Where are they now?

Where are they now?

Where are they now?

We have been chatting to our former students to find out what all they have achieved since leaving St John’s Catholic School for the Deaf. Here they tell their wonderful stories.

Victoria 

I came to St Johns in 2004 when I was 11 years old, and I started in Year 7 and I was a residential pupil from Monday to Friday the whole time. I was at St Johns for five years in Secondary, and I then three years in York College, when I was in Post 16 residential at St John’s.

Before St John’s I was in a mainstream primary school which had a partial hearing unit. School for me at Primary level was difficult due to the environment. But I did have some fantastic support from my teachers of the deaf.

My brother was already a pupil at St John’s. He had been there for three years before I went. This helped me know a little about the school before I joined. However, it didn’t stop me from being very homesick from the start. With the support of the care staff, teachers and my parents I soon felt more comfortable over the coming months and began to really enjoy learning, while feeling personally a lot happier.

Over my time in Secondary/Post 16 and during my college years, I found St John’s to be an absolutely brilliant and supportive environment to learn and grow up in. I was surrounded by people who wanted me to achieve my full potential and succeed on both an educational and emotional level.

As part of a small learning group, I was able to hold my own, and grow in confidence. It was this in particular that helped me to enjoy being a boarder pupil, which I initially struggled with.

One of the best things about St John’s was the fact that it helped me to become more independent, but also to be confident in group situations with pupils of various age groups. It helped me to make friends with other hearing impaired or physically disabled peers from around the country. These have been lasting friendships.

I was provided with massive support structure by St John’s. This took the form of notetakers, teachers of the deaf and fantastic technology support. The classrooms were much more suitable for my hearing impairment.

Since I graduated University 3 years ago, (scarily), I have been working in an Administration role for a finance company based in the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Hannah 

I went to St John’s in March 2007. I was in Year 7 and aged 11 at the time. I stayed as a residential pupil. I stayed until Year 12 but missed some of Year 10/11 due to illness.

Before St John’s I was at a mainstream primary school with a high support deaf base. Then I went to secondary school for a short while which had not much support. It was difficult and lonely.

Before I went to St John’s I was excited but at same time worried. I did visit and stayed for a few days before I went full time.

However, after one week of boarding there I made a friend in less than one day and enjoyed it soooo much that I went home for the weekend and asked my Mum if I could stay over the weekend!

It was fantastic at St John’s! There are really lovely people and it feels like family. There are great teachers, interesting learning, lots of activities. It is a really exciting school. I really enjoyed being a pupil there.

The best thing about St John’s was P.E and maths but everything really. I loved being there and wish I could still be there ha ha!

Being at a school which supports people who are deaf and hard of hearing helped me because it gave more time for us to learn properly than mainstream, and everyone is deaf so we support each other too. We learned by visual tools –  lots of the learning lessons are visual.

All teacher and staff have fantastic knowledge of deaf awareness so it gave us an opportunity learn better.

Since I left I have been looking for jobs and studying Outdoor Pursuits as well as volunteering for NDCS. I’ve also been working part-time at a climbing wall.