The Resource Base for Hearing Impaired Students (RBHIS)
The Resource Base for Hearing Impaired Students was established more than 25 years ago and has been an integral part of the school since then. We have places for a maximum of 16 students who have a Statement for Educational Need or Education Health and Care plans where their main is their hearing impairment.
The RBHIS has a suite of five rooms which are used to teach students in a one-to-one tutorial or in small groups. Specialist equipment is available for students to use either in the Resource Base or mainstream classrooms. Students mix with both deaf and hearing peers and we aim to encourage an awareness of and involvement with both deaf and hearing worlds so that our students leave school confident to take their place in society.
Resource Base Tutorials
Individual or small group tutorials are arranged according to a student’s needs. Time is used to reinforce any subjects that need consolidation or to pre-tutor students in preparation for mainstream lessons. For example unfamiliar vocabulary may be taught before it is encountered in the mainstream classroom ensuring that students can understand when a new topic is introduced.
Students who need to develop their language and numeracy skills may be taught in a small ‘Nurture’ group with other students working at the same level. The long term aim is always to integrate such students into a mainstream class as soon as their language and numeracy skills have developed enough to enable them to access these subjects alongside their peers.
A speech and language therapist who has specialised training to work with deaf children works regularly with students to develop communication skills including speech production. She also works with students to help them develop strategies for dealing with different social situations. Speech and language sessions are arranged for individual students or small groups according to need.
As well as regular checks on hearing aids, cochlear implants and maintenance of radio aids, minor malfunctions can be dealt with by our RBHIS staff. We liaise closely with the audiology department of the local hospital and can arrange for aids which are not working properly to be repaired quickly. A technician form the audiology department visits twice a year to take impressions for new ear moulds for the students who need them.
At Great Baddow we have a “Total Communication “approach to language. Resource Base staff aim to respond to the communication needs of each individual student. Communication Support Workers (CSWs) or Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs) will interpret lessons for those whose preferred mode of communication is British Sign Language (BSL). Others choose to access lessons orally using appropriate audiological equipment and support staff will use Sign Supported English to reinforce key ideas and clarify anything that may have been missed. While the student focuses on the mainstream teacher Resource Base staff may make notes for the student to use later.
Both deaf and hearing students are encouraged to join signing clubs run during lunch times by our CSWs to develop their signing skills thereby enhancing communication between deaf and hearing students. CSWs also organise a signing choir which meets to practise once a week after school and regularly performs at school concerts and productions.
Students spend the majority of their time in mainstream lessons with support from Resource Base staff appropriate to their needs.
Some students will be withdrawn from some lessons for individual tutorials, speech and language therapy and sign language tuition. The amount of time a student is withdrawn for, and from which lessons, is decided on an individual basis in consultation with parents and teachers.
Sign Language Tuition
A deaf BSL teacher comes into school once a week to work with deaf students whose Education, Health and Care Plan says that they need to develop their sign language skills. She also runs BSL level 1 and level 2 courses (which are examined by SIGNATURE) for deaf students. It is sometimes possible for mainstream staff, parents and hearing students to join these classes.
Preparation For Life After School
Our students all participate in work experience when they are in year 12 (aged 16 or 17). Students are encouraged to undertake this as independently as possible; however deaf awareness training is given to the companies for whom they will be working, prior to their arrival. They may be supported in their placement by a Communication Support Worker (CSW) for all or part of the placement if this is needed.
Some of our students leave school at the end of year 11 and go on to college, apprenticeships or other training schemes. Others stay on to study for A levels or BTEC Level 3 courses in the sixth form.
Our students are given information about college courses by our Teacher of the Deaf for Further Education. They also have specialist careers support through the Information, Advice and Guidance Service (IAG). Information Advice and Guidance Advisors work with young people who have a Statement of Special Education Need or Education Health and Care Plan at key transition stages between the ages of 13 and 25 to assist their transition to college apprenticeships and work. Our school careers advisor also works with our deaf students, and provides advice to them when they are making career choices.
The short film below is for the hearing impaired students and their parents and aims to offer advice and answer many of the frequently asked questions about moving on to secondary school. The programme visits three secondary school Resource Bases in Essex and shows the support and facilities on offer. Hearing impaired students and parents talk about their experiences of the transition from primary to secondary school. We hope you will find the information useful.
If you have further questions about the RBHIS at Great Baddow High School please contact the RBHIS directly.
If you have further questions about the RBHIS at Great Baddow High School please contact the department directly
by telephoning: 01245 291047