This part of the project involved asking deaf current and former
pupils their views on their educational experiences. This was to find out
was happening at school and what it was like for them, and how they were
doing at school. It was also to find out what deaf former pupils thought
of their past experiences of being at school. This will give us a better
idea of why deaf pupils in general may be doing well or not, why they
might choose certain subjects and not others. These interviews took
the form of:
- Interviews with current deaf pupils
- Interviews and focus groups with former deaf pupils
Interviews were arranged with deaf pupils at their home or school. The
deaf pupil was asked questions related to their experiences of school
– what it was like for them, the subjects they took, exams, other
achievements out of school. This took up to an hour and was audio- and
We can then draw out what deaf pupils make of their educational experiences.
Please click on these links if you would like to see some quotes from
interviews with pupils:
"I won't be having history next year because the teacher said there's a
lot of writing and homework, using lots of paper, and lots of difficult words.
I'll miss it. I would like to take history. I'm good at history. I've got lots
of certificates in history."
Pupil B, S2, mainstream school
I find PE, geography and modern studies and many other subjects
quite easy. I'm a smart kid. I've won many awards so I know that
I don't have much of a challenge and find it easy. I got a prize…for
PE and I got some well done awards for French, maths and English."
Pupil J, S2, mainstream school
The teachers of the deaf helped a lot because it meant that if
a class teacher spoke and I didn't understand, then the teacher
of the deaf would tell me what they said, so I didn't miss anything.
I had that support most of the time. I didn't have it in RE, PE
and maths. Not in maths. They told me I was too good (laughs)."
Pupil N, S5, mainstream school
Interviews and focus groups with former deaf pupils
Individuals and groups of former pupils were asked to discuss their
educational experiences at school. These interviews were recorded and
the same way as the interviews with current deaf pupils.
From a set of interviews with former pupils, one partially
hearing adult has this to say:
"I am a competent lipreader and use what hearing I have aided
with my hearing aids. Even so, there are occasions when I've not understood.
Looking back at my education: primary, secondary and higher education.
I wish I had the availability of signed English, subtitled videos,
modification of written questions, live presentations of tape for lip-reading
and the radio aid (which I got when I went to college). My English
is good, but there were certain types of questions which I couldn't
seem to figure out what was being asked of me, it was too complicated.
However despite the difficulties I have done well and I'm happy with
what I have achieved."
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