Teacher of the Deaf
A qualified Teacher of the Deaf with Integrated Specialist Support Services (ISSS) works closely with school staff and other agencies to ensure the specific hearing needs of the hearing impaired pupils on my caseload are being met. My role may include;
Interpreting hearing test results, from the hospital or Service Educational Audiologist.
Using a hearing aid test box to check the pupils' aids are in good working order.
Helping the pupils in their audiological independence i.e. being able to look after their aids & ear moulds themselves.
Offering advice about acoustics for the hearing impaired pupils in school.
Contribute to Annual Reviews and IEP's.
Provision of deaf awareness and in-service training.
Provision of radio hearing aids for hearing aid users where appropriate, with on-going management, information and maintenance.
Teacher of the Visually Impaired
A qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired with Integrated Specialist Support Service (ISSS) works closely with school staff and other agencies to ensure that specific visual needs are met with the special school setting. This support will include:
Assessment of Visual Impairment and the impact on access to the curriculum.
Informing staff, parents and carers the details of the Visual Impairment and impact on learning, leisure and mobility.
Liaison with the Consultant Ophthalmogist on a regular basis to ensure accurate provision is put in place.
Advice on curriculum access and strategies to ensure equality of access to the school curriculum.
Advice on using large print, OCT access and use of aids to enable full access to each curriculum area.
ISSS employ a Qualified Mobility Officer to assess mobility needs within the school and wider environment. Regular Mobility teaching will be provided if needed.
Advice and contribution to Annual Reviews and specific learning plans.
Annual reports to all involved.
VI awareness training.
Provision of specialised equipment with support from a Technical Support worker.
Music therapy sessions are held on a Wednesday and offer children the opportunity to use music as an alternative means of interaction and self-expression. Children are referred for music therapy by class teachers and are seen individually or in a small group. Through playing music with the children, using a variety of percussion instruments, keyboard, guitar and voices, the music therapist aims to support positive changes in emotional well-being, behaviour and self-awareness. Music therapy is effective in developing levels of engagement and interaction and enhances motivation, concentration and self-esteem. It also offers a valuable creative channel for releasing both physical and emotional energy.
At school the Occupational Therapist (OT) helps to identify pupils’ strengths and needs, and the impact these may have on their participation in everyday school activities. OT aims to minimise any difficulties that a pupil may have in order to improve their ability to learn, socialise and play. The OT will work closely with the young person, parents/carers and school staff to develop practical approaches and find solutions to help to overcome any problems experienced with specific tasks or situations. OT involvement may include assessment of fine motor and visual motor skills, self-care skills, organisational skills, attention and sensory processing skills. The OT may recommend and provide direct therapy aimed at improving specific difficulties or collaborate with school staff in order to modify activities or the environment, where possible interventions are incorporated into the usual school and classroom routines.
There are seven special schools in Worcestershire, providing education services and holistic care for children with additional needs.
Special School Nurses support children, families and education staff through competencies in Paediatrics, Learning Disabilities and Public School Health Nursing. Services provided by Special School Nurses include:
- Routine Health Surveillance and health promotion in Special Schools, contributing to the Healthy Schools agenda.
- Care planning and supporting clinical assessments and interventions in school for individual children.
- Health intervention training for education staff, in skills required to meet child's needs (such as epilepsy care, administering medications, tube feeding, and catheterisation.
- Advice and assistance in responding to first aid/emergency situations.
- Annual health reviews for all children and Looked After Child reviews.
- Promoting continence/providing continence support, with six monthly re-assessments.
- Sexual health and staying safe for vulnerable young people.
- Behavioural management support and Parenting Programmes.
- Support transition to adult services.
Speech and Language
Speech and Language Therapists work with children and young people with speech, language, communication and eating/swallowing disorders.
At Rigby Hall we provide assessment, diagnosis, intervention and management for the children and young people on our caseload.
Speech and Language Therapists in Worcestershire use the same pathway with the following levels of interventions:-
Universal Level - Working to enhance the language learning environment in school, promoting and demonstrating general communication stratergies in class, providing training for staff, parents and carers. All pupils benefit from this approach.
Targeted Level - Setting up short term interventions to develop specific speech, language or communication skills and generalise these in everyday situations. This may include working with individual or small groups of pupils on areas such as early communication skills (looking, turn taking) attention and listening, understanding (receptive language) talking, vocabulary building and signing (expressive language).
Many of the pupils on our caseload at Rigby Hall receive this level of input.
Specialist Level - Developing highly specific programmes and stratergies for a small number of pupils who need an individual approach to thier communication.
Many pupils will expereince all three levels of communication intervention during their time at Rigby Hall and some will no longer need specific speech and language therapy interventions at all.
Speech and Language Therapists work with other professionals wherever possible to ensure there is a consistent and team approach to promoting the best communication for every pupil.