Doncaster School for the Deaf

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About Doncaster School for the Deaf

Name Doncaster School for the Deaf
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Jane Goodman
Address Leger Way, Doncaster, DN2 6AY
Phone Number 01302386733
Phase Special
Type Non-maintained special school
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 38
Local Authority Doncaster
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Doncaster School for the Deaf continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils describe Doncaster School for the Deaf as one big family. They say that they love coming to school and feel extremely well supported in their learning. Pupils are very proud of their academic and wider achievements.

They are excited for their future careers.

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils. They have created a curriculum that supports pupils to achieve well.

Staff care deeply for pupils. They know pupils well and adjust their teaching and support to meet pupils' needs.

Despite being a small school, leaders have ensured classes are well equipped ...and pupils have access to specialist learning resources, such as the recently refurbished science lab.

Pupils' behaviour both in lessons and during social times is excellent. Pupils say bullying is not an issue, and that staff are always there to help if needed.

Parents and carers talk of the rapid progress their children have made since starting at the school.

One parent, echoing the views of others, commented, 'My child has thrived at Doncaster school for the Deaf. It is such a valuable provision with small classes and dedicated specialist staff.'

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school provides a curriculum that is ambitious and follows the scope of the national curriculum.

Key to the success of the school is the expert knowledge that staff have about pupils. Teachers work closely with the school's speech and language therapists to ensure pupils' communication needs are assessed accurately and the right support is in place to allow pupils to access the curriculum. As a result, pupils achieve well in lessons, and are able to communicate effectively with staff and each other.

Reading is taught daily to all pupils. Leaders have mapped out a detailed reading programme that is adapted to meet the needs of deaf pupils. Young children learn to read through an adapted phonics programme.

Older pupils are supported, through a range of carefully thought-out-strategies, to read with fluency and to understand spoken and written English.

Curriculum plans across key stage 3 and 4 are organised into three learning pathways. These plans have been carefully devised to ensure pupils learn the necessary skills and knowledge across key stage 3 to support their studies in key stage 4.

The primary phase curriculum plans are under development. Subject leaders are reviewing these plans to ensure they clearly state what pupils will learn across subjects.

Lessons are planned to meet the needs of pupils.

Teachers identify quickly if pupils need more support. They take more deliberate steps to support pupils where needed. This helps to ensure pupils have opportunities to practise their learning.

In mathematics, pupils show fluency in number through quick recall. By the end of Year 11, pupils complete mathematics tasks quickly and with a high degree of independence. There is a focus on visual learning and an emphasis on vocabulary.

For example, in art, the teacher and interpreter provide pupils with high-quality, clear explanations of important artistic vocabulary and techniques.

Teachers assess pupils learning in lessons well. However, in foundation subjects, such as art and personal, social and health education, teachers do not always check carefully enough what pupils know and have remembered.

This means that the next stage of learning does not always build on what pupils have already learned.

The school provides rich experiences for pupils, including sporting and cultural activities. A group of pupils recently performed a dance routine at a local theatre as part of a national 'Speak Up' campaign aimed at raising deaf awareness.

At the heart of the school's personal development and careers education programme, is ensuring that pupils are empowered to follow their dreams, and to see themselves capable of employment.

Teachers and staff are supported in their professional development, and all staff are trained in British Sign Language. Staff are proud to work at the school and share the senior leaders' passion for getting it right for every child.

Governance has been strengthened since the last inspection. New governors have been recruited. Governors play an active part in the life of the school.

They are aware of the strengths of the school and support leaders in their continued development plans.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Curriculum plans for primary-age pupils are not currently fully developed.

It is not clear what pupils will learn or why over the long term. Subject leaders should ensure that the curriculum plans for primary-age pupils clearly identify the knowledge they want pupils to learn to ensure pupils are prepared well for learning in key stages 3 and 4. ? Teachers sometimes do not accurately assess what pupils know and can do within some foundation subjects.

Gaps in pupils' understanding are not sufficiently addressed in some instances. Leaders should ensure that teachers assess and understand pupils' strengths and areas for development effectively.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in January 2015.

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