On 4 December 2015 the Local Authority opened its Central provision for Deaf Children in the Caddell Centre at Hempland Primary School. We wanted to open our Central provision at Hempland Primary School because of its excellent reputation for inclusion, having governors, senior management and staff who are have an understanding about educating deaf CYP.

This beautiful building, the Caddell Centre, was commissioned by the City of York Council and is run by the York Specialist Teaching Team in collaboration with the school. This provision for primary deaf children means that deaf children have access to more specialist support in a York primary school for learning, language development and to develop their emotional resilience and identity as a deaf person.

Deaf children benefit from being able to access mainstream classes as well as being taught individually and as a group in the provision. The provision at Hempland Primary School also provides a deaf peer group for deaf children, giving them opportunities to communicate and play with other deaf children and deaf adults.

Our Aims

Our aims for the deaf children coming to the central provision at Hempland Primary School, are for them:

  • To make good educational progress and reduce or close any attainment gap that may exist between them and their peers on entry to school
  • To develop their language and literacy skills
  • develop independence in learning
  • To develop social and emotional resilience, feel included and fully participate in the life of the school
  • To develop skills for later life
  • To develop a positive deaf identity.


All children are different and all deaf children are different. At Hempland Primary School deaf children use a range of communication to communicate with their teachers, their hearing friends and their deaf friends. Some children have British Sign Language (BSL) as their first language; others use speech as their first language.

“We strive for all of our children to be happy confident communicators” Helen Martin ~ Senior Teacher for the Deaf and Hearing Support Team.

Events and Activities

  • Training for teaching assistants in school, including 10 TAs achieving Part 1 level 1 of British Sign Language course
  • Early bird sign class for children in early years
  • Parents’ taster deaf awareness and signing class
  • Lunch Club for deaf children across the city
  • Sing and Sign choir
  • Pre-school group for deaf children and their families and carers
  • Joint working

As part of our work in school with deaf children we work closely with other professionals:

The specialist speech and language therapist for deaf children comes in to school to assess children and provide advice and information to staff working with the children.

Kate Iley, paediatric audiologist from York Hospital comes in to school to review hearing aid provision, impressions for new moulds and share information with teachers of the deaf.

We receive ongoing support and advice from providers of radio aids to ensure the children are receiving the best amplification to improve their access to speech.

Voluntary agencies, like the National Deaf Children’s Society and Lollipop Charity have strong links with us and help us to support the social and emotional development and well being of the deaf children in school.


To be on the role of the Central Provision for Deaf Children at Hempland Primary School, children have to have an Education Health and Care Plan. This will have been issued by the Local Authority and will identify deafness as the child’s primary need. Associated with this primary need may be language delay, difficulty accessing the curriculum, literacy difficulties and issues around social and emotional concerns connected with deaf identity.

Other deaf children are able to access the provision at Hempland Primary School. Some deaf children may live in the catchment area and will be part of the school roll. Others may come from their local primary schools to Hempland to join the Sing and Sign Choir or to join for Lunch Club, where they have regular opportunities to socialise and learn with a wider group of deaf children.

For more information about what is available for Deaf children and families in York, visit the Yor-ok Website: www.yor-ok.org.uk