A rich history … an exciting future!
Audiology is at the heart of much of what we do here. Ensuring that our pupils are able to make the most of their residual hearing at school is an essential part of our work. We do this by:
- Ensuring the students’ audiological equipment is kept in excellent working order
- Encouraging the children to develop good listening skills for one to one, small group and whole class situations
- To develop resilience to deal with unwanted noise and acquire strategies to help manage noisy environments
In school, as well as our purpose built resource base rooms, which are all designed to be acoustically suited to teaching deaf children, we also have a separate audiology room. Here, I can perform audiological testing on children's listening and equipment, working with the Teachers of the Deaf, in a bespoke environment aimed at meeting the children's hearing needs.
In addition, at Mildmay we have strong links with the Essex Teacher of the Deaf team. This close working is essentially to ensure children transitioning in and out of the resource base have a continuation of provision for their assistive listening devices as well as their ongoing care. To further support this, I now work for Essex one day a week, to support the audiology of children across North and Mid Essex.
Mr. Simon Ash
Educational Audiologist and Teacher of the Deaf
Understanding our Hearing Loss
We feel that it is important that all children understand their personal deafness, as well as the equipment they have to support their listening. We also look at and discuss children's individual audiograms with them.
We encourage open discussions about deafness and how differing levels of deafness affect us all in individual ways. Through our Deaf Studies sessions, we talk about different causes and levels of deafness.
Testing and Maintenance
The children's hearing equipment is checked daily by Resource Base staff to ensure it is always in good working order. In addition, more detailed checks are carried out weekly by the school's Educational Audiologist which includes using a test box to analyse all hearing aids at least half termly to monitor the devices.
Furthermore, we provide hands on training to support the children in managing their hearing equipment in increasingly independently ways. For upper key stage two, this includes learning to independently clean and re-tube their ear moulds.
Assistive Listening Devices
In school, we use the Phonak Roger Touch system for the majority of our pupils. These are discreet, effective and easy to maintain ensuring children receive the highest possible quality of speech sounds in their classrooms, during assemblies and on school trips. Alongside this, we have Roger SoundField systems in many classrooms across the school, including in all classrooms with deaf pupils, which help amplify the class teacher’s voice for the benefit of all children in the room. In key stage 2, we also have Roger pass around mics. These are used for children to share their answers and ideas with the class in a way which is more accessible for all, through the SoundField system.
For those children who are unable to use the Roger system, we aim to work with hospitals, families and manufacturers, to offer alternative devices which better suit their individual equipment requirements.
We have strong links with Broomfield hospital’s paediatric audiology team. We frequently liaise to ensure that any faults which are identified with a child's hearing aids are resolved quickly, to minimise the impact on the child's learning. In addition, we have regular visits from the audiologists and technicians, to check the fit of each child's ear moulds and to take new impressions when needed.
We also work with a number of cochlear implant centres across London and the South East, to support the equipment and management of the children's internal and external components.