TEENAGER Amelia Bacon is really looking forward to the music festival Latitude.

She especially wants to see Caribou and Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Who wouldn’t?

Amelia loves music – she has a huge playlist – and she loves fashion. She is, she says, just an ordinary teenager.

But Amelia is really quite extraordinary.

Deaf from birth, she is the first deaf student at Philip Morant School and College to be selected to be deputy head girl.

She is delighted, enthusing: “Ever since I joined the school, I wanted to get one of the higher roles.”

She is a whirlwind of energy.

“Amy Mann became head girl and she will be perfect,” she said.

“She is such a lovely girl, we are really good friends.”

Amelia smiles broadly. She is the polar opposite of the stereotypical grumpy, obstinate teenager: “Most of the time I am an easy child. I always look on the positive side and kindness is a big thing to me. If you are kind to people, they will be kind back to you. Rudness doesn’t get you anywhere in life.”

Despite her philosophical outlook, Amelia’s life has not been the easiest.

She was born deaf and first had hearing aids fitted when she was about five-years-old.

She recalls: “I can remember walking on a wooden floor and looking down because I could hear my feet tapping on the ground. I remember feeling really surprised, it was so good.

“My mum said I was so interested on the way home in the car because I could hear the engine.

“She opened the window, so I could hear the birds. It was amazing.

“It is common for deaf people to take their hearing aids out because they are uncomfortable, but I always keep mine in. I want to hear everything.”

Amelia, who is now 15 and lives in Wivenhoe, attended Lexden Primary School, which has a specialist unit for hearing-impaired pupils.

She was given speech therapy, extra English lessons and learnt British Sign Language.

Amelia describes sign language as her first language. She can also lip read, a useful skill and one which her friends often ask her to employ for non-educational reasons.

Amelia moved on to Philip Morant School, which also has a special unit for hearing-impaired pupils. It teaches 18 pupils providing speech therapy and teaching enhanced sign language.

“When I came here, my speech wasn’t amazing,” says Amelia. “Now my speech is the best it has ever been.”

Her speech is excellent.

There is, perhaps, the faintest hint of her deafness in some words, but barely a trace and only if you were really searching for it.

In lessons, Amelia is sometimes helped by a signer. She says: “You have to watch the teacher and when they ask a question you have to lip read the answer.

“Then you look at the signer to make sure you have got everything and then take notes.

“Deaf students often get tired because of the amount of information we have to process.”

Amelia will complete her GCSEs next year and then hopes to go to Colchester Sixth Form Centre.

She loves media studies and wants to work in magazine design. But here and now, Amelia is still a teenager with just a touch of teenage angst.

Amelia is dependent on her hearing aids, but she does feel self-conscious about them.

She says: “I do get insecure about people staring at them, but e v e r y o n e has something.

“I tend to have my hair down at school. I think about putting it up when I go out and I ask my friends. They say ‘No-one cares.

You have these beautiful sparkly hearing aids’.”

One is pink, and indeed sparkly, the other blue.

Amelia knows she has obstacles ahead of her.

She says: “I always question if someone will want to have a deaf person working for them.

“I question what it will be like when I am living on my own or when I am a mum.

“I will just have to try and if something doesn’t work, I will try again.

“People ask me if I like being deaf, but I don’t know what it is like to hear.

“I like being deaf because it is me.”