Our Deaf Provision
Roding Primary School has a specialist provision for children who have a severe to profound permanent hearing loss. The provision has 35 places for children from Nursery to Year 6.
It is our aim to ensure that all these children become confident and independent with the skills they need to achieve their potential - that they are ‘Free to Achieve’. We recognise that all deaf children are individuals with their own personality, strengths and needs, and we aim to teach them accordingly.
Our children are fully included in all aspects of school life at Roding and both hearing and deaf pupils benefit from working and playing together.
Teaching and Learning
Our Teachers of the Deaf plan alongside the Class Teachers to ensure that all our Deaf children receive the best education for them.
If possible, we always plan to teach our children in their mainstream class. However, if it is more appropriate for them to be taught in a small group with one of our Teachers of the Deaf, they will be taught out of class in one of our soundproofed rooms. Whether taught in or out of class, our Teachers of the Deaf ensure that our children are able to access the school curriculum at the level that is right for them and they are taught the vocabulary to be able to do this. Our children are taught in a practical way using various visual resources to aid their understanding, linking it to real life experiences where possible. We also have a team of Communication Support Workers and Teaching Assistants who support our children with their learning depending on their needs. Children who need sign to help them access the curriculum are supported using Sign Supported English (SSE). We also use visual phonics and additional signs to help the children with their learning and written work.
At Roding we have children with a range of hearing aids, cochlear implants and bone-anchored/bone conduction hearing aids (Bahas)) which are provided by the Health Service. These are checked daily as soon as the children arrive at school and throughout the day as needed. Our children also have access to a radio aid system and all mainstream classes have a soundfield system.
All staff working with our children are trained to do basic daily checks of equipment and we have a trained Audiology Technician who assists as needed to ensure our children have all the equipment they need and it is working.
We teach our children to be independent with their audiology equipment by being actively involved in their daily checks. Children are also encouraged to develop their own strategies to give them access to their own learning e.g. seating in the best place to access lessons, giving the microphone to the speaker, telling the speaker that they cannot hear. We help our children to have a good understanding of their audiogram and how their audiology equipment helps them.
We liaise with a number of audiology and cochlear implant centres, ensuring that they know how the children are progressing in school and also that we know any changes to their hearing levels and changes to their audiology equipment. Any faults with their equipment are reported immediately to parents and where appropriate to the correct audiology clinic.
We carry out Functional hearing tests with each child once a year. More assessments may be carried out where a child is developing their listening skills or if there is a concern about the child’s hearing levels. We use our own Early Listening Development Checklist, the McCormick Toy Test and the Manchester Picture and Word List Test as appropriate for each child’s academic and listening ability. For some of our children these tests will be done to assess their ability to lip-read. Our children are also tested daily using the ‘LING sound’ test.
We follow a ‘Total Communication’ approach at Roding, which means we tailor the communication approach for each child to their needs. This can change as they make progress, and it can change when they are in a different environment.
Say it without sign/clue
Say it with sign/clue
Say it again without sign/clue
We ensure we develop each child’s listening skills to the full, but we will also use BSL signs to help develop their understanding of speech and language. We find that by enabling children to hook spoken words onto signs we are able to accelerate their progress with spoken speech. We use the ‘Speech Sandwich’ approach with our children to ensure they are developing their listening and/or lip-reading skills.
Deaf Awareness Week
Every year in the summer term we have a very successful Deaf Awareness Week. Each class has a Deaf Friendly book to use with their children to help develop their Deaf Awareness. Classes have also researched Deaf famous people and taken part in the NDCS Fingerspellathon. We have visitors coming to the school to teach about Deaf Awareness and promote a positive image of deaf people. In the past we have had the NDCS, Handprint Theatre, Deaf Men Dancing, Krazy Kats, Ruth Montgomery (Flutist), Eloise Garland (violinist), Jack Harding (footballer) and Chris Fonseca (Dancer). Handprint Theatre has put on several plays to all our children at Roding, entertaining them and raising the profile of signing and Deaf identity at the same time. They have also run drama workshops.