The Resource Base for Hearing Impaired Students (RBHIS)
The resource is a place where each deaf learner
- is engaged and supported in learning
- is taught how to stay healthy and safe.
By exploring language and inspiring curiosity, the RBHIS supports its learners to pursue interests and increase their knowledge of the wider world. Learners are encouraged to develop independence and resilience and to always strive for higher things.
Staff have a broad scope of specialist knowledge, experience and expertise which enable them to support the range of subjects on offer. Our focus is mainly on language, which we differentiate to the child’s level, but we aim to provide a multi-sensory approach to learning. The Resource Base also offers a safe space for students to experiment with vocabulary and make mistakes.
In one-to-one or small group tutorials, we pre- and post-teach vocabulary and ideas. This enables students to grasp difficult concepts and iron out misconceptions. It also facilitates access to the curriculum content within lessons, reducing many language barriers which deaf children sometimes face in mainstream schools. Our students are able to work with and alongside their peers, further enhancing their confidence and making good educational progress.
By developing their language, independence and social understanding, we give our students the opportunities to enter with confidence into the next stage of education, employment and adult life.
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 ‘transition’ 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 and cochlear implants and monitoring of radio aids, minor equipment 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 from 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 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 instructor 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 may also run 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
Some of our students stay on to study for A levels or BTEC Level 3 courses in the sixth form. Others leave school at the end of Year 11 and go on to college, apprenticeships or other training schemes.
Information Advice and Guidance Advisors from the Children & Young People with Disabilities Service work with young people who have an Education Health and Care Plan at key transition stages between the ages of 13 and 25 to assist their move to college, apprenticeships and work. Our school careers advisor also works with our deaf students and provides advice to them when they are making college and career choices.
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.
If you have further questions about the RBHIS at Great Baddow High School please contact the department directly