Year 5 Pupil Dariens on a canal boat trip
Year 5 Pupil Dariens on a canal boat trip

A key part of Doncaster School for the Deaf is Dickson House which provides residential care 52 weeks of the year for pupils needing weekly or term-time accommodation while they study at Doncaster School for the Deaf. The home-from-home offers accommodation for up to nine children who are Deaf and includes a large six bedded flat, located above the main school building.

Here, Year 5 pupil Dariens Upesjuris, tells us more about his experience living at Dickson House.

My name is Dariens, I am 10 years old and come from Scarborough. I have a mum, dad and one older brother called Ralfs, who also lives in Dickson House.

I was born fully deaf in both ears and I had two hearing aids at about nine months old. My mum, dad, brother and grandma are all Deaf so my whole family communicate using BSL.

I have been at Doncaster School for the Deaf for nearly three years but before that I was at nursery and school in Scarbrough until I was in Year 2. I didn't like it because it was mainstream and very difficult to communicate as no-one spoke sign language so it was hard.

I cope in the hearing world by writing things down on paper, lip reading when I can and facial expressions. But I do sometimes struggle in public places with hearing people talking.

I like coming to this school because I have friends I can talk to and communicate with. They are Deaf too, not like my old school. My favourite part of school is the Christmas parties! Staff help me by signing and I know I can talk to staff about anything. I really enjoy being around Deaf people.

I like Dickson House as I can relax and do activities and I have good friends especially my good friend Vova. Being at Dickson House it helped me to learn things like doing laundry, and sharing nicely with others.

I enjoy playing football after school and other activities like dancing. Every Tuesday I go to youth club where I have also made lots of friends.

I do miss home but I understand it's far and I have to stay at Dickson House so I can get the best education and reach my potential. I go home every Friday for the weekend which is always fun and good to see my family.

In the future I hope to work as a teacher at Doncaster School for the Deaf. I would also like to go travelling to places like Dubai and Latvia.