We have a Hearing and Language Resource Base (HLRB) at Mendip Green which has been in operation since the late 1970s - this is the only specialist provision for children with hearing impairment within the local authority. The resource base manager, Sarah Barton, is a qualified teacher of the deaf. The HLRB is an 11 place base and can support the needs of children from EYFS up to Year 6.
Our HLRB has a designated classroom to allow us to offer direct teaching in small groups in a learning environment that is quieter and less distracting than a mainstream classroom. It is a safe space where children can build confidence in communicating.
Although children access the Mendip Green curriculum that is appropriate for their age and stage, this is adapted to focus on speech and language. The curriculum is presented through a high level of visual and practical activities with plenty of opportunity for revisiting, reinforcement and pre-learning. Whilst in the resource base, opportunities for children to work on individual targets linked to their ISP/EHCP are woven into their provision. Where appropriate, social and emotional needs, often arising from misunderstandings with friends linked to communication difficulties are also supported.
Children who are on role in our HLRB are fully included members of a mainstream class and some support can be offered, if appropriate, for children in their mainstream class. Each child's timetable is dependent on their needs and can be flexible. Children are encouraged to be as independent as possible around the school and in their classes. Training and support is also given to mainstream staff.
Places in the Hearing and Language Resource Base are allocated following a panel meeting which includes input from outside agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology and the Sensory Support Service and Sarah Barton. Priority for places is given to hearing impaired children. Any remaining places are offered to children with language difficulties whose learning and communication needs would benefit from the teaching in the base.