The Hearing Impaired Resource Base (HIRB) at our school offers enhanced specialist support within a mainstream primary setting for children whose primary area of need is deafness. Our intent is to provide our pupils with the support they need to achieve their full potential within a supportive and inclusive mainstream environment. We aim to promote the optimal learning and well-being of the children who are deaf within our school community. Click here to read our HIRB Provision Document.
The HIRB is currently staffed by a full time Teacher of the Deaf, Mrs Tracy McClelland, and five part time Specialist Teaching Assistants: Mrs Charlotte Thompson, Miss Carla Rouse, Mrs Karen Simpson, Miss Ria Hayne and Mrs Cathy Browne.
Contactable on 01722 336459 or email@example.com.
'All about The Base' - in the words of our pupils
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!
What Children Who Are Deaf (CWAD) may find difficult:
- Executive functioning skills such as working memory, planning and monitoring their own learning and initiation.
- Theory of Mind – this can influence the ability to empathise
- Language development can be severely delayed due to the lack of early language input. CWAD may have low vocabulary knowledge but also less general knowledge of everyday events and situations
- Reading development can be hindered by difficulties in phonological awareness and vocabulary
- CWAD tend to struggle with writing more than reading, perhaps due to working memory difficulties
- Maths development can be impacted by a low vocabulary especially in word problems that may use ‘if/then’, ‘greater than’ statements or inference (Teacher Handbook: SEND, 2021)
- Social and emotional development – CWAD are more likely to have emotional wellbeing difficulties than their hearing peers, especially around self-esteem and their deaf identity
These considerations are on top of the difficulties CWAD have in hearing the learning and conversations going on around them.
How we support CWAD at our school:
- Reduce background noise
- Enable lip reading
- Use visual clues and subtitles
- Speak clearly and at a normal pace
- Positioning of child and adults in the classroom
- Sound Field Systems
- Support to follow class discussion
- Small group work
- Checking comprehension
- Promoting Independence
- In class support
- Providing a calm environment, reducing over stimulation
- Resource Base targeted support
- Careful planning and liaising closely with class teachers
- Vocabulary pre-teaching
- Targets and Provision Documents
- One Page Profiles and Pen Portraits of each pupil
- Annual Reviews