Heathlands pupils follow a speech an Language Therapy programme called “Live English” which is jointly delivered by the speech and language therapy team and Heathlands teaching staff. This work supports and links successfully with areas of the PSHE curriculum followed by our pupils. The focus of this innovative and exciting approach is on communication for every day situations including interactions with non- signers. Students are assessed to see how they communicate in a particular situation and then taken through, step by step, the specific skills they need to succeed. The pupils are encouraged to assess their own communication through the use of video and they learn to take responsibility for themselves. At the end of many of the courses they have the opportunity to demonstrate their new skills and confidence in a real life situation.
Currently the pupils follow modules on:
- Understanding Deafness
- Developing Skills for Group Work
- Communicating in Cafés and Restaurants
- Supermarket Skills: Finding your way around
- Communication for Independent Travel
- Communicating at Work Experience
- Communicating at College Interviews
The Live English courses currently offered are now accredited by the AQA Unit Award Scheme thus we are able to reward the pupils’ achievements in a way which colleges and employers recognise. In the academic year 2008/09, which was the first year when all students followed a course, a success rate just short of 90% was achieved.
Experience shows that “Live English” is an effective way of providing deaf young people with the functional communication skills and confidence they need to interact with English speakers.