The Deaf Academy nurtures and grows confident, resilient and independent Deaf young people. Our curriculum supports the development of knowledge, skills and behaviours which allow our students to excel in the wider world. This philosophy informs everything we do across Education, Care, Support and the whole Academy.

Our curriculum is designed to be coherent, rich and empowering, based around the following principles:

  • Establishing good relationships;
  • using an integrated model (developing the ‘whole’ student);
  • knowing and growing every learner;
  • being aware of the ‘Big Picture’;
  • developing an understanding of ourselves and the wider world;
  • accumulating knowledge;
  • developing language and communication;
  • modelling best practice;
  • encouraging independent application;
  • unlocking potential;
  • providing environments that enable our students;
  • and using reflective practice.

By following these principles, we can actively ensure we are providing each learner with a meaningful and tailored educational experience, helping them to develop their identities and their knowledge. We also believe our students are entitled to certain experiences to enrich their education and empower them, including:


  • to work within their preferred language/communication approach
  • to integrate into the Academy and experience the rich diversity within the community
  • to receive a high-quality student experience, including teaching, interventions, support, care and all Academy services
  • to be empowered to have their voices, expressions and ideas heard, to shape their education
  • to have regular, focused support to integrate into the wider community
  • to attend visits which deepen their learning in an area of the curriculum
  • to have access to extra-curricular support which focuses on their interests and talents
  • to have access to activities both within and outside the curriculum which encourage them to take risks and step outside their comfort zone

We provide a language-rich environment for our students, and believe that literacy is the golden thread that runs through all of our teaching and learning.  We have an equal commitment to British Sign Language, English and oralism, depending on the students’ preferences.


Our students have diverse needs and skills, and so we use a single system to identify starting and assessment points for all students.

Students will follow one of three pathways; Foundation, Core, and College. Depending on the student’s progression through the Academy, they may move from one pathway to another, or they may stay on the Foundation pathway.

The table below shows the Deaf Academy banding and pathways, and the equivalent Key Stage.

Our single, Academy-specific pathways and banding allows us to meet our students’ diverse range of needs, work to their strengths and unlock their individual potential.

Our curriculum is consistent with national and recognised frameworks. Each student’s curriculum will be constructed from the following subjects below. In addition to this, students will have the opportunity to explore other topics through extra-curricular activities.



  • Literacy (English/Reading/writing/speaking and listening)

  • British Sign Language/Deaf Studies

  • Maths
  • Science

  • World Studies (Geography and History)

  • RSE (Relationship and sexual health)

  • PE

  • Art, Design and Drama

  • Food Technology

Hamish reading


  • Literacy (English/Reading/writing/speaking and listening)
  • British Sign Language/Deaf Studies
  • RSE (Relationship and sexual health)
  • Citizenship
  • Options: Art, Drama, Food Technology, Duke of Edinburgh Award, PE
  • Supported Internship or subjects through Partner Colleges such as Exeter College and Bicton College.
  • CV Builder and relevant accreditations such as manual handling, first aid and safeguarding


We offer a wide range of accredited courses, from entry Level to Level 2 and GCSE. We also use the AQA Unit Award Scheme covering subjects inclusive of Employability English, Employability Maths, RSE, Swimming and World Studies. 

Maths – AQA and Pearson Edexcel

English – OCR and AQA

BSL – Signature

Drama – WJEC 

Art – Pearson Edexcel

Physical Education – OCR

Home Cooking – Pearson Edexcel

Life & Living Skills – OCR