Tree Tops

Tree Tops – Special Resource Provision for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired pupils

All Faiths Children’s Academy is a one form entry mainstream primary school with 240 pupils which includes a provision for 25 deaf pupils; all pupils have an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) with a profound to severe hearing loss as their main disability.

Our school specialises in teaching deaf pupils using a Total Communication approach. Total Communication (TC) is an approach to Deaf education that aims to make use of a number of modes of communication such as signed (British Signed Language BSL and Signed Supported English SSE), oral, auditory, written and visual aids. This means that we find the right combination of communication methods for the pupils. This approach helps to form connections, ensures successful interactions and supports information exchanges and conversations. A combination of which reinforce each other and strengthen meaning for the individual pupil.

The resource provision has a team of highly qualified and experienced staff who support our deaf pupils from Nursery to year 6.

Our current staffing structure in the provision is:

  • Teachers of the deaf (ToD), leading small group classes and direct, specific interventions
  • A Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) and Technical Instructor (TI) who work 2 days a week specialising in working with deaf pupils. They work with individual pupils supporting specific language needs and provide group therapy sessions where appropriate,
  • A deaf role model, leading Personal Understanding of Deafness (PUD) and BSL alongside providing classroom support and 1:1 interventions
  • Specialist Teaching Assistants trained to at least level 2 BSL

We also have a multi agency team to support the needs of the pupils who require ongoing additional support. These include: physiotherapists, occupational therapists, Cochlear Implant centres, advisory teachers (Hearing Impaired and Visually Impaired), Deaf CAMHS and social services. We also have a children’s centre attached to the school that houses classes for a Sip and Sign group bringing mothers with deaf babies together to support them and begin the promotion of language. Our resource provision works very closely with Medway Physical and Sensory Service (PASS) who run this group, ensuring a smooth transition into early years.

Deafness in itself is not a barrier to learning or an obstacle; every pupil deserves to have the highest expectations for achievement. The resource provision provides this and offers a quiet, safe and nurturing environment in which pupils can learn and communicate effectively to achieve their goals. It also provides pupil centred learning in order to access a broad and balanced, language-rich curriculum which is differentiated to meet the needs of the individual. This ethos ensures the development of the child as a confident individual and independent learner.

The pupils are fully integrated into school life and make positive contributions by taking on responsibilities: accessing after school clubs, being school captains, school council members, thinking drive team members, being members of different sports teams and representing the school in local events.

The ToDs give specialist support, advice and training to class teachers and teaching assistants to ensure the effective teaching and learning of deaf children and young people so that pupils make good educational progress.

The Deaf pupils have access to assisted listening devices which are checked daily. Our mainstream classes and hall are adapted to reduce background noise.