Children are taught in their mainstream classes and are fully involved in school activities. An enthusiastic and highly skilled team of specialist teaching assistants support in the mainstream setting to enable full access to the curriculum using the learning language of the child at their level. The Teachers of the Deaf (TOD) assess the needs of the children, oversee all programmes of work, provide specialist teaching and work with the mainstream teachers. This involves adapting the curriculum; providing advice and information including Deaf awareness training; working in partnership with other professionals including Speech and Language Therapists, audiologists and cochlear implant teams, Occupational Therapy and other agencies working with children. The TOD also provides one-to-one specialist teaching or small group teaching depending on the needs of the child. There are two part-time Specialist Speech and Language Therapists who provide therapy on an individual and small group basis and liaise closely with the TOD and teaching assistants working collaboratively linking teaching with therapy.
Personal Amplification and Technology
Children are encouraged to develop independence in managing and making best use of their audiological equipment. They either use hearing aids or cochlear implants or a combination of both. Where appropriate children use radio aids and have use of sound field systems in mainstream classrooms. Equipment is checked every morning by ARP/HID staff before school and monitored closely throughout the day. We have links with an Educational Audiologist who visits on a regular basis as needed to ensure continual maintenance and updating of audiological equipment and training for staff on new developments. The TOD monitors and assesses children’s listening and use of equipment. We work in partnership with Wycombe Hospital; The Hospital for Children, Great Ormond Street, London; and the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, and Southampton Cochlear Implant Centre to ensure maximum benefit from hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Language and Communication
The Additionally Resourced Provision for Hearing Impaired Children (ARP/HID) caters for children aged 5-11 with a hearing impairment ranging from severe to profound. It provides specialist teaching, specialist support assistants and specialist speech and language therapy using whichever communication mode or language each child prefers. This ranges from the auditory/oral approach, through to the use of Sign Supported English to British Sign Language. The degree in which the different modes of communication or languages are used are based on the needs of the child and their first language. All children are taught English whether as their first language or through the Bilingual approach for native BSL users. The use of Signed English is used to develop reading and writing skills where appropriate.
We also employee a Deaf Tutor who is integral in developing and promoting sign language skills and self identity as well as emotional literacy and social skills. Children are also given the opportunity to learn about Deaf culture and community. She provides a positive Deaf role model and plays a significant part pastorally. Children within the ARP/HID have their Statements maintained and reviewed annually according to the SEN Code of Practice, overseen by the Head of SEN, HID Coordinator and Teacher of the Deaf. Highworth ARP/HID has also developed close links with "Young Deaf Activities" (YDY) which invites hearing impaired children, their parents and siblings to meet regularly for fun events. This gives the children an opportunity to widen their horizons and at the same time provides Outreach Support to parents.