What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is the result of sound signals not reaching the brain. There are two main types of hearing loss, depending on where the problem lies:
- sensorineural hearing loss – caused by damage to the sensitive hair cells inside the inner ear or damage to the auditory nerve; this occurs naturally with age or as a result of injury
- conductive hearing loss – when sounds are unable to pass from your outer ear to your inner ear, often because of a blockage such as earwax, glue ear or a build-up of fluid from an ear infection, or because of a perforated ear drum or disorder of the hearing bones.
It's also possible to have both these types of hearing loss. This is known as mixed hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Example
Children who are identified with hearing impairment are a heterogeneous group with a range of individual characteristics, abilities, strengths and challenges.
Permanent moderate to profound bilateral hearing impairment can have significant impact on the development of speech, language and communication skills, access to learning, listening and attention, auditory and working memory, independence and literacy as well as self-esteem and social skills. Some children may require the use of signed-supported English to build spoken language development and aid access to learning and communication or British Sign Language (BSL).
Children with hearing impairment cover a broadly similar range of cognitive ability as their hearing peers. Children with hearing impairment use a range of personal amplification technologies which may include post-aural hearing aids, cochlear implants, and bone anchored hearing aids alongside additional amplification in the form of personal listening devices i.e. digital radio aid systems.
In the UK, the majority of profoundly deaf children have a cochlear implant. The increase in cochlear implantation has led to significantly improved educational outcomes for many profoundly deaf children if diagnosed and implanted early, including acquisition and understanding of spoken language.
Enquiries and Admission
Norbury Manor Primary School provides specialist education, operate and manage the ELP for up to 10 pupils.
Admission arrangements for children, with or without an EHCP, will be in accordance with the Children & Families Act 2014 legislation and guidance set out in the SEND Code of Practice 2015. The Council’s local admission guidance will inform decisions.
The Council will consult the School with due regard to parental preference, to establish that The School can provide suitable education (as set out in a child’s EHCP, appendices and any other relevant expert advice and/or in his/her personalised funded Early Years SEN Support Plan).
The School will provide a view as to whether suitable education can be provided within the ELP. The Council will make the decision about placement and will issue the EHCP naming the School and ELP in Section I of the EHCP.
For children with SEN and without an EHCP, for whom the Council is making an assessment placement, the same process will be followed and a written agreement to fund the assessment placement will confirm arrangements for provision and funding.
Out of Borough Pupils
The School may accept out of borough pupils, however the Council must be notified before the place is allocated and given the opportunity to make a placement within 15 Business Days prior to the School accepting this out of borough placement.
Eligible pupils are those whose primary learning support need is a permanent, bilateral, moderate to profound hearing loss and:
- who use personal amplification such as hearing aids, cochlear implants or BAHAs;
- who use additional amplification via personal listening devices;
- whose speech, language and communication development is significantly delayed or disordered in comparison with hearing peers as a result of their hearing impairment, including those with late diagnosis and/or late access to amplification;
- who may require access to Sign Supported English (SSE) or British Sign Language (BSL);
- who are functioning significantly below age related expectations in speaking, listening, reading and writing as a result of their hearing impairment and associated language delay;
- who have significant difficulties with listening, attention, concentration, self- confidence and class participation, as a result of their hearing impairment;
- require opportunities to socialise and communicate with both deaf and hearing peers in order to develop social communication, emotional wellbeing, deaf identity and self-esteem.
Deaf children are fully included in 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. They will have a personalised learning programme drawn up by specialist teachers of the deaf in consultation with class teachers. This personalised learning programme is responsive to the need of each pupil and enables children attending Blossom House to make educational progress and enable active engagement in all aspects of school life.
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. Mainstream teachers receive regular deaf awareness training from Teachers of the Deaf about how to best include deaf children in lessons.
Blossom House will provide a range of teaching and learning provision to meet children’s individual needs, including:
- Tailored individual intervention programmes.
- Shared access to skilled and specialist teaching and teaching support;
- Small group teaching;
- Independent learning in a mainstream class;
- Supported learning in mainstream classes;
Blossom House teachers will collaborate with class teachers and the inclusion team to identify the curriculum content and skills which are important for each child’s development and the teaching approaches that maximize learning potential for each child. Specifically teachers of the deaf and specialist teaching assistants will:
- Identify the most relevant ways in which to represent subject matter so as to maximize a child’s active engagement;
- Create an optimal classroom climate for learning based on careful assessment of children’s response to the environment;
- Monitor learning and provide regular formative feedback; and
- Have high aspirations for learners which are shared with parents and all members of staff.
We strive to provide good models of either BSL or English (whichever is the preferred language mode). We also acknowledge that language skills are to be explicitly taught and we aim to raise children’s awareness of the effect and power of language in the wider community.
Norbury Manor Primary school deaf children have the best of both worlds! They are able to develop friendships with their hearing classmates, but also have the support and reassurance of having other deaf children around them.
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 pupil passport. This is updated termly 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.
The whole school is given the opportunity to explore signing in order to raise awareness of an alternative method of communication used by many deaf people. Periodic deaf awareness training is given to staff and pupils to remind everyone about good practice, for example, remembering to make sure a deaf person can see your face to lip read while you are talking.
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:
- Qualified Teachers of the Deaf
- Specialist Teaching Assistants trained to British Sign Language (BSL)
Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
A specialist speech and language therapist with an additional qualification and/or experience in hearing impairment will be engaged to deliver specialist therapy provision as required. 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.
We support deaf children to make the best use of their residual hearing and audiological equipment. Classrooms are regularly monitored to check the deaf children are learning in the best acoustic environment, ensuring that they have the best signal to noise ratio during lesson times.
We support children to make good use of their residual hearing through their own personal equipment and radio aids. Daily checks of audiological technology used by the children happens every morning when the children first arrive in school and as needed through the day.
Children are encouraged to become independent with their equipment and are supported to do this. If there is a difficulty with their equipment, they are taught to relay this to an adult immediately. As children move through the school they are supported to help with trouble shooting problems with their equipment and to become responsible for their equipment.
We value working in partnership with parents. Children make the best progress when parents and teachers work together.
We support this partnership by:
- using home/school books which staff and parents share messages in;
- contributing to school reports with the class teacher;
- annual reviews to check the school is implementing the recommendations and targets contained within the EHCP;
- an annual report written for the annual review;
- parents evenings;
- communicate through Bromcom MCAS;
- school calendar shared through MCAS.
We liaise closely with other professionals including working in collaboration with members of the Cochlear Implant teams and we have links with the audiologist at the local hospital. Other professionals who work alongside the Blossom House team include the Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) other Teachers of the Deaf and the Deaf Lead. Support can be sought from external agencies if needed such as: Occupational Therapist, Educational Psychologist, Deaf CAMHS.