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Scarborough Boy Who Is Deaf Shines at Doncaster Specialist School

A 10-year-old Scarbrough boy who has been deaf since birth is reaching his full academic potential by attending a specialist Deaf school in South Yorkshire.
Dariens Upesjuris attends Doncaster School for the Deaf during the week and also lives in its residential home, Dickson House, returning to his family in Scarborough every weekend and on school holidays.
The Year 5 pupil was born fully deaf in both ears and had two hearing aids fitted at about nine months old. His mum, dad, brother and grandma are all deaf so his whole family communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) and some Latvian sign language.
Doncaster School for the Deaf is one of the oldest deaf schools in the country. It was established in 1829 and provides education for Deaf pupils from across the region aged 4 to 19 years. Alongside the school is Dickson House which provides residential care 52 weeks of the year for pupils needing weekly or term-time accommodation while they study. The home-from-home offers accommodation for up to nine Deaf children and includes a large six bedded family home in the grounds of the Trust, with a three bed annex attached. 
Dariens said: “I have been at Doncaster School for the Deaf for nearly three years. Before that I was at nursery and school in Scarbrough until I was in Year 2 but I didn't like it because it was mainstream and very difficult to communicate as no-one spoke sign language so it was hard. My older brother Ralfs is in Year 9 and also attends the school with me which is really nice.
“I like coming to Doncaster School for the Deaf because I have friends I can talk to and communicate with as they are deaf too and I really enjoy being around deaf people. The staff help me by signing and I know I can talk to them about anything.
“I like Dickson House as I can relax and do activities and I have good friends. Being at Dickson House has helped me to learn things like doing laundry, and sharing nicely with others.  I enjoy playing football after school and other activities like dancing and every week I go to youth club where I have also made lots of friends.
“I do miss home but I understand it's far away 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.”

Kate Warner, manager of Dickson House, said: “For young deaf people like Dariens providing a specialist education in their first language which we offer at Doncaster School for the Deaf can make a massive difference to their long term future. It’s vital deaf children have full and equal access to education, so they can leave school confident and competent to transition to their next stage.
“For some pupils, who live further away, Dickson House provides families with the confidence that not only are their children receiving the best education possible but they are also able to live close to school in a loving and homely environment with our expert staff.
“Dariens is a credit to himself and his family and he is really doing so well at school. We are sure he will go really far and achieve all he has set out to in the future.”

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