Hearing Impaired Resource Base
Here at Mildmay Infant & Nursery School Resource Base for Hearing-Impaired Children, we provide a provision that delivers specialist teaching and support to a range of hearing-impaired children. We want our children to develop their full potential in a caring and supportive atmosphere and become confident, happy independent learners. We provide opportunities for a broad and balanced curriculum whilst taking into account the individual needs of the children.
We have two Teachers of the Deaf, two full-time Specialist Learning Support Assistants, two part-time Specialist Learning Assistants and a Specialist Learning Assistant who supports on a one to one basis. All our staff have qualifications in BSL and are experienced in supporting the needs of hearing –impaired children.
The Resource Base
Our Resource Base was extended and rebuilt in 2005 and now consists of a large classroom with an interactive white board, a wet area for an art and a reading corner. In addition we have two smaller rooms that are used for small group and individual work. We enjoy sharing these rooms with our Specialist Speech and Language Therapists and our BSL tutor.
We are lucky enough to have a sound treated music room with specialist instruments where our children can enjoy exploring dance and music. This helps develop their listening skills and a sense of rhythm, which are important aspects of developing good speech.
Methods of Communication
We aim to support and develop our children’s communication skills and as such we employ a range of communication approaches. These include Sign-Supported English, British Sign Language and Spoken English. All aspects of the curriculum are signed and all children are encouraged to use signing with each other alongside developing their spoken English. Many of our mainstream children learn some signing and all our assemblies and productions are signed. In addition there is a weekly signing assembly so that all the children can learn to sing and sign a variety of songs.
Our BSL tutor works with the children on a weekly basis and provides a valuable Deaf role model for our children. We are fortunate to have the support of Specialist Speech and Language Therapists who work closely with the staff developing individual programs for each child to develop their oral and listening skills. We meet regularly with our Speech and Language therapists to discuss the children’s progress.
Each child has a personalised learning programme which is designed to meet their academic and communication needs.
When the children arrive in the morning their hearing aids and cochlear implant equipment is checked and is monitored by staff throughout the day. We aim for our children to develop some responsibility for their amplification equipment as they progress through the school. Hearing aids are checked on a regular basis using a test box to ensure there is no distortion. There are FM radio-aids available to the children to use if appropriate. The classrooms where the hearing-impaired children are taught with their mainstream peers have soundfield systems in order to help develop the children’s listening skills. We have a close working relationship with our local hospital audiology department, who visit termly.
Mildmay Infants promotes inclusion and our children are part of their mainstream classes. The hearing-impaired children have the opportunity to work and socialise with their hearing peers and are supported by specialist staff in achieving this. The children’s progress is carefully monitored. They also have opportunities to work in the resource base either with other children from the resource base or with their hearing peers. There are times when the children are withdrawn on a 1:1 basis to work with specialist staff.
These include a Teacher of the Deaf, Specialist Learning Assistants, Speech and Language Therapists and our BSL tutor. The children join in all the school activities including clubs. A specialist member of staff is on hand if needed to support any communication needs.
The children are entitled are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum. This is achieved by working closely with the mainstream teachers, whilst providing a modified curriculum and support from specialist staff so that each child can access all subjects.
Home and School liaison
We value working closely with our children’s parents/carers and we have an ‘open door’ policy whereby parents can contact us whenever a specific problem may arise. In addition to this each child has a home/school liaison book which is used by parents and school staff to communicate on a daily basis also we communicate by phone and text.
In addition to IEP meetings, parent consultation meeting and Annual Reviews, parents can come to school at any time to discuss their children’s progress.
We also have a ‘Parent Café’ which meets half termly and is open to parents of nearly diagnosed hearing –impaired children. It is an opportunity for parents to get together and meet some of the parents of our children.
But enough of what we have to say! Here are some of the thoughts and comments parents and pupils past and present have to say about our Resource Base.
And our children some of whom are young adults now