Integrated Physical and Sensory Service
RESOURCE BASE AT SIRIUS ACADEMY WEST
The Resource Base located at Sirius Academy is a Hull City Council, 12 place provision, under the direction of IPaSS.
The aim of the Resource Base is to provide a personalised learning environment that supports, challenges and nurtures deaf and hearing impaired students in a manner that ensures each student is given the best opportunity to fulfil their potential, academically, socially and emotionally within a mainstream setting.
RESOURCE BASE OBJECTIVES
The main objective of the Resource Base is to improve the language levels of deaf students, as well as developing their learning and life skills, within a setting which enables them to function as independent learners, able to take advantage of the many opportunities within the Academy and in the wider hearing world. This has two main strands:
- Providing specialist resources, both human and physical, which enable all students to access the curriculum and wider learning opportunities available to them
- Developing language and communication skills, in a manner which improves confidence and self-esteem, supporting student progress within the Academy and preparing each student for life outside and beyond school
The Resource Base is located in a purpose-built suite of rooms, which is central to delivering a high level of service. They have been acoustically treated to minimise reverberation and resonance. They are ideally located in a quiet part of the Academy thus maximising the potential for concentration and allowing students to focus on developing learning and communication skills in a unique environment.
The Resource Base includes teaching and tutorial rooms, an audiology centre (for effective hearing and radio aid management) and a resource/meeting room, all equipped with flashing fire alarms.
Pupils have access to PCs, a variety of specifically selected books and resources, including subtitled videos. There is also video equipment to record and monitor pupils’ progress.
Students are encouraged to mix with both deaf and hearing peers and the Resource Base serves as a meeting place for deaf and hearing students at lunchtimes and during breaks.
The Resource Base is well staffed by a highly qualified and experienced team.
The teachers have a vast range of experience and skills at Secondary and Primary phase, and teaching students with additional difficulties, in both oral and signing environments.
We follow the Total Communication ethos and use the individual child’s preferred communication method.
The Teaching staff have a minimum of Level 2 BSL.
The Specialist Teaching Assistants also have a wide range of experience and skills gained within a range of educational settings including SEND qualifications and British Sign Language from emerging Level 1 to advanced Level 4.
The staff consists of: 2 Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (One of whom is a Resource Base Leader) and a Trainee Teacher of the Deaf
6 Teaching Assistants (1 Deaf, 5 Hearing)
2 Deaf Instructors – who make weekly visits
Deaf students have specific and individual needs at the secondary stage of their education that require an in depth understanding in order to devise a personalised and well-resourced programme of learning and skills development.
Whenever possible, students access the curriculum by attending mainstream lessons alongside their hearing peers, with specialist and focused support from Resource Base staff as required. The support may be in the form of:
- Interpretation and modification of lesson content, using BSL or SSE.
- Note taking to support future learning and revision and to assist with planning for future tutorials
- Modifying the carrier language of course content
- Providing evidence and written reports to support access arrangements for formal assessments and examinations
Individual or small group tutorials in the Resource Base are arranged according to need. This time is used very effectively to fill and extend language and concept omissions that have been identified, to reinforce any subjects that need consolidation, to re-visit areas of learning or to pre-tutor students in preparation for mainstream lessons.
Students may also be taught English and Maths by a Teacher of the Deaf in the Resource Base, as part of a small group, where they can work quietly and confidently. This provides a safe but exciting environment and a more individualised approach to learning, where individual language targets can also be addressed.
The long-term aim is always to integrate such students within a mainstream class as soon as their language has developed sufficiently to enable them to access these subjects alongside their hearing peers.
When appropriate whole or part lessons, involving reverse integration, (whereby deaf students work in the Resource Base alongside one or more hearing peers) takes place. This has a positive impact on inclusivity, facilitating greater understanding, amongst hearing students, of the issues that deaf students have to deal with, in addition to deaf students being able to showcase their sense of belonging and ownership.
We encourage all the students to take responsibility for their own audiological equipment and train them to be independent and confident with its management. Regular hearing aid and radio aid checks take place, under the supervision of a TOD as part of the Academy day.
Many deaf students attend lunchtime homework tutorials held in the Base.
The key to success for the deaf students is the flexibility in the way in which they are supported. Resource Base staff work in close partnership with Academy staff, providing guidance and support to ensure the best learning opportunities are provided for all deaf students
This approach is pivotal in providing a safe, nurturing environment for deaf students to use their new skills within a supportive, realistic context before transferring with greater confidence into the Academy setting.
The Resource Base is a registered Signature centre and employs staff who are registered British Sign Language (BSL) tutors.
All deaf and hearing impaired students are given the opportunity to have 1:1 BSL tuition leading to nationally recognised Signature Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications.
Hearing students demonstrating commitment are also given this opportunity. The impact of this is to help remove barriers and improve communication.
More ‘conversational’ signing for hearing and deaf students takes place during lunch break enrichment clubs.
Basic Deaf Awareness training is offered to all Curriculum areas as twilight or lunchtime CPD sessions. This is integral to removing barriers and integrating Academy and Resource Base staff.
More Deaf Awareness takes place less formally as relationships between Resource Base and Academy staff develop.
WHAT THE STUDENTS THINK
‘Staff are always there when you need them’
‘I can come any time for help with my coursework or homework. Also I like to come and communicate with people like me’
‘The Unit is quiet, helps me work and concentrate better’
‘If you have a problem, they (Resource Base staff) will talk to you in private and make it better’
‘I like researching and BSL lessons with my friends in the Unit’
‘We have BSL and oral/aural pupils and experienced staff that can support them all’
For further Information contact:
Mrs Sarah Harness (Resource Base Leader)
Tel: 01482 567795
Minicom: 01482 640663 Ext 7792
Jan Kingston (Head of IPASS and Language unit)
IPaSS – Integrated Physical and Sensory Services
Oakfield School Site
220 Hopewell Rd
minicom: 01482 318406