Specialist Provision for the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired
Deafness in itself is not a barrier to learning or an obstacle; every student deserves to have the highest expectations for achievement. The provision provides this and offers a quiet, safe and nurturing environment in which students can learn and communicate effectively to achieve their goals. It also provides student-centred learning in order to access a broad and balanced, language-rich curriculum which is differentiated to meet the needs of the individual. This ethos ensures the development of the student as a confident individual and independent learner.
The provision for the Hearing Impaired was set up in 2018 with 5 students, with the capacity to support 25 students. The provision enables students to attend and be part of a mainstream school that promotes inclusion within society as a whole. Our aim is to ensure that all students receive the best educational opportunities, so that they are prepared to enter the world of further education and work as confident, mature and intelligent young people, ambitious to fulfil their potential and realise their dreams. Our high expectations for every student ensures they are given the best opportunity for their future. We want our students to experience success in their academic achievements, as well as in the broad range of extra-curricular opportunities that we provide. The provision provides a safe, secure and effective learning environment in which the students are encouraged to develop their independence and self-confidence.
Student’s needs are addressed on an individual basis and in accordance with their Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP). Academic needs are supported fully within the mainstream lessons by specially trained Teaching Assistants (STA) all of whom hold a minimum qualification of British Sign Language level 2. This provides a crucial link between mainstream teachers and students, therefore promoting Deaf awareness and Deaf friendly teaching. We work closely with outside agencies such as Medway’s Physical and Sensory Service (PASS), Advisory teachers for the Hearing impaired, Deaf CAMHS, Psychologists, Physiotherapists, NDSC, Speech and Language Therapists (SALT), audiology departments, cochlear implant teams and Social Services. This ensures our knowledge is up-to-date and that our students receive the best support available at all times.
The hearing impaired provision at Thomas Aveling has adopted a student centred communication approach based on the Local Authority’s (LA) Total Communication approach (TC). The idea of this approach is not that sign language or sign supported language will replace other communication channels but support the use of oral methods of communication and the use of their residual hearing. This will help the development of their speech and language skills; we recognise the importance of encouraging the use of residual hearing where possible. We acknowledge the necessary management of audiological equipment to ensure that optimal listening experiences are achieved, including the use of FM radio aid systems which are checked daily and used to enhance student’s access to the sounds of speech.
Our aim is to raise the attainment levels and develop students as individuals who are able to enter the world of further education and work as confident, mature and intelligent young people, ambitious to fulfil their potential and realise their dreams.
This is achieved through:
- Inclusion in all aspects of school life,
- Specialist Teaching Assistant support in mainstream lessons,
- Specific learning interventions,
- Healthy minds programme,
- Pastoral support,
- Monitoring and support of audiological equipment
- Modification of language and development of literacy and key skills.