Unit for Hearing Impaired Pupils
- The school has an 18 place enhanced provision catering for pupils with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for moderate/severe/profound hearing loss from across the whole of North East Essex.
- The enhanced provision is staffed by two Teachers of the Deaf (ToD), a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, four Teaching Assistants and a Mid Day Assistant, all sign to a minimum of BSL 1, most to BSL 2. Our dedicated work space enables us to work closely with the children on a one-to-one or small group basis, as needed. Children are also supported in class to access mainstream teaching.
- A Total Communication approach is utilised with the children, which includes Sign Supported English, use of key word signs in English and gesture with speech, or Speech alone depending on what is required . Children are taught to read using various methods incorporating support materials such as Visual Phonics, Widgit symbols and Signed Graphics.
- HI pupils can have additional difficulties to their deafness, ranging from medical syndromes, physical disabilities, and additional moderate to severe learning difficulties including cognitive difficulties and language processing disorders.
- Younger children sometimes have a severe language delay (Nursery children are often at the very earliest stages of language acquisition in both speech and sign, having no words – this is a common starting point).
- At present, some pupils are cochlear implanted. Others wear conventional behind the ear hearing aids or a BAHA device. From the Reception class up, pupils have personal listening devices supported by Roger Touchscreen FM systems, if they are capable of listening well with their own apparatus. Mainstream classes and the hall are equipped with soundfield systems.
- We work closely with other agencies and liaise regularly with the Essex Social Care Children With Disabilities Team, Audiology (local), Cochlear Implant centres (GOSH, Addenbrookes), Speech and Language Therapists, Sign Instructor, Deaf CAMHS and educational psychologists.
- The primary function of the enhanced provision is to enable pupils to access mainstream education. ToDs liaise to moderate the curriculum to enable pupils’ access – through visual aids and functional language. If it is more appropriate, pupils are taught 1:1, in small groups or by Reverse Integration, alongside pre and post teaching and tutorials.
- We currently have groups taught in the enhanced provision for maths and English on a daily basis. Other pupils are integrated into mainstream classes with varying levels of ToD and TA support.
- All pupils have Annual Reviews, termly Individual One Plans in line with the SEN Code of Practice. Targets are reviewed with input from parents, TAs, class teachers, SALT, SI and ToDs.
We welcome visits for prospective families. If you currently reside in Essex, please speak to your current ToD in the first instance. For those outside of Essex, please contact the school directly or Statutory Assessment Team at Essex County Council to arrange a visit.