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Highlands School

Highlands School

Deaf base

Deaf Base at Highlands School 

Highlands School is proud to have an Additional Resource Provision (ARP) for Deaf learners. We refer to this as our deaf base. This provides a specialist environment to enable deaf students to develop their language, learning and life skills. Our deaf base welcomes young people from across the borough who have severe or profound deafness along with difficulties with speech and language and/or complex needs and are supported by an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

We currently have 11 students accessing the base. 


The aim of our deaf base is  to understand each student’s needs and support them to close learning gaps, and achieve or exceed their potential.  We offer a total communication approach where BSL and spoken language are equally valued and encouraged. We believe this helps all students to develop their communication skills and progress in their learning. We provide students with the specialist support they need to grow into independent, confident Deaf young people able to interact and thrive.

We have a dedicated team of staff working and supporting the deaf base.

  • Michele Phillips: Deputy Headteacher- behaviour, pastoral and SEN. 

  • Vicky Tsoni: Assistant Headteacher/SENCO.

  • Jaana Jutila: Teacher of the Deaf (in training)

  • Racher Butcher: Communication Support Worker.

  • Francesca Osci: Communication Support Worker.

  • Elena Zaharie: Communication Support Worker.

  • Yasmin Ukwunna: Communication Support Worker (part-time).

  • Martina Pia: Learning Support Assistant.

Deaf Base Provision Offer

  • Deaf studies.

  • Daily audiology checks and maintenance of hearing technology (hearings aids and cochlear implants) and termly support visits from an audiologist.

  • SEND Homework club.

  • Speech and Language Therapy.

  • Colourful Semantics/Communication (Literacy Intervention).

  • Key worker programme.

  • Daily support in the mainstream classroom by CSWs for our BSL users (Where BSL preferred form of communication).

  • Bespoke curriculum  arrangements are put in place where needed.

  • Access to specialist audiological equipment and an acoustically friendly learning environment.

  • Access to a multi-agency support framework including: educational psychologist, audiology advisory staff, CAMHS and support from advisory teachers.

  • Strong home-school links between parents and ARP staff.

  • Deaf Awareness training for staff and students across the school.

  • BSL After School Club.

  • Sign of the week video (school social media & assembly).

  • Radio aid videos on how to use class equipment for staff.