Heathlands Lower School provides a broad and balanced curriculum for pupils from Nursery to Year 6. Our child centred approach aims to develop children as learners so that every child achieves their potential. Class groups are small with high staff/pupil ratios. Classes are taught by qualified teachers of the deaf assisted by specialist learning support staff in attractive and colourful surroundings.
The communication needs of each child are paramount. All staff have skills in sign language and a Total Communication approach is used combining signing, speech, listening and lipreading. The development of pupils’ language and communication is at the centre of all teaching and learning. Speech and Language therapists work in close collaboration with teachers of the deaf and other staff to ensure that every pupils’ communication needs are addressed and optimised. All classrooms offer optimum acoustic conditions for supporting listening.
The school is set in attractive grounds and is extremely well resourced. Every room is equipped with up to date ICT equipment including interactive white boards, digital visualisers, internet connection, DVD players and other equipment to enable the most effective visual presentation for teaching. Pupils also have access to a well equipped computer suite, laptops and iPads as learning tools.
Inclusion is important to Heathlands and every opportunity is taken to further develop children’s social and communication skills. The nursery at Heathlands offers an inclusive sign and play afternoon every Wednesday when both hearing and deaf preschool children are welcome with their families. Further up the school we have links with several partner schools which provide inclusion and reverse inclusion opportunities for our pupils.
Heathlands aims to promote an attitude of life long learning, respect for diversity and celebration of achievement. Pupils are offered various extra-curricula activities and clubs and the school’s central library helps to encourage pupils to read for pleasure and information.
Children are fully involved in the life of the school and the school council is active and enthusiastic.