The Enhanced Provision for deaf children at Hargate Primary School is a specialist resource which provides support for Deaf children in the Sandwell Borough. We provide support for children who have a significant hearing loss (usually severe- profound) and who demonstrate a significant speech and language delay. We support pupils across the whole of the Primary phase Nursery, Key stage 1 and Key stage 2. In addition we support children in our 2 Year old provision.
Pupils who attend the Provision are members of the mainstream school and participate fully in school life, including school assemblies, productions, and educational visits. Pupils are supported by Teachers of the Deaf and/or Specialist Learning Support Assistants to be included in mainstream lessons where possible. Occasionally their learning needs are met outside the classroom and the provision provides a quiet room and specialist resources to support this, through 1:1 teaching or small group work.
We use English as our main mode of communication. We want to ensure that all our deaf children develop an effective communication system so that they can access information and communicate their thoughts and feelings. Most of the children in the Enhanced Provision use oral methods of communication. However, some children need extra support through visual means. To support these children, we use a system of total communication, which incorporates the use of picture or symbols, natural gesture, and sign language. We use British Sign Language in English word order.
The method of communication used will recognise the individual needs of each child and may change over time. School will work closely with other professionals and parents to support this.
We aim to make maximum use of the children's residual hearing through the consistent use of appropriate amplification. We support children to become independent hearing aid or cochlear implant wearers, and liaise closely with NHS Audiology Services and Cochlear Implant Centres. Children are given further amplification support through the use of Radio Aid and Soundfield Technology. We aim to provide an enhanced listening environment by modifying our learning environments where possible.
Teachers of the Deaf
Teachers of the Deaf have the responsibility of monitoring the curriculum delivery of the deaf pupil and the preparation, implementation, monitoring and assessment of individual learning programmes to support listening, speech and language. Individual provision maps and speech and language targets are assessed and reviewed termly.
We offer specialist support programmes designed for deaf children and we were lucky enough to be asked to take part in a pilot study of the ‘Foundations for Literacy Project’ which was created and developed at Georgia State University USA. It has been adapted for the curriculum for children in the UK and we were supported by its sponsor at The University of Birmingham.
Foundations for Literacy is the first curriculum that has been developed specifically for deaf children and it teaches all the component skills that have been identified as essential for success in literacy. The sounds needed for both speech production and the beginning of phonic recognition and application are delivered in a hands on approach using stories and real life experiences. Following on from its success we now use the scheme as a basis for our younger deaf children who are new to phonics and language acquisition.
For our older deaf learners, we use the NDCS literacy project alongside our class based teaching of literacy. This project focusses on the grammar of language and can be very successful in supporting our deaf learners with their spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) skills ready for the transition to high school. For both of these projects the children are firstly assessed to ensure they will fully benefit from the interventions and monitored regularly to ensure there are no gaps or missed opportunities for learning.
More information can be found at Improving deaf children's literacy skills | Primary Years (ndcs.org.uk)
Class teachers have the responsibility of planning, delivering, monitoring and assessing the achievement of deaf pupils in their class. They work alongside Teachers of the Deaf in order to differentiate the curriculum and develop specialist resources.
Specialist Learning Support Assistants
Specialist Learning Support Assistants support the work of teachers to fully include the pupils in their mainstream classes, and also help plan and deliver specific speech and language programmes.
We aim to foster a positive relationship between home and school. We aim to be approachable and open. We keep in contact in a variety of ways. Daily contact through a home-school diary and, where possible, home visits. Termly we are able to offer parent/ teacher meetings and yearly, annual reviews for those pupils that have a Statement of Special needs/Educational Health Care Plan .
We also work alongside variety of other professionals in order to fully support our pupils:
Speech and Language Therapist - school have their own Speech and Language Therapist who works specifically with those children who need intensive support and therapy including all children within the deaf base.
Cochlear Implant Team at Birmingham
We feel strongly about celebrating and supporting a child’s deafness and we encourage and take part in as many ‘deaf community’ events as possible. We use links and support from the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) such as their ‘listening bus’ and other family events they arrange. We have built up strong relationships with other deaf provisions around the local and wider area through our ‘Midlands Consortium’ and meet regularly as professionals for CPD updates and we try to get the children together as much as possible through planned joint trips to foster peer group relationships with other deaf children.
We employ a Deaf Instructor who works with the children each week to support their BSL skills and our aim is for every deaf child to leave school in year 6 with a recognised qualification in BSL.
Sandwell LA may provide transport to and from Hargate Primary School. Each pupil's needs will be assessed by the LA,
Each taxi or minibus carries a Passenger Assistant. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that children are ready to leave at the arranged time and that they are available to receive the pupil on the return journey. (see Sandwell Local Offer)
How do I get a place?
Deaf children who are identified as having a significant language delay may be recommended to Hargate Primary School by their Teacher of the Deaf, but decisions on placement within the provision lie with the LA.
Pupils attending the provision will have an Educational Health Care Plan that recognises their hearing loss and associated language delay, or will begin the process of shortly after starting at the Provision.
An Educational Health Care Plan sets out the specific needs of the child and how these should be met within the school placement, it is reviewed annually.
Children can begin in the Nursery as soon as they are 3 years old but children can transfer to the Provision at any age, should the need occur.
Parents are welcome to look around the school and discuss their child's needs.
Pupils who have achieved age appropriate speech and language levels may move to their local mainstream school when appropriate. Other pupils will transfer at the end of Year 6. Parents and staff work together with Inclusion Support to identify an appropriate Secondary Provision. This may be a local Secondary School with or without specific support. Other pupils may need ongoing support from a Special School and/or a Teacher of the Deaf and attend a Secondary Resource Base for the deaf or a School for the Deaf.