Welcome to Whitehall Primary School
Special Resource Provision for Deaf and Hearing Impaired pupils
Our Day in the Deaf Unit
At Whitehall Primary School we are proud to have a Specialist Resourced Provision for deaf children. At present we have 16 places for Reception to Year 6 and up to 6 places in the school’s nursery. All our pupils have an Educational Health Care Plan, with a severe to profound hearing loss as their main area of need.
We have a team of highly qualified and experienced staff who support our deaf pupils throughout the school from Nursery to Year 6. Our current staffing in the Deaf Provision comprises:
- 3 Qualified Teachers of the Deaf
- A Speech and Language Therapist
- A Deaf instructor and role model
- 4 Hearing Support Assistants trained to British Sign Language (BSL) Level 2 and above
Pupils working with a Teacher of the Deaf in the Deaf Provision where the staff aim to create a nurturing, friendly environment. Our deaf pupils know they have a quiet, safe place where they can come when they need emotional support or help with work.
The children are supported in class using the Total Communication approach.
Our BSL Communicator and Deaf role model delivers weekly Deaf Identity classes to our deaf children in Key Stages 1 and 2 and BSL classes to those deaf pupils who use sign language at home or who wish to learn it alongside spoken English. She also gives BSL lessons to members of staff and to those parents of pupils in the Deaf Provision who wish to learn.
Year 5 pupils studying in the Deaf Provision. Staff work closely with class teachers, speech and language therapists to ensure the best support is given in order for our pupils to flourish and make progress.
Deaf children are part of the mainstream school and attend classes with their hearing peers. They wear post aural hearing aids or cochlear implants and use radio aids when they integrate. The Teachers of the Deaf work closely with class teachers to ensure that deaf children have full access to the learning environment and the National Curriculum. It is tiring listening through hearing aids throughout the day and deaf children benefit from daily withdrawal to the provision where it is quiet and they can concentrate on their specific language and literacy targets and receive pre- and post- teaching in various subjects. All sessions are either on a 1:1 basis or in small groups. Mainstream teachers receive regular deaf awareness training from Teachers of the Deaf about how to best include deaf children in lessons.
We have 3 acoustically treated rooms and most classrooms have a soundfield system so that all children may benefit from the amplified speech it provides. Cochlear implants, hearing and radio aids are checked by staff each morning. Children are encouraged to learn as much as they can about how their equipment works and how to care for it so they become independent users.
At Whitehall we use Total Communication, a flexible approach to communication which meets the needs of each pupil. We have a team of experienced Hearing Support Assistants who use a range of strategies in the classroom to support learning: speech, Signed Supported English (SSE), BSL, visual resources and Ipads. As the development of communication and language skills is essential to all deaf children, whatever their hearing loss, we adopt a child centred policy appropriate to individual need. Every child in the Deaf Provision has a written profile or pupil passport. This is updated annually and follows them as they move up the school; it is available to their class teacher and details their present communication method and best practice for working with the child.
All our students from Nursery to Year 6 have weekly Speech and Language Therapy which the school receives from a qualified Speech and Language Therapist who has experience of working with deaf pupils. In short individual or small group sessions she works on the development of language skills and specific aspects of speech. Teachers of the Deaf consult her to identify the children’s targets.
Working with Families
We aim to foster a close and positive relationship with families and encourage parents to contact us if they or their children have any worries. They can contact us by phone, text or write in their child’s home/school book. Each term we invite parents and carers to attend coffee mornings. We give information about events happening at school, talk about how they can support their children’s learning and they can meet us, the head teacher and Special Educational Needs coordinator (SENCO) in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. They can meet each other, share information and chat about their children. Our aim is always the same, for the children to thrive, make progress and be happy.