The Deaf Resource Base is a Local Authority specialist resource provision providing support for deaf learners from across Suffolk. Admission to the resource base is by the Local Authority. Students will have Education Health Care plans that demonstrate the students:
Have a hearing level that has a significant impact on their day to day communication and require daily access to a qualified teacher of deaf children.
The hearing level will usually be a learner’s primary learning obstacle, although students may have additional special educational needs, and will require access to:
a) A differentiated curriculum which will consider communication modes / levels.
b) Staff with sign language skills appropriate to the needs of the learner.
The model of support in practice is person centred and offers a safe and welcoming environment where students are supported in reaching their academic and social goals.
Students mix with both deaf and hearing peers and we aim to encourage an awareness and involvement with both deaf and hearing worlds so that our students leave school confident to take their place in society.
The aim is to include deaf students in all aspects of school life by meeting their individual learning and communication needs and promoting deaf awareness across the school.
This policy and ethos of inclusion and access reflects the aims and philosophy of the school.
Deaf students are included in mainstream classes with their hearing peers as much as appropriate and are supported by specialist teaching assistants who have been trained to support deaf students and to match the communication mode preferred by the student.
Some students will be withdrawn from some lessons for individual tutorials, speech and language therapy and sign language tuition. The amount of time a student is withdrawn, and from which lessons, is decided on an individual basis in consultation with parents.
Resource Base Tutorials
The Deaf Resource Base offers further individual and small group work with a Teacher of the Deaf, where the mainstream curriculum can be adapted/consolidated and Literacy, Numeracy and Communication skills are developed following regular specialist assessments. Individual or small group tutorials are arranged according to a student’s needs. Additional time is also used by the specialist TAs to reinforce any subjects that need consolidation, to pre-tutor students in preparation for mainstream lessons, or to deliver bespoke learning packages.
Emotional and Social Development
We place an equal importance on both the academic and the social and emotional development of the deaf learners. The Provision uses the Fagus framework to assess learners across the different emotional and social domains to clarify individual need and identify developmental areas to focus support on. We deliver the NDCS ‘Healthy Minds’ programme, ‘Think Right, Feel Good’, and ‘What are you Feeling?’. We also use Lego Therapy and Socially Speaking alongside small group social skills development groups. We have brought in a deaf Dramatherapist to work with the learners and have a good relationship with Deaf CAMHS who have delivered Art therapy in the Provision. We work with the learners to help them acquire the social skills and resilience needed to develop their self-esteem and confidence.
Sign Language Tuition
A deaf BSL teacher visits regularly to work with deaf students who wish to improve their BSL skills. He also delivers BSL level 1 and level 2 courses (Accredited by Signature) for deaf students.
A speech and language therapist who has specialised training to work with deaf children works regularly with students to develop communication skills including speech production. Speech and language sessions are arranged for individual students or small groups according to need. The senior specialist TA is additionally qualified in delivering speech and language development programmes and she oversees targeted work with individual students.
Resource Base staff conduct regular checks on hearing aids, cochlear implants and radio aids. They can troubleshoot many minor issues and ensure technology is working optimally. There is close liaison with the local audiology departments and hearing implant centres so repairs or replacements can be arranged quickly for when equipment issues are more complicated to resolve. We also work closely with the County’s Sensory and Physical Service technical officer to ensure access to radio aids and associated equipment.
Personal Understanding of Deafness
The Deaf Resource Base seeks to support the learners in developing a positive understanding of deafness. Students explore both the social and medical models of deafness. They participate in the Personal Understanding of Deafness programme and learn about their audiogram and their technologies while learning advocacy skills. They will also explore deaf history and culture; a visiting deaf ToD has delivered deaf studies sessions. We promote local deaf children societies and invite deaf role models into school to meet with the students. We also participate in deaf events such as the deaf boccia tournament hosted by the school and the Shaw Trust challenge at BT near Ipswich.
Resource Base staff aim to respond to the communication needs of each individual student. Students are provided with communication support according to their needs. This could include the use of British Sign Language or when students have chosen to access lessons orally using appropriate audiological equipment staff will use Sign Supported English to reinforce key ideas and clarify anything that may have been missed. Resource Base staff may make notes for the student to use later, while the student focuses on the mainstream teacher. We use SMiLE Therapy with deaf students to develop their hierarchy of communication strategies for interactions in the hearing world.
Both deaf and hearing students are encouraged to join signing clubs which have run during lunch time by Resource Base staff to develop their signing skills thereby enhancing communication between deaf and hearing students.
Ofsted (2019) Comments on the Resource Base
‘Staff are equipped with the skills and confidence to support a group of very vulnerable pupils well.’
‘Skilled and determined leadership’
‘Receive excellent support to help them learn’
‘Make very good progress from their different starting points’
If you have further questions about the Deaf Resource Base at King Edward VI School please contact us.