We come to The Base every morning to have our hearing equipment checked. Some of us use hearing aids that we wear behind our ears and some of us have cochlear implants. Most of us also use radio aids so that it is easier for us to listen to the teacher. This is the stuff that helps us to hear things around us, including people talking! We’re not all the same and our hearing losses vary from being able to hear quite a lot to not being able to hear much at all but we all benefit from being here.
We share The Base with some adults. One is a Teacher of the Deaf and the others are Specialist Teaching Assistants. They help us at school in lots of ways. They are here to teach us but also here to listen to our problems and to help us sort them out.
We use The Base for all sorts of reasons, like being taught in small groups with some of our classmates or working 1:1. This is when the work is planned just for us so that we can learn all the things we need to make us better readers, better mathematicians and better at writing. Sometimes, we come in here just to have fun. We like it when we can all get together.
When we’re not working in the Base, one of our adults is in class with us so that we can keep up with our work and so that we get as many chances to succeed as our friends. It’s great that we get support every morning for Maths and English and, in the afternoons, we usually get the opportunity to learn how to do things independently but we can always go up to The Base if we find something really hard or if we want to show off some of our brilliant work.
What else can we tell you?
We have enough room for six children though, if someone really needs us, we could fit one more in.
We are all different with different needs. Our teacher says we are individuals and how much help and what type of help depends on our specific needs. The grown-ups say that the support they provide is flexible and dynamic. We don’t know about that but whatever they do, it certainly works.
If any of us need signing, lots of the school staff are learning how to do that and we get to spend time together when two of our adults help us to learn and improve our skills in British Sign Language.
Oh, we’ve been told to mention that every classroom and the hall has a soundfield system which means that everyone, not just us, can hear the teacher better. Our special room, The Base, has been given a makeover so that it is very quiet. Our Teacher of the Deaf says it has been acoustically treated.
Our grown-ups asked us all what we thought about The Base and this is what a couple of us said;-
“I like it because it’s quiet and sometimes we play games.” “This is my favourite place because of everything you can do.”
They also decided to see what our Mums and Dads thought:
“It’s a brilliant resource. It allows specific teaching in a secure area. My child loves it.” “a beacon of excellence”
“Staff take every possible steps and make every effort to encourage my boy to meet his educational and developmental needs.”
It seems that everyone thinks that The Base is ace!