Hearing Resource Base
The Specialist Centre for Hearing Impairment is a well-established dual provision, catering for oral students and those needing sign support. There are 10 planned places and it is full. The base will take a bulge class of 13 students in September 2016. It comprises of two teaching areas that have been acoustically treated to minimise reverberation and resonance, and is equipped with a flashing bell/fire alarm. Students have access to PCs and a variety of books and resources, including a range of subtitled DVDs.
Students are supported in class by an experienced team of TAs, and qualified Teachers of the Deaf, who deliver 1:1 tutorials and small group teaching within the Resource Base. There is weekly input from a specialist Speech & Language Therapist and regular support from an Audiology Technician. All students wear post aural hearing aids or cochlear implants in conjunction with a radio aid system, where appropriate.
Epsom and Ewell High School's Hearing Resource Base is committed to providing the best possible quality of education for all our students. It is our belief that all students are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum. Alongside mainstream staff, we ensure the curriculum is differentiated for every individual. We believe that total communication contributes to the overall learning experience of our students, promoting independence, achievement and a positive school experience.
We recognise the needs of students with hearing impairment and we support the unique position of the deaf community. Deaf culture is an important part of our diverse, multi-cultural society and should be recognised and promoted as such.
Our Philosophy – We believe that hearing-impaired children…
Have the right to the same access to excellent education as that offered to hearing children.
Have the same capacity to learn as hearing children. However, we recognise that a hearing-impaired child’s command of language and literacy is likely to be affected as a result of their hearing loss.
Are entitled to the same broad and balanced curriculum as their hearing peers, but in order to facilitate this, we must support their literacy and communication skills. With this in mind, we believe that hearing-impaired students need language support.
Will be best supported if all the professionals (teachers of the deaf, mainstream teachers, audiologists, speech and language therapists etc.) work closely together with parents in order to meet all the needs of each individual hearing-impaired child. These needs may include a suitably differentiated curriculum, audiological equipment and support for social skills amongst many others.
- Are entitled to feel like full members of the school community. We aim to ensure that each child feels first and foremost part of its form group and year group. Children with hearing difficulties should be considered to use the resource, rather than be from the resource.
Ensuring that hearing-impaired students are able to make the most of their hearing at school is an essential part of our work. We work to ensure that:
The students’ audiological equipment is kept in excellent working order.
Good listening skills are developed.
- Strategies to deal with noise in everyday situations are taught and shared with both students and staff.
All of the students use a radio aid system that enables them to overcome some of the problems of background noise in the classroom. Students have their hearing aids and radio aids checked every day to ensure they are kept in the best possible working order. There are also soundfield systems in larger learning environments, which help to improve the quality of the acoustic conditions.
What do we do in the unit?
The support hearing impaired students are allocated, both in mainstream and in the resource, is based on individual need. This need is determined by various ongoing assessments (including audiological) and liaison with other agencies and feeder primary schools. We work very closely with our Speech and Language Therapist, who specialises in children and young people with a hearing impairment. All of the Teachers of the Deaf receive training from the therapist to help develop the students’ spoken and written language.
We make literacy and language an integral part of our work in the unit to ensure that our students make good progress across their subjects. Hearing-impaired students come to the unit for curriculum support sessions, in which they have time with a Teacher of the Deaf to work on literacy or tackle any areas of difficulty they have encountered in mainstream lessons.
We take a holistic approach to the students’ education by focusing on their well-being. We follow the Healthy Minds curriculum from the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), which allows the students to explore their deafness and to build a positive identity as a young deaf person.