Pelham Primary School is very lucky to have the only specialist resourced provision for Deaf and Hearing Impaired children in Bexley.
The Hearing Impairment Provision (HIP) has places for 20 children with severe or profound hearing losses. A child may be accepted into the school with a moderate hearing loss if there are other reasons that mean they require the specialist support of the provision. Children are allocated places by Bexley’s Children and Young People’s Services currently via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan.
The provision has its own suite of rooms comprising of a Foundation Stage classroom (which also doubles as a Community Classroom), a Key Stage 1 classroom, a Therapy room, an HIP office, a large resources cupboard, and a kitchenette area. Key Stage 2 has a teaching classroom and a group support room within the Key Stage 2 side of the school.
Pelham School promotes positive attitudes between hearing and hearing impaired children and takes pride in the inclusive attitude of our whole school community.
An understanding of deafness and its implications contributes to an inclusive environment and helps build positive attitudes. Deaf Awareness sessions are provided to staff in the school on appointment and throughout their time at Pelham School. All children in the school have regular deaf awareness sessions from nursery to Year 6, covering areas such as communication strategies, hearing aids, signing vocabulary and songs, deaf role models and what it means to be deaf. This knowledge and experience enriches the whole school community.
The provision has a child centred Total Communication Policy; by this we mean we use the communication approach appropriate to each child. This could be oral/aural, signing, spoken and written English, speech reading, British Sign Language, Signed English, Signed Supported English, finger-spelling, natural gesture, pictures or symbols. Communication methods can change and develop over a child's time at Pelham School and therefore it is regularly reviewed along with their educational and emotional needs.
Deaf children are part of the mainstream classes and they take part in all aspects of school life. There are three qualified Teachers of the Deaf in the school who offer specialist support to the children, particularly with language and literacy work. A team of specialist Teaching Assistants from the provision offer support and intervention where appropriate.
Specialist support may take the form of one-to-one work, group activities, individual work, reverse inclusion lessons, and may cover targeted work, IEP work, audiological work, listening skills, pre or post teaching, speech and language work, etc. Children use hearing aids or cochlear implants as well as FM systems to aid the development of their auditory/listening skills.
There is a close working relationship between the school and external providers such as the Advisory Teacher of the Deaf, local Audiology, tertiary Audiology, Cochlear Implant Centres and Educational Psychologists. Two Specialist Speech and Language Therapists visit the school for a combined total of three days a week. The support to the children may take the form of group or individual sessions. Work is then followed up within school by HIP staff.