Barking school's support for deaf pupils receives national recognition

Staff and pupils in Eastbury Community School's edible playground.

Staff and pupils at Eastbury Community School in Barking, which has been shortlisted for alternative provision school of the year at the 2021 TES Schools Awards. - Credit: LBBD

A school in Barking has received national recognition for its “groundbreaking” additional resource provision (ARP) for deaf children.

Eastbury Community School provides pupils with support ranging from education into deaf culture and history to supporting language, cognitive and academic development.

Barking and Dagenham Council said the Hulse Avenue school's staff work closely with young people and their families to help them achieve the best they can, both now and in the future.

Eastbury has now been shortlisted for alternative provision school of the year at the 2021 TES Schools Awards, which celebrate the most outstanding people and institutions in the education sector.

Executive headteacher David Dickson said: "Myself and the governors are extremely pleased that our deaf ARP has received national recognition for their innovative and groundbreaking work.

"The ARP staff are an amazing group of talented, dedicated and caring professionals who work tirelessly in the best interests of deaf children.

"We are looking forward to attending the virtual awards on Friday, June 25."

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Throughout recent lockdowns, ARP staff thought creatively to find solutions that allowed the best access for deaf pupils.

If Eastbury wins the award, it will also be considered for the overall school of the year category, announced as the finale to the online awards ceremony.

Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for school improvement and educational attainment, said: "This is a well-deserved accolade and recognition for the outstanding work of teachers, communicators, teaching assistants and all staff in this inclusive school, where every pupil is inspired to achieve their best and fulfil their dreams."

Over the past year, Eastbury’s ARP has also won competitions organised by the Royal Horticultural Society and the Royal Association for the Deaf.

It has also filmed at The Globe Theatre as part of Christmas at the (Snow) Globe. 

The council said the ARP has also received praise for its facilities and the contribution that its specialist staff make to the community of deaf education and the world of academia.