The school's Designated Special Provision for deaf children was established over sixty years ago. We follow an auditory/oral approach to communication which means that children are taught primarily through speaking and listening. Our success has been recognised by OFSTED during the 2004, 2008 and 2011 inspections. This is due to the committment, knowledge and skills of our dedicated team, and our close working relationships with parents and professionals.
In the mornings, our children work away from their mainstream classes, in sound-conditioned rooms. Here they are supported by Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs) and Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) for Literacy, Numeracy and Speech and Language Therapy. Hearing children may form part of these small groups.
Nursery children integrate with the mainstream after a 45 minute 'settling-in' session in the Rocking Horse Room. In the afternoons, the children integrate with their mainstream classes (supported by ToDs/LSAs).
Escorted transport to and from school is provided by the children’s ‘home’ borough.
We are committed to maximising the benefits of audiological equipment for all of our deaf chidren, so their hearing aids are tested daily and any problems are dealt with, or reported to the relevant hospitals, if necessary. We also have a visiting audiologist - Pat, who checks that ear moulds are fitting properly and makes new ones when needed. We provide radio aids to improve the distance to voice ratio, i.e. the teacher’s voice is brought closer to the child, for those children who are able to benefit from them.
Speech and Language Therapy (SALT):
SALT therapists work with us for 2 days a week. They set targets and create SALT programmes for our children which are supported by booster sessions carried out by ToDs and LSAs.
At Meridian, we understand the importance of developing a positive Deaf identity for our deaf children and maintaining an inclusive school. Tina Dhunday is our Deaf Instructor who works with us every week. She delivers Deaf Awareness training and British Sign Language (BSL) lessons to the school, and a Deaf Studies curriculum to our deaf children. Deaf identity is further celebrated through participation in Deaf Awareness Week, music and drama workshops, Deaf Athletics Days, visits from organisations such as the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, regular contact with a local secondary school provision for deaf children, and much more! Also, children are encouraged to join the local deaf youth club, DISC.
Please come and visit our DSP and see our happy, confident children and fantastic team of staff for yourself!