A project to help re-engage students with education has been boosted thanks to a generous donation from a supporter.

The Hub supports students who may find it difficult to engage with education in a traditional classroom setting. The Academy’s Positive Engagement Team, who run The Hub, follow a methodology which is centred around giving more quality time and 1:1 support combined with positive reinforcement to promote a want to learn and enable a student back into the classroom.

A new shed, donated by a supporter, will enhance The Hub’s garden where students can go to relax as a reward for positive behaviour.

Elliott is one of the students who has benefitted from the positive behaviour methodology. Whilst at the Hub, Elliott has developed a passion for gardening. Prior to his arrival, the Hub’s garden was overgrown and untidy. Alongside Hub staff, Elliott has now transformed the garden into an oasis of flowers and vegetables for all students to enjoy. With Elliott’s positive attitude to education he now spends hours putting his green-fingers to work.

Elliott said, “I’m really proud of my work in the garden and I know staff are too. If I work well in lessons I get to spend time in the garden. I really enjoy it and it makes me feel calm. In the Hub there aren’t so many people, which also calms me down, I can focus and there’s more time to talk through everything.”

As well as managing the garden Elliott also plans and budgets for new garden projects. This prompted him to start fundraising for the Hub garden by baking cakes and selling crafts. Elliott wanted a shed to help him store tools and equipment. Hearing of Elliott’s story, a supporter of the Deaf Academy kindly donated the funds to buy the shed.

Elliott continued, “I have a book where Mark (Exeter Deaf Academy staff member) and I draw our design for the garden and plan what we will do next. I’m so pleased that we have got a new shed. Mark and I researched which one and thanks to the donation we have a big one! We will be growing potatoes and carrots and plan to do some cooking with our vegetables.”

“Before The Hub I didn’t really enjoy school and would sometimes become angry. Now, I will be moving on to college and hope to become a professional gardener. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me realise my dream.”

We are a charity specialising in tailored education and care for Deaf young people aged 4-24 in a bilingual English and British Sign Language (BSL) environment. However, we are not funded in the same way as state schools and rely on funding to support projects which would otherwise not happen.

If you’d like to know more about how your donations can help support our students please contact our Fundraising Team on 01392 627019.