For over 185 years this school has provided education to meet the changing needs of the deaf population. We endeavour to embrace new practices and technologies in order to enhance the learning opportunities of our pupils.
This provision has been specifically developed to meet the needs of those children who have a hearing loss and require a Total Communication Approach and additional support for learning from Teachers of the Deaf, learning support workers and specialist therapists. Typically provision will be suitable for children who have BSL as their first language or have additional learning difficulties that mean they do not reach their academic potential in a mainstream setting. These children especially benefit from a signing environment in which speech and listening skills are promoted but where a visual language model is given a significant emphasis. Our children especially enjoy having friends who sign and
provide a social communication group.
Rationale for the curriculum for pupils with hearing loss/Deafness
A structured curriculum for all pupils within our hearing impaired cohort has been developed which ensures that all children and young people are provided with learning opportunities that recognise and celebrate their uniqueness, develop their full potential and allow them to fulfil their aspirations. The curriculum that has been developed focuses on the child as a learner and allows for breadth and depth of learning whilst offering challenge and enjoyment where the pupils are actively engaged in their learning process.
High aspirations and ambition for all of our hearing impaired pupils at individual levels is encouraged and attainment, achievement and participation throughout the whole curriculum is recognised and celebrated. Individual pupil progress is continually monitored via marking, dialogue between pupils and staff, annotating work and planning and photographic evidence. Pupils are also actively involved in the self-monitoring and evaluation of their learning in order to ensure that the impact of teaching and learning is maximised for all.
A two year topic based rolling programme has been devised for Key Stage 1 pupils, a four year rolling programme for Key Stage 2 pupils and a three year rolling programme for those pupils in Key Stage 3. Each programme has taken into consideration the specifications from the revised National Curriculum which was implemented in September 2014. The rolling programmes provide teachers with a framework for planning what is to be taught within their class group. An element of flexibility of implementing the programme exists whereby what is taught can be modified in order to meet the individual needs of the children. This may include covering a specific age related topic but differentiating the topic content, engaging in explicit language teaching linked to subject matter and the pace in which it is delivered in order that it is appropriate for individual pupils.
Pupils in Key Stages 4 and 5 work together as a 14-19 cohort. They have access to a skills led functional approach to learning that includes a wide range of accreditation. Each student takes an individual pathway through each curriculum area with a commitment to academic achievement thus enabling young people to access the world of work or further education and to be fully functioning members of society. Pupils are grouped according to ability for the core subjects of English, maths and by key stage and preferred learning styles for other subjects. Throughout the curriculum both English and British Sign Language are recognised and taught as distinct languages as both have equally important roles in the cognitive and linguistic development of our deaf children. All pupils engage in work related learning experiences which vary according to the needs of each pupil but structured around pupil interests.
What do we provide?
We provide pupils with a highly structured integrated approach to teaching and therapy within a Total Communication Approach. Children are taught to use oral and sign language skills, with some requiring a variety of alternative and/or augmentative communication strategies, including both low-tech systems (signing, gesture, symbols) and high-tech systems (Voice Output Communication Aids).
Our specialist staff are trained in signing and the facilitation and implementation of a Total Communication Approach in order to support children in accessing the curriculum, achieving accreditation and promoting their maximum independence and inclusion into the community.
The curriculum that has been developed focuses on the child as a learner and allows for breadth and depth of learning whilst offering challenge and enjoyment where the pupils are actively engaged in their learning process.
- An approach in which we develop language and communication skills with children, young people and their families.
- A commitment to academic achievement, which enables young people to access the world of work or further education and to be fully functioning members of society.
- BSL signing classes for young people, families and staff
- Deaf role models with a number of deaf staff who are learning support workers and teachers.
- Deaf awareness training for young people, families, staff and other stakeholders (such as social workers).
- An open-door policy for our families to enable us to work in partnership and to share specific approaches and strategies to enable children achieve their full potential.
- Work experience placements both within school and with other stakeholders
- Education within a Total Communication Approach
- This means that appropriate combinations of speaking, listening, signing, including British Sign Language, Signed Supported English, reading, writing, finger spelling and alternative and augmentative communication aids will all be used to assist the development of language, speech and lip reading skills with the assistance of properly aided residual hearing where appropriate. English and British Sign Language are recognised as distinct languages. Both have equally important roles in the cognitive and linguistic development of our deaf children.
- Teaching in small groups with high levels of individual support from specialist staff experienced in working with hearing impaired children
- We have a large team of highly experienced and well-qualified team of teachers of the deaf, learning support workers, and specialist therapists to ensure that each child’s individual needs are fully met at all times.
- Access to a challenging curriculum, modified to meet the individual needs of the children We make sure that our children and young people have full access to an inclusive curriculum that provides a skill led functional approach to learning for many young people and includes a wide range of accreditation including Entry level, ASDAN and AQA unit awards as well as GCSE in several subjects taught by subject specialists. We also deliver the Duke of Edinburgh Award to our Post 16 students.