Integrated Resource for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children
The Integrated Resource for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children has been part of Greystones Primary School for over forty years.
The resource caters primarily for children who use aural/oral means of communication, but staff are trained in BSL and may use it to support children who benefit from the additional visual support that signing brings.
Deaf children who attend Greystones Primary School benefit from a high degree of inclusion in their mainstream classes and are encouraged and supported to take an active role in all aspects of school life and not least, have the opportunity to make friends with both deaf and hearing children. To effectively meet the needs of each deaf child all professionals involved; teachers of the deaf, specialist support assistants, mainstream teachers and professionals from external agencies work closely as a team informing and involving parents in every aspect of the child's development throughout primary education.
Meet the staff in the resource:
Teachers of the Deaf Specialist Teaching Assistants
Saffery Coates Emma Foulds Tracie Froggatt Lilian Hatch Andrea Swindlehurst
Alison Wicken Nagina Nisar Sheraz Shaheen
IR support for deaf and hearing impaired children
The children spend most of the school day with his or her class. Any extra help that is needed is provided by staff from the IR.
The amount of time a hearing impaired child spends in the mainstream class and the level of support the child receives depends on the individual needs of the child.
Support can be given in a number of ways:
- Support in the mainstream class
- Individual support withdrawn to the HI Resource
- Small group work with other hearing impaired children in the HI Resource
- Small group work with their hearing and hearing impaired peers in the HI Resource- often referred to as 'reverse integration'
The majority of support is given in the mainstream classroom. HI Resource time is spent:
- Reading books from the HI Resource's reading programme – Reading is given a high priority.
- Preparing for or consolidating class work, for example, working on vocabulary for a science lesson, support for class spellings or consolidation of a maths concept new to a child,
- Working on intervention programmes designed to promote the development of a child's speech, language and communication skills,
- Developing listening skills.
- Targeting social and emotional literacy.
Re-enacting the ancient Greek myth 'Pandora's Box'.
Enjoying a special cookery and tasting workshop together.
Winning at deaf athletics!
We have regular meetings in the Key Stage 2 base which are chaired and minuted by the children themselves. This is a great opportunity for the children to get together, share news and views, voice their opinions and practise turn taking in a large group.
We also run two weekly friendship clubs at lunchtimes to help the children support and develop friendships with their hearing and hearing impaired peers, as well as a weekly signing club, which is proving extremely popular.
Fun at friendship club.
Checks of hearing aids, ear moulds, cochlear implant systems, radio aids and sound field systems are carried out daily.
To make sure all audiological equipment is working as it should we carry out various checks every morning when the children arrive at school.
We encourage the children to value their hearing aids, increasingly manage (as appropriate) their own aids and understand their hearing loss.
To motivate children to independently manage their hearing aids we set audiological targets for each child.
An audiologist from the Centre for Hearing and Speech at the Sheffield Children's Hospital makes monthly visits to our HI Resource. The children's ears, hearing aids and ear moulds are checked. Ear mould impressions are taken when needed. This reduces the number of clinic appointments at the hospital and hence the time your child takes out of school. The Educational Audiologist visits fortnightly.
We are in close contact with the cochlear implant centres should a fault arise with a cochlear implant processor.
Radio Hearing Aids and Sound Field Systems
For a hearing impaired child the effects of the varying distance from the teacher, poor acoustics and the background noise in a classroom combine to make speech difficult to understand.
To alleviate these problems we provide each child with a radio hearing aid (typically from their second year at school). These are used in conjunction with a sound field system.
The teacher wears a radio aid transmitter which allows the teacher's voice to be sent as a radio signal to the radio aid receiver that the child wears. In this way, no matter where the child is sitting or the teacher stands in the classroom the teacher's voice will have the same clarity. Most classrooms also have a soundfield system, a set of speakers around the classroom, which means speech can be heard evenly across the different areas of the classroom.
Genie radio aids eclarity radio aids Phonak Roger radio aid Soundfield system
The radio aid worn by the child is attached to the child's hearing aids by clipping on 'shoes' (that are on the ends of the radio aid leads) to the hearing aids.
If the child has a cochlear implant the radio aid lead typically slots into the bottom of the processor.
The initial set up of the radio aid for the child is carried out by Morna Finlayson, the Educational Audiologist from the Sheffield Service for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children. To ensure the set up level is consistently meeting the child's needs, speech discrimination tests are periodically carried out by the teachers of the deaf in school.
Working with other professionals
A number of professionals visit the HI Resource to work with the children.
Speech and language therapists visit Greystones School at the start of the academic year to assess the speech and language needs of all the children and to advise HI Resource staff. If needed they will then come into school to work with your child once a week, typically in six week blocks. Resource staff consolidate the work done with in timetabled Resource sessions.
An Educational Psychologist may visit school at the request of a Teacher of the Deaf (and with your consent) to assess children.
Staff from either Bradford or Nottingham Cochlear Implant Centres visit school to assess the progress of children who have had cochlear implants on a regular basis.