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The Henry

The Henry Beaufort School Bridging the Gap between Deaf and Non-Deaf Students

The Hearing Impaired Unit at The Henry Beaufort School was delighted to hear that The Silent Child received an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film, bringing deaf awareness to the forefront.

The Henry Beaufort School resource base, that supports students with various degrees of hearing impairment, provides specialist provision in total communication support, which includes oral and British Sign Language (BSL).

Alison Strevens, Teacher of the Deaf, commented: “As a deaf friendly school, we are excited by the impact The Silent Child is having by raising awareness of the barriers that deaf children can experience, particularly in accessing education. Our students are fortunate in that they have support from specialist teaching assistants and teachers who are fully trained in meeting the needs of our deaf students in order to access the curriculum.”

The Henry Beaufort School provides a weekly signing club for all students and staff (deaf and non-deaf) to learn BSL. Lessons are delivered by Deaf Instructor, Emillie Bailey, who herself is profoundly deaf. 

Emillie Bailey continued: “The club is voluntary and extremely popular. I would fully support the introduction of BSL in the national curriculum as it would open up far more opportunities for the deaf community and help bridge the gap between deaf and non-deaf people.”




The Silent Child

  • The Silent Child film is about a profoundly deaf four year old girl named Libby who is born into a middle class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication. For further information see:
  • Winner of The 90th Academy Awards®(OSCARS) for Live Action Short Film

The Henry Beaufort School – Hearing Impaired Unit (HIU)

  • The Henry Beaufort School is a mainstream comprehensive secondary school with a specialist resource base for the hearing impaired.  
  • The aims of the HIU are:
    • To provide the resources, expertise and support to enable students to realise their full potential: educationally, socially and personally.
    • To develop their self-esteem, have ownership of their own learning and be valued members of the school community.
  • Established in 1995, the present suite of rooms was purpose built in 2010 to provide an optimal acoustic environment for students.
  • The Unit includesa suite of eight rooms including a large meeting room, three tutorial rooms and an audiology room.  This enables the students to work in a quiet area to develop their speech and listening skills.
  • Staffed by an experienced team consisting of a Teacher of the Deaf, Communication and Learning Support Assistants, and a Deaf Instructor.

Communications Policy

  •  The Henry Beaufort School follows a Total Communications Policy.
  • Staff are experienced in working with both oral and signing students.
  • British Sign Language (BSL) classes are run for the whole school community by the school’s Deaf Instructor and Communication Support Assistant. The Deaf Instructor runs individualised BSL lessons for the hearing impaired students.
  • A weekly BSL signing club is available to all members of the school.
  • Every student has a personal up-to-date radio aid system to provide maximum access to the curriculum and enhance their listening experience in mainstream classes