Sensory Support Centre (SSC)
How will my child be included in your school?
The Sensory Support Centre (SSC) at the school has places for students who have Special Educational Needs. These students all have a form of deafness. The SSC is part of the Learning Support Department.
Hazelwick SSC aims to support students by meeting the ECM agenda:
- To help your child achieve their full potential in school.
- To promote inclusion and participation in all school activities.
- To produce confident, independent young people who can communicate effectively.
- To encourage independent learners in the mainstream curriculum.
- To use a wide range of communication to suit individual learners.
- To give a high level of support with the flexibility to encourage independence at the appropriate stage of the student’s development.
- To provide BSL support where it is needed.
Your son/daughter will be, first and foremost, a student at the school, fully included because of the support and access provided by the SSC and will have opportunities to participate in the wide range of activities, clubs and enrichment provided by the school. They will also have access to careers advice.
Students will have opportunities for withdrawal to work with a Teacher of the Deaf, a Communication Support Assistant and Specialist Speech and Language Therapist to match their individual needs, all of whom have additional qualifications (such as BSL).
You will have regular contact in whichever method you prefer; email, phone or face to face; not only with all the teachers who teach your child but also with the specialist team of TAs, other professionals and the Teacher of the Deaf.
Is a Special Support Centre suitable for my child?
Hazelwick SSC caters for deaf students who have an EHCP that indicates they need to have Specialist Support and access to a Teacher of the Deaf.
We aim to provide the appropriate and personalised level of support to enable students to become independent, therefore levels of support will vary according to the age and related needs of the student.
The staff team for deaf students consists of a qualified Teacher of the Deaf and dedicated Communication Support Assistants. The staff within the department have training from Level 1 to Level 6 BSL. By the end of 2025 our aim is for all SSC staff to have a minimum of BSL level 3. We currently have a CSA who is level 6 and another who is starting a Level 6 course in September 2023.
A Speech and Language Therapist for the deaf visits the school to provide a programme of therapy for students, tailored to their specific needs. The local authority provides a wireless transmitter system for each student to support the maximum use of residual hearing in the classroom. The Teacher of the Deaf liaises closely with local hospital audiology teams and cochlear implant teams in order to ensure that strategies within school are appropriate for the needs of the individual.
Our staffing at present (September 2023) includes:
Mr Lanzon (Teacher of the Deaf; PgDip)
I have been a teacher since 1998 but recently I decided to move into the field of deaf education and I qualified as a Teacher of the Deaf in 2022 (University of Manchester).
My interests include keeping fit; box-fit; running; cycling, music and Netflix. I love travelling and building up my language skills. I have Spanish, French, Italian, beginners German and Level 2 BSL. I am starting Level 3 in September 2023.
Miss Apps (training towards Level 6 BSL)
I have been a CSW for Deaf students in secondary schools since 2002. I also work for RAD (Royal Association for Deaf people) as a Services Support Worker within the Deaf adult community.
I have an enormous passion for running, pugs, gardening and DIY. I love nothing more than an industrial power tool and a creative project. I am currently studying BSL Level 6.
Miss Brown (training towards level 3 BSL)
Hi I’m Miss Brown, I have been working in Hazelwick School with the SSC department since February 2006. I have a deaf son, so I have been signing (BSL) for over 28 years and I’m very much into the deaf world and culture…
I’m an outgoing person and very sociable… My interests are meeting up with family and friends going out for dinner, pubs and clubs… I also love cars!!
Miss Petch (training towards level 3 BSL)
I have worked here at Hazelwick as a Communication Support Assistant since 2019. My interest within this field began at University where I gained my degree in Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf studies, this is also where I completed my level 1 and 2 in BSL.
I have a love for the performing arts and studied Theatre for 4 years at the UK’s leading Performing and Creative Arts school, The BRIT School. I’ve been lucky enough to perform in London theatres, appear in British TV dramas, films and deliver theatre workshops in schools. I also love to travel and enjoy nothing more than spending the school holidays exploring different countries.
Mr Mason (Level 3 BSL)
I am an outgoing individual, keen to empower all around me to achieve their potential and am strong believer in diversity.
After successful careers in hospitality, retail, and local government I relocated to the Cambrian Mountains, Wales for ten years to farm. I returned to Sussex in 2021 and I am new to Hazelwick School but have been signing (BSL) in varied settings since 1998. I have broad friendship group within both the hearing and deaf communities. My interests include Travelling, Walking, Cooking and Karate.
Miss Burke (Level 2 BSL)
I have a background in psychology and a special interest in using psychological principles to support deaf children and young people in education.
Outside of work I enjoy dancing, yoga and reading. I am currently completing my Level 2 BSL course and I am due to start Level 3 in December 2023.
Miss Talmage (BSL Level 1)
I currently working at Hazelwick as an LSA and a CSA. I am really enjoying it, I came here as a student myself and decided I wanted to work here as soon as I left.
I'm in the process of studying BSL Level 1, I hope to be able to progress to Level 2 in the future.
My interests include shopping, watching West End musicals and spending time with my family!
What Age Range does your school provide for?
Hazelwick School is a Secondary School with a sixth form catering for students aged 11-19.
How is the provision in your SSC different from a mainstream school?
First and foremost we consider that there are three vital systems which must be in place:
- Making sure that students have access to sound and amplification everyday. We test the students’ equipment every morning before school, and we check the hearing aids are providing the correct gain every ½ term. In addition to that we check that the students’ hearing aids or processors are balanced correctly with the transmitters. We also conduct speech discrimination tests with all SSC and non-SSC students. This gives us an extra layer of confidence that their equipment is providing them with the best gain.
- Ensuring that listening conditions in lessons are as good as they can be. We do regular acoustic checks and work with teachers to ensure that they understand the needs of deaf children. We provide whole school deaf awareness training for all staff in which we focus on providing the best listening conditions, using the transmitters effectively, and having optimal seating arrangements. We provide deaf awareness assemblies for our students which address how to communicate with deaf people and how to be inclusive and understanding. Our aim is for everyone in school to be aware of the needs of deaf people. In addition to that, deaf students will have access to signed help in assemblies, form time and school trips if they need it.
- Language input is another essential aspect of what we do in the SSC. We assess how the students use language because this helps us to provide a tailored program based on the students’ areas of need. We use this information to provide us with helpful targets for improvement for each term.
In lessons students are support by experience Communication Support Assistants who will help them access the learning. They also check that the teacher is wearing the transmitter correctly and that the student is listening effectively. Feedback is often given to staff where deaf awareness could be improved. For those students who need it the Communication Support Assistants will simplify instructions and explanations in class. All classrooms have leads to allow radio aids to be linked to computers when audio-visual materials are used, and we promote the use of subtitles.
The SSC provides in-class support; small group work for literacy, numeracy and social skills; deaf education and culture; individual tuition by our intervention team; information, advice and guidance; student profiles; modified curricula; mentoring, access to a counsellor or an Educational Psychologist if needed and access to technological aids.
Within the SSC we use, a communication method suitable to individual needs. Every student has an individualised timetable in which they receive personalised withdrawal with a Teacher of the Deaf. Where necessary the timetable is adapted to provide additional curriculum support in a withdrawal base from both teachers and Special Support Assistants.
We arrange for signers, readers and additional time in external examinations. We can arrange signed support for extra-curricular activities if these are needs. Students can attend the Games Club at lunchtimes which is held within the Learning Support area.
There is close liaison between SSC staff, Heads of Year and subject teachers. Hazelwick has an on-site counsellor and SSC students have access to this with support if required.
What special resources can you provide for my child?
Hazelwick School has an SSC resource area with an audiology room and one teaching room. It has a large walk-in cupboard for storing equipment. The room has been acoustically treated and conforms to BB93 section 6.
Resources are stored in this room and Microsoft Teams.
What links are there with the Sensory Support Team and other professionals?
Hazelwick SSC has close links with the West Sussex Sensory Support Team, participating in regular meetings, training and liaison regarding induction for new students. In addition to this the Teachers in Charge of the Primary and Secondary SSCs work together to provide induction for Y6 students moving to Hazelwick. Specialist Teachers at Hazelwick SSC attend Y5 and Y6 Annual Reviews to meet with parents, as part of the Transition process.
We have established links with other schools in the area and recently hosted a day for deaf students in the area to come to Hazelwick and work on a joint project. In this way we were able to talk about communication strategies and even make new friends in the deaf community.
Hazelwick SSC also maintains contact with the Speech and Language Therapy Service and the Hospitals that provide Audiology for students in the SSC. Contact can be made with other Professional Services provided by the county such as CAMHS.
Where can my child go when they leave your school?
After Year 11 students can either continue into the Sixth Form, if they have achieved the entry requirements, or move on to a College of Further Education such as Mid Sussex College. Hazelwick SSC has links with Mid Sussex College and visits to the college can be arranged for parents and students.