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Primary education

Photo: Providing the right support for children in primary education

Find out more about our free resources for teachers and other education professionals on deaf-friendly teaching and support for primary aged deaf children. 

Recognising the signs of hearing loss

If you work in the early years or a primary school, there is a high chance that a child in your care will have an undiagnosed hearing loss.

This is usually a temporary hearing loss caused by glue ear. Eight out of ten deaf children will experience glue ear before the age of 10.

It could also be a permanent hearing loss. Over half of deaf children become deaf during childhood. This usually happens in the first three years of life.

Any hearing loss, even if it’s temporary or mild, can have a big impact, particularly in the early years when children are developing their speech and language skills.

Find out more about recognising the signs of hearing loss.

Deaf friendly teaching: For primary schools

This resource is for teachers, those with responsibility for coordinating special needs provision and any other education professional working with deaf children in primary schools. It sets out simple tips for deaf friendly teaching and inclusion in the classroom. 

Download 'Deaf-friendly teaching: For primary school staff'

Deaf-friendly teaching: Special schools

This resource is for staff working in special schools attended by deaf children with complex needs.

Download 'Deaf-friendly teaching: For staff in special schools' and watch our video below of top tips for staff working in special schools:

Supporting the achievement of deaf children in special schools

This video gives staff working in special schools five top tips on supporting a deaf child in their class. 

Assessments of deaf children and young people

Our assessments webpages provide information on the range of different specialist assessments available to professionals working with deaf children in each of the following areas:

  • early communication skills
  • language
  • listening
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • cognitive development
  • social/emotional development.

You can also learn more of the key principles involved in effective use of assessments.

Bullying and deaf children

Our resource provides guidance on the steps that schools can take to protect deaf children from bullying, and how to handle bullying incidents where they arise.

Download 'Protecting deaf children from bullying'.

Resources for parents and young people are also available on our Bullying and deaf children page.

Creating good listening conditions for learning in education

We've produced a series of resources to set out the simple steps that can be taken to improve the listening environment in nurseries, schools, and other education settings.  

Here to Learn video clips

Our Here to Learn video clips include basic information on the practical steps which school staff can take to be more deaf aware and include deaf children and young people in all aspects of school life.

Mild hearing loss

Our booklet on mild hearing loss is for mainstream teachers and nursery staff. It explains the major impact a mild hearing loss can have on a child, and what you can do to support a child with a mild hearing loss in your class.

Watch the 'Mild hearing loss, major impact' video that accompanies this booklet below:

Tips for teaching deaf children with a mild hearing loss

This video explains the major impact a mild hearing loss can have on a child in school, and what professionals can do to support a child with a mild hearing loss in their class. 

Pen Pals project for deaf children and young people

Our Pen Pals project aims to support deaf children and young people (ages 8-18) to keep in touch and make new friends. Those who take part will be matched with another young person of a similar age and communication preference.

As pen pals, they can write letters or record videos in BSL to each other, giving them a chance to ask questions and get to know one another.

Find out more about our Pen Pals project.

Radio aids

Quality standards for the use of personal radio aids

Personal radio aids can really improve deaf children's listening experiences. This resource sets out quality standards for a common approach to the timely and appropriate provision and use of radio aids to make sure deaf children have the best outcomes.

Download 'Quality standards for the use of personal radio aids'.

These quality standards have been developed with the UK Children’s Radio Aid Working Group, whose aims are to:

  • promote the use of radio aids among children and young people
  • promote the knowledge base about radio aids
  • influence the policy framework for the provision of radio aids
  • influence the quality and consistency of radio aid provision and practice
  • raise awareness of the importance of a positive acoustic environment.

How Radio Aids Can Help - Information for parents

This guide for parents explains how radio aids and soundfield systems can help deaf children. It also outlines the different types of radio aid systems available and how to maintain radio aids. Teachers and other staff working with deaf children and young people may also find the information in this guide useful.

Download 'How Radio Aids Can Help - Information for parents'.

Radio aids video

In this video, deaf young people explain what radio aids are and how they benefit from them.

Watch NDCS radio aids video.

Case studies

Find examples of policy documents and loan agreement forms shared by specialist support services, as well as some case studies from specialist support services below:

Example radio aids policy from Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service.

Principles and Guidance to support the Provision of Radio Aid systems and other Amplification Devices by Oxfordshire Special Educational Needs Support Services.

Case study - Radio Aids Corporate Insurance by Norfolk County Council.

Case study – Radio Aids Policy and practice anecdotal feedback.

Borrow a radio aid

Find out how parents can borrow a radio aid through our Technology Test Drive or Borrow to Buy scheme.

Supporting the achievement of deaf children who use English as an additional language

The resource provides advice on support to deaf children of all ages who speak English as an additional language (EAL), including children who have yet to start school and their families. The resource is aimed at Teachers of the Deaf and other professionals who work with deaf children who use EAL, including special or additional needs coordinators and EAL coordinators. 

Download 'Supporting the achievement of deaf children who use English as an additional language (EAL)'.

A short top-tips video on supporting children who use EAL is also available. 

We would like to thank the Bell Foundation for their funding, expertise and support in the development of these resources. 

Teaching Phonics: Guidance for teachers in mainstream schools

This resource is for anyone who teaches phonics to primary school-aged pupils, such as classroom teachers and teaching assistants.

Download 'Teaching phonics to deaf children'.

Families interested in phonics may find our factsheet Phonics and the Development of Your Deaf Child’s Reading and Writing Skills useful.

What are you feeling? A guide to help deaf children understand and identify their emotions

Deaf children can lack the vocabulary to 'label' their feelings. This workbook is for teachers to work through with children to help them expand their emotional vocabulary so that they can understand and identify how they feel.

Download the What are you feeling? workbook

Archived resources

Assess, plan, do, review (England)

Our presentation explains how the 'assess, plan, do, review' cycle can be applied to deaf children to improve outcomes. It is intended for use by Teachers of the Deaf or other specialist staff with mainstream teachers or other education staff.

Download the 'Assess, plan, do, review' presentation

The National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) have also produced guidance on how 'assess, plan, do, review' can be applied to deaf children.

Download the NatSIP guidance

Buddy up! Setting up a peer support scheme for deaf pupils in your school

Our toolkit for teachers explains how they can set up a peer support scheme for deaf pupils.

Download the 'Buddy up!' toolkit.

There is also a separate guide for teachers in secondary schools.

Improving deaf children's literacy skills

This resource is made up of a 10-unit programme of lessons, exercises, games and specially designed books to improve deaf children’s literacy skills by increasing their understanding of English morphology and syntax. It’s aimed at helping deaf children who are aged 7–11 years and is most suitable for deaf children who are not performing at the expected level for their age.

Watch our video with Diana, a Teacher of the Deaf, who gives step-by-step instructions on how to use the resource.

Numeracy programme

Our briefing paper summarises a programme to improve deaf children’s numeracy. It is intended to be used mainly with deaf children aged 5 to 11, according to the individual child's needs.

Download the 'Mathematics' briefing paper

Working memory

The 'Working memory' resource aims to support primary school teachers in helping deaf children improve their working memory. It includes a range of games and activities for teachers to use.

Watch our video with Lynda, a Teacher of the Deaf, who gives step-by-step instructions on how to use the resource.

Other education resources

These resources have been developed by the Government or other organisations for education professionals that may be helpful for your work with deaf children.

Find out more about other education resources.