The Facility has 8 pupils at present, across all the year groups, including pre-school. They have a high level of individual and small group teaching, with communication and language support for inclusion in their mainstream class.
The Facility has one qualified Teacher of the Deaf and the equivalent of 4.5 full time Teaching Assistants (TA). We also have deaf and hearing adults coming into the facility on a part-time voluntary basis.
We have two acoustically treated rooms for individual and small group work. Hearing aids, cochlear implants and radio aids are checked daily. Our Audiologists visit half termly and check equipment, the children's ears, hearing levels, moulds, etc. Specialist equipment in the Facility includes radio aids, hearing aid test boxes, auditory training equipment, computer equipment for the presentation and development of speech and language, subtitled videos and caption readers, digital camera, computers and a range of software.
The Hearing Support Facility is an integral part of the school and the children are included in all aspects of school life. Each child is firstly a member of their mainstream class and spends some time in the Facility for specific language development, reinforcement of the curriculum, speech work, audiology checks etc. This will be with a Teacher of the Deaf on a 1:1 basis, small group or as part of a Reverse Integration programme. The percentage of time in each situation will vary, but the aim is to equip pupils with the skills to learn alongside their peers in the classroom. All the children are in class for Science, PE/Games, Art, D/T, ICT, Music and RE. They have an individual timetable according to need. All the children take part in the daily assembly and join the main school for all break and lunchtime sessions.
Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language Therapist visits the school for one full day a week. She works with the children on a one-to-one basis or in a small group. Each child has an individual programme and targets which are carried out throughout the week by HSF staff.
The Facility uses a Total Communication approach. That is to say, we use a variety of communication methods appropriate to the individual child. This encompasses oralism, lip reading, Signed English, Sign Supported English (SSE) and British Sign Language (BSL). The choice depends on context and on the particular pupils involved. All assemblies are sign interpreted by HSF staff. Notices and information around the school include sign graphics and a programme of sign language classes is incorporated into the curriculum.
Parents of hearing impaired children have the same links with the school as the parents of other pupils. In addition there is a close link with the HSF through the home/school book, telephone calls, meetings, etc. Each term there is an Open Afternoon in the Facility when we plan workshops or have outside speakers. This is an opportunity for parents, friends and members of the deaf community to meet and share ideas and experiences.
Places in the Facility are offered to Statemented pupils who are severely of profoundly deaf and need access to a Teacher of the Deaf on a daily basis. Generally, signing and a Total Communication approach will have been agreed as part of the Statutory Assessment or at an Annual Review. It must be thought that the pupil will benefit from inclusion with hearing pupils. The presence of Special Educational Needs, in addition to deafness, does not preclude entry to the Facility. There must be an available place in the appropriate mainstream class.