Hearing Support Facility
Within Priory School we have a Hearing Support Facility (HSF), a provision of the Sensory Needs Service for East Sussex County Council, where our specialist staff work in collaboration with mainstream school staff to ensure access and support for deaf students attending Priory.
The HSF consists of a Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) and currently four specialist Teaching Assistants (TA’s) who support the deaf students alongside support from Speech and Language Therapists (SALT), Audiologists, Counsellors, Youth Employment Officers and many more professionals who will contribute towards the student’s education and well-being throughout their school life at Priory.
At Priory we believe in equal opportunities and that every child has the right to the best possible Education. The HSF works alongside the school’s teachers and staff to ensure that our deaf students have maximum access to the curriculum and their learning.
We also believe that deaf students should receive a balance between academic and social development. The HSF works very closely with the school and parents to ensure that the student is happy and is making good progress with their studies and is contributing as an active member of the school’s community.
We also try to ensure that the students are learning to the best of their potential, using appropriate support adapted to their needs and to leave the school fully equipped with the skills they need either for further education or employment.
We recognise each of our students as individuals that have their own needs and therefore we can provide bespoke solutions to the student’s requirements, allowing flexibility and change when necessary throughout the academic year.
In the HSF we are able to offer an extensive support programme for students including; homework support and guidance, revision planning, 1:1 sessions, extra Literacy sessions, additional Numeracy support, consolidation teaching sessions and opportunities for social interaction in a more relaxed atmosphere
We believe that communication is central to a student’s learning, whether it’s through Oral methods of communication using spoken English or Signed Supported English (SSE) or British Sign Language (BSL).We feel the need to adapt to suit students’ communication requirements is paramount throughout their school life.
The HSF has equipment to fully support our students who require Digi-systems (modern style radio aids) in the classroom. Staff are trained to check hearing aids, Digi-systems and cochlear implants to ensure the students have full access to their lessons and education; the HSF works closely with Cochlear Implant teams and Audiology departments across Sussex.
A Year 6 Transition day is organised during the summer term to allow prospective students the opportunity to visit Priory and to meet the HSF staff; the ToD liaises closely with class teachers from their primary school and with inclusion support staff at Priory to ensure a smooth transition from primary to secondary.
The ToD provides regular deaf awareness training to all mainstream school staff and there is an option of students and staff attending BSL classes, for those who are interested in developing their sign language skills.
Throughout the year HSF staff organise various extra-curricular activities for the HSF students to participate, for example a drama workshop with Deafinitely Theatre or a visit to the West End for a signed theatre performance and backstage tour.
The HSF organises events and activities with other local secondary schools that have deaf students to give Priory students the opportunity to meet new friends and develop their social skills; staff encourage after school activities and have contacts within the local community for students to access inclusive sports clubs and children’s societies for local events.