excitement in her classroom. Many teachers manage a disability in their classroom, but at our school, pupils can have two or more additional needs to their deafness. Marie takes each new challenge in a positive and constructive way so that all pupils continue to feel valued and expectations are always high. She allows others to achieve and will give up her time to help them.