Firbeck Focused Provision for Deaf Children specifically caters for the needs of deaf children as an integral part of the mainstream school. It provides support from a range of specialist staff that ensure the needs of the deaf pupils are fully met within the daily life of the school. The culture and ethos of the school promotes the inclusion and achievement of deaf children and this is fully reflected in the school’s policies and plans.
The Focused Provision is staffed with two (FTE) teachers of the deaf and specialist teaching assistants and has dedicated spaces for teaching and learning. Firbeck is a unique school with a commitment from all staff and children to work closely together in promoting an inclusive environment for both hearing and deaf children. There are close links with Nottingham University Samworth Academy and the community to promote deaf awareness beyond the school.
The school’s communication policy is individualised and British Sign Language and spoken and written English are used as appropriate. All staff learn sign language and Firbeck staff receive regular deaf awareness training. The school is registered as a centre to assess level one BSL examinations and there are regular classes for children, parents and staff. The teachers of the deaf maintain positive relationships with other services such as audiology, speech and language therapy, educational psychologists, cochlear implant centres and the BSL tutor to ensure that deaf children receive the holistic support required to meet their needs and help them progress.
Firbeck has an improved acoustic environment in most areas of the school and sound field systems are used in the majority of teaching rooms. Audiology training for all staff is offered as part of deaf awareness staff meetings.