The Hub for Hearing Impairment at St John Fisher School was established in September 2016 in conjunction with the Local Authority as part of an overall strategy to develop and embed the work of Hubs with particular specialisms across Peterborough. Our work has three main aims:
- To offer up to six places for students with a Hearing Impairment and ensure that these students receive specialist support at the same time as having an inclusive and mainstream educational experience.
- To ensure that best practice in supporting learners with a Hearing Impairment is adopted across the school, so we provide a deaf friendly environment that focuses on improving the quality of communication, speech and language for all students.
- To become a centre of specialist expertise offering a service to schools across Peterborough, ensuring that professionals and parents can access information and resources to support learners with a Hearing Impairment, regardless of the school they are placed in.
What do we do?
- We support learners in the classroom and ensure that they can access mainstream lessons and feel included in every part of the curriculum.
- We support staff to ensure that first quality teaching is experienced by HI learners in every classroom.
- We support the development of speech, language and communication skills in HI learners by providing additional support with vocabulary and key concepts, both in lessons and also with intervention lessons in small groups if required. Much of this work is of a practical and ‘hands on’ nature.
- We support teaching staff to deliver a modified curriculum if required, including the delivery of entry level qualifications at Key Stage 4.
- We support the social and emotional development of students by offering lunchtime activities and emotional literacy support.
- We create an individualised programme for each learner, based on their needs, and continually evaluate the impact of interventions.
- We liaise with parents and carers to ensure they feel involved with their child’s education and are at the heart of the process.
- We prepare students for the next steps in their education and ensure that they are fully prepared for post-16 transition.
- We prepare students with a range of life skills to enable them to live independently as adults and to become active and responsible citizens, who are able to self-advocate.
- We seek opportunities for students to socialise with deaf peers from other schools and give them access to deaf-friendly enrichment opportunities
- We engage with the wider community.
- We support primary schools with transition events for KS2 learners with and without a hearing impairment
What impact does our Hub have?
Student Case Studies
The profile of our HI learners is quite varied. Our most recent Hub students were both Eastern European and had not used Hearing Aids in their own country. This meant that when they arrived in the UK at the age of 12 and were subsequently fitted with hearing aids, they had a significant delay in the development of their native speech and language and had also missed a lot of the education they had been exposed to. In addition they had to acquire sufficient English to access the school curriculum. We worked with the students in conjunction with our ESOL department to embed basic English language skills as well as delivering a bespoke programme to broaden their subject specific language and vocabulary. The boys had a modified curriculum, however any intervention was also delivered with other students who were not hearing impaired, to ensure that the students felt part of our mainstream school.
We also worked very hard to ensure that the boys received appropriate IAG, Citizenship and Careers Education and our HLTA worked closely with the Teacher of the Deaf to deliver a bespoke programme to prepare the students for post-16 education.
We have measured our success in a number of ways: the students have achieved their target grades and have a range of qualifications as they leave Year 11. They also have a clear pathway and have completed successful transition to their post-16 provider. They have also made friends and have been integrated into wider school life and have not required the support of staff during structures.
How are we a ‘deaf-friendly’ school?
We audit our physical environment to ensure that every classroom and space has optimum listening conditions. We have had support form the Local Authority to complete an acoustic audit and have also invested in a Juno Soundfield system for a Science laboratory, which has benefited every student who works in there.
We also educate our students and staff. All teaching staff have receive training in deaf awareness and the development of speech and language. We also have 15 members of staff who have completed a Level 1 BSL course. In addition we have three members of staff working towards a Level 3 BSL qualification and are planning to deliver subject specific BSL sessions for staff next year. Our ethos is that the effective teaching of students with a Hearing Impairment is an expectation of first quality teaching in every classroom in our school.
Our students are made aware of the need to have a good listening environment through work in form time and also as part of our activities for Deaf Awareness week. We also embed Deaf education within our PSHE modules on diversity and encourage all students to celebrate and embrace our diverse community.
Cambridge House is our designated ‘deaf-friendly’ house, and the SSO has completed BSL training to support with this. Our pastoral staff have also worked closely with our HLTA and other specialist staff to ensure an inclusive approach to safeguarding, well-being and welfare. We ensure that our deaf students are included in wider aspects of school life and we also give them opportunities to meet deaf peers form other schools and the wider community.
Our Hub room is open to all students and we do a lot of intervention linked to speech and language which is not exclusive to students with a hearing impairment.
How are Hub places allocated?
All students must have an EHCP to be placed in a Hub. However, possession of an EHCP plan does not automatically guarantee a placement. Hub places are allocated by the Local Authority SEND panel and you should contact your local officer for more details.