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Hearing Support Department for Deaf Learners

Included – involved – inspired

What is the Hearing Support Department?

The Hearing Support Department is the Lambeth secondary provision for students with a hearing loss and accompanying communication and learning needs who will benefit from specialist Teacher of the Deaf and Teaching Assistant (TA) support throughout the school day. The department is located within The Elmgreen School, a state of the art, new-build comprehensive so enabling a high degree of inclusive education and involvement in social experiences.

“The Elmgreen School is inclusive of deaf children and supports both in and out of the classroom which works very well for my daughter.”

Since every deaf or hard of hearing student presents a unique profile of language, personal and learning needs, the guiding principle for delivering inclusive learning is one of ‘meeting individual needs.’ The communication policy of Total Communication naturally follows on from this.

As part of the School’s planned pastoral support, all members of the HSD are included in Besant College so providing a high degree of personal care and involvement in Tutor Group activities.

The college works in close collaboration with the HSD to ensure that pastoral care is focused towards full inclusion.

“Besant College is very proud to be the college which welcomes all of our hearing impaired students.”
DHOC, Besant College


How are HSD students involved in school life?

• Participation in the National Curriculum
• A daily Personalised Learning Session for core subjects
• Enrichment and After School Clubs such as Dance, Cookery or Sports
• Educational visits – some residential
• Being part of their own Annual Review process together with setting and reviewing of own IEP targets
• After school study support sessions for individual learning and homework
• Link activities with the Lambeth Primary School Hearing Impaired provision at Jubilee Primary School
I like being with hearing students at The Elmgreen School because it is always enjoyable and fun!


“I liked our trip with the deaf students from Jubilee School because I enjoyed meeting the other student.”

“I have enjoyed my days away during World Week. My favourite was learning how to sail!”

“I enjoy learning and teaching sign to the students in the school because I am happy being deaf and proud of my signing.”


How does Total Communication promote student inclusion and involvement?

‘Total Communication’ is an approach which uses one or any combination of the following to ensure maximum inclusion in school life while at the same time promoting individual language development.
• Oral/Aural English exploiting residual hearing through effective use of post aural hearing aids and/or cochlear implants
• Technological support for the above in classroom settings using Phonak Dynamic FM systems, including DynaMic for collaborative learning and language interactions with hearing peers
• Sign Supported English to support audition and lip reading
• Signed English for specific aspects of English grammar
• British Sign Language – a language in its own right; can’t be used simultaneously with English
• Writing – including note-taking in lessons and content of lesson presented as text
• Awareness of Deaf people’s communication needs
• Awareness of hearing people’s communication needs
• Visual support including ICT


What does inclusive learning look like in school?

The specialist role of the Department is concerned with
• facilitating access to a broad and balanced curriculum through support by trained staff ‘at elbow’ in mainstream classes and appropriately differentiated and presented learning tasks
• setting up customised learning plans alongside Individual Education Plans focusing on individual needs such as language development, literacy and numeracy skills as well as what the Deaf student needs to learn over and above the National Curriculum
• providing small group or 1:1 work for pre-tutoring or reinforcement to support learning in the curriculum and/or personal and social skills work from a specifically Deaf perspective
• facilitating learning and social experiences alongside hearing peers, including access to a range of extra-curricular activities with TA support as necessary, to support acquisition of spoken language at peer level


“The work isn’t too hard, sometimes it’s even fun!”


What sort of links does the HSD have with other support services for Deaf students?

HSD staff welcome and value links with any external agencies which further the well-being and education of the students in its care. As a ‘first-stop’ shop for hearing aid care and maintenance before referral to hearing aid clinics we have our own fully equipped audiology room on site. This houses a Fonix hearing aid analyser for termly testing of students’ post aural aids.

Multi-agency liaison to ensure maximum impact on student progress is often with
• Cochlear Implant Teachers of the Deaf from hospital departments
• local audiology clinics
• Advanced Bionics cochlear implant services
• Educational Psychologist
• Speech and Language Therapist
• Occupational Therapist
• Lambeth Primary HIU based at Jubilee Primary School
• Deaf organisations and societies: NDCS, RNID, Deafax
• BSL instructors and interpreters
• Deaf poets and performers
• Technology suppliers: Connevans, Phonak



The overall aim of HSD staff is the promotion of a positive ‘Can do’ Deaf-ability ethos which perfectly complements ‘The Elmgreen Way’ philosophy. A key emphasis of our work is to encourage the development of young adults who are comfortable with their deafness or hearing impairment, who are confident in their communications with hearing and other Deaf people, who know how to be involved in both Deaf and hearing worlds, and who have established good habits of study and taken significant steps along the road of lifelong learning.

Contact: Mr D Posgon, Head of the Hearing Support Department 
The Elmgreen School, Elmcourt Road, London, SE27 9BZ
Tel. 020 8766 5020 | Email:

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