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Clark Denmark gave an inspirational talk about his life, growing up as a deaf person from a deaf family living in Scotland. At the time he was in secondary school, deaf education was poor, and no other deaf child in his school was at his advanced level. He managed to teach himself what he needed to know in order to successfully pass his exams. At the age of 17, he went to America to study at the only deaf University – Gallaudet.

After graduating with a degree, Clark started working with IBM, using computers which were as big as rooms at that time, although he decided IT wasn't really for him. It was around then that he was asked by a small group of researchers, who were analysing BSL linguistics, if he was happy to be filmed signing. Clark asked so many questions about what they were doing, they invited him to join the project. He moved into a new stage in his career, where he fully immersed himself in important research on a topic very much close to his heart. This project became the dictionary of British Sign Language and took 15 years to develop and finally publish.

Clark is known as ‘the father of BSL teaching’. He set up the British Sign Language Training Agency for Deaf people to first understand, and then teach, their own language. At that time, there were few interpreters. However, these days’ lots of people are interested in learning BSL, and there are degree courses, MAs and PHDs linked with BSL linguistics and interpreting.

Clark delivered a presentation about BSL linguistics to the Year 12 deaf students, who have been studying the topic, before sharing more about his life and career with all of the deaf students and staff. Clark's wife, Carolyn, accompanied him and also gave a talk about her life growing up in a deaf family, going to a deaf school, and how she got into working on television.

Both speakers talked about how they had to develop resilience and never gave up learning, to find interesting work and chase their dreams. All the children were enthralled and learnt a lot about deaf history and culture.

Kim Davis, Lead Teacher of the Deaf, said “The Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team at Allerton Grange offers a specialist provision for deaf and hearing impaired students from across the City of Leeds. We support our students to learn BSL and access mainstream education, working holistically in school and with families to ensure they achieve their full potential. The talk from Clark and Carolyn today was inspirational, and shows our students that they can aspire to go to university and into the careers they want, regardless of the challenges they face.”

"An inclusive school that is focused on providing the best education for its students"
- Prospective Parent
“Excellent facilities, improving school”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"Very impressed with the sports facilities"
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"Staff are passionate and committed to developing and improving"
- Parent
“Impressed with the consistent enthusiasm of the teaching staff when discussing feedback”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018
"Pupils look smart and are well engaged in their lessons"
- Prospective Parent
“I especially liked the Science and Maths departments”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
“Driven leadership, confident pupils. Staff friendly and open to discussing subjects and needs of my child”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"Fantastic student ambassadors who are a credit to the school."
- Prospective Parent
"So pleased that both my children are at a school, where the performing arts (and other arts) are such a priority."
- Parent
"Strong leadership and motivation with an emphasis on progress"
- Parent
“Welcoming staff, friendly, confident students and excellent facilities”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
“Great facilities. Dedicated and enthusiastic staff”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"Safe, Supportive, Diverse"
- Local Authority Representative
"Thank you for making my daughter's first year with you such a good one. We are impressed with how she has settled in and grown as a person throughout the year"
- Year 7 Parent
"A great learning environment; light, bright and spacious classrooms, clean and well organised."
- Prospective Parent
“Great opportunity to meet staff and gain greater depth of my child’s achievement”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018
“Clean, bright, vibrant learning space”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"I am so pleased with the School Gateway app. Every day I can see any achievement and behaviour points my daughter gets and she knows that I’ll discuss it with her; it encourages her to do well."
- Year 8 Parent
"I have observed behaviour that illustrates strong team bonds between teams within the school; again another positive feature about the school culture engendered"
- Parent
"An open and welcoming atmosphere - very useful being allowed to look at teaching and learning"
- Prospective Parent
“It was good to speak to his form tutor and hear about what is happening in class”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018
“Friendly staff, well-behaved kids”
- Prospective Parent, September 2018
"I applaud the focus on rewarding good behaviour. My son feels appreciated and recognised at Allerton Grange; we're all so proud."
- Year 8 Parent
"I have observed behaviour that illustrates strong team bonds between teams within the school; again another positive feature about the school culture engendered"
- Parent
"The reward and behaviour system is clear, well enforced and has positive results!"
- Parent
“Excellent feedback, we’re very happy with progress so far”
- Year 7 Parent on Parents' Consultation Evening, October 2018