Hearing Resource Base (HRB)
What is the HRB?
We are proud to have a Hearing Resource Base (HRB) within Yate Academy, and to be a deaf aware school. Pupils with a place in the HRB join an inclusive and welcoming school community as well as a caring and supportive HRB team. By attending Yate Academy HRB, pupils have a sense of belonging as part of their year group and wider school community; and they feel pride in their deaf identity and belonging amongst their friends in the resource base.
Pupils and staff
All pupils who attend the resource base have a degree of deafness and have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) with deafness as their primary need. Many HRB pupils also have additional needs. Most pupils communicate via spoken English; however, HRB staff can also support pupils using British Sign Language (BSL) sign-supported English.
Our dedicated team consists of a Teacher of the Deaf and two HRB support staff, both of whom have had specialised training and experience in supporting deaf pupils, as well as training and experience in working with pupils with a variety of needs.
The Acoustic Environment
Creating favourable acoustic environments and monitoring noise levels is considered carefully in all classrooms. Many HRB pupils use personal radio aids in the classroom to optimise their ability to hear the teacher above any background noise. HRB staff support teachers and pupils to use radio aids successfully.
Ordinary MAGIC Deaf Awareness
Staff and pupils have regular deaf awareness training, and participate in deaf awareness events. All teachers know how to optimise learning for deaf pupils in their class. Key principles are summarised in our HRB ‘Ordinary MAGIC’ golden rules, ensuring consistency from all staff working with a deaf pupil.
The HRB Three Strands of Support
We have the highest expectations for all pupils with a place in the HRB. Pupils follow the same curriculum as their mainstream peers and spend most of their time in their year group classrooms. However, pupils are supported by HRB staff as well as a range of external professionals. Teaching and support from HRB staff is in class, in small groups in the resource base, or in 1:1 lessons.
Support centres around our three strands of support, and we place equal emphasis on each strand:
1 - Knowledge and skills
Knowledge of the curriculum is supported by pre and post teaching. By anticipating the learning that is to come, HRB staff ensure that any gaps in knowledge or vocabulary are addressed so that pupils can participate fully in lessons. By consolidating learning that has taken place, HRB staff ensure that new concepts and vocabulary are retained.
Developing excellent communication skills, including social communications skills, is also a priority. Pupils are supported in HRB language lessons.
2 - Independence and autonomy
Our aim is for all HRB pupils to develop independence, so they can:
- Understand their deafness and what it means for them
- Feel confident when explaining their deafness to others
- Be able to self-advocate: know what they need and ensure they have their needs met
- Manage their personal and classroom hearing equipment independently
Our HRB Pathway programme enables us to support and track pupils' growing independence, at a stage and pace appropriate to them. Pupils are allocated termly targets and work with staff and parents to achieve these targets.
3 - Confidence and self-esteem
The happiness and wellbeing of pupils is of paramount importance. As well as enjoying friendships within their year group classes, pupils form friendships with other pupils in the HRB. Regular trips and events with pupils from Woodlands Primary HRB allow younger pupils to learn from the experiences and knowledge of older pupils.
Pupil successes are celebrated via school reward systems, but are also celebrated within the HRB. At the end of each term, we hold a HRB celebration event and nominate a HRB star of the term.
We recognise the importance of working closely with parents to ensure the best possible outcomes for pupils. Short-term and long-term outcomes for pupils are always agreed jointly by the pupil, parents, school staff and any associated professionals, so that outcomes reflect priorities both at school and at home. Communication with parents is ongoing: parents can contact HRB staff at any point during the school day, and in-person meetings can be arranged as required.
If you are considering applying for a place for your child at Yate Academy HRB, we appreciate this can be a difficult decision. Visits to the academy and HRB are warmly welcomed. Please arrange an appointment via the school office.