Hearing Impaired Resource - Westwood Farm Infant and Junior Schools

Last updated: 17/08/2022

The Hearing Resource Base (HRB) at Westwood Farm Infant and Junior Schools is a resource provision for hearing impaired or deaf children run in partnership with West Berkshire Council. It is an integral part of the main schools. Ten places are available across both schools. The resource caters for pupils in Berkshire who have an Education, Health and Care Plan with a primary need relating to hearing impairment and who need the intensive specialist support available in a resource provision.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Maggie Dutton
Contact Position
Teacher in Charge of the HRB
0118 9425182 (juniors)
0118 9426113 (infants)
Westwood Farm Schools
Related Service
Westwood Farm Schools Nursery
Westwood Farm Junior School
Westwood Farm Infant School

Where to go

Westwood Farm Infant & Junior School
Fullbrook Crescent
RG31 6RY

Other Details


Age Ranges
Other notes

Staff qualifications and experience

All current Teachers of the Deaf are fully qualified or are completing their Teacher of the Deaf training. The vast majority of teaching assistants have the Level 3 BTEC Sensory Impairment qualification. Any teaching assistant who does not already have the qualification is expected to attain it within 2 years. Staff are experienced in managing hearing aids, cochlear implants, BAHAs, radio aids and soundfield systems. They have experience of working with pupils with additional needs including sensory integration needs and auditory processing disorders and auditory neuropathy. Staff also have experience of working with pupils with OT programmes.

Local Offer


Most children in the Hearing Impaired Resource are severely or profoundly deaf. Children have hearing aids, cochlear implants or BAHAs, along with radio aids, to support their use of residual hearing and to maximise their access to spoken language.

Most children with hearing impairment have the potential to acquire a high level of competency in spoken and written language through appropriate amplification and opportunities to develop spoken language through stimulating interaction with parents and others, facilitated in recent years by early identification of hearing loss. On this basis, Westwood Farm is primarily an oral/aural provision and the base follows a natural aural approach to communication.  

The natural aural approach is not a uni-sensory approach insisting on a sound only environment. Facial expression, body language and gestures are a normal part of human communication and play an important role in helping children to attach meaning to what they hear by giving importance to utterances and in conveying emotions. They are an essential part of a listener’s experience and add richness to communication. The children may use gesture themselves whilst communicating and this is not discouraged. We encourage all our pupils to sit in a position in class where they have the opportunity to see the speakers face and lip-read the speaker. While lip-reading is a helpful aid to communication it is not a medium for learning on its own as its ambiguities are too great.

Although primarily an oral/aural provision, Westwood Farm recognises that a flexible approach to communication is required to meet the individual needs of some children.

Children in the resource follow the same core curriculum as their mainstream peers, scaffolded and differentiated where appropriate so that they can access it. The Teachers of the Deaf, specialist teaching assistants and mainstream teachers work closely together. Children are withdrawn to the resource base for speech and language therapy sessions, and for extra support with reading, spelling, language work, maths, pre- or post-teaching, or other learning that requires 1:1 or small group work. The amount of time each child spends working in the base varies according to their needs. It is recognised that children’s needs change as they develop so each child’s timetable is regularly reviewed.

The Infant resource base has a large teaching space with a further smaller teaching room and a sensory room. The Junior base has audiology and office areas and four rooms for individual or small group work. All teaching rooms in the resource base and mainstream classes have carpets and acoustically tiled ceilings which lessen reverberation and make for a better listening environment. The classrooms and school halls also have sound field systems which connect to pupils’ radio aids.

Staffing ratios are two Teachers of the Deaf and 4 specialist teaching assistants for ten children. The exact level of support individual children receive is determined by their needs.  Additional staffing is arranged to meet more complex needs with agreement from the LA.

The number of pupils can exceed ten with the agreement of the school and West Berkshire Education Authority. Any extra child brings additional funding enabling additional staffing and other resources to be provided

All current Teachers of the Deaf are fully qualified or are completing their Teacher of the Deaf training. The vast majority of teaching assistants have the Level 3 BTEC Sensory Impairment qualification. Any teaching assistant who does not already have the qualification is expected to attain it within 2 years.

Staff are experienced in managing hearing aids, cochlear implants, BAHAs, radio aids and soundfield systems. They have experience of working with pupils with a range of additional needs including sensory integration needs, auditory processing disorders and auditory neuropathy. Staff also have experience of working with pupils with OT programmes.

Contact Name
Maggie Dutton
Contact Telephone
0118 9425182
Contact Email
SEN Provision Type
Hearing Impairment
Local Offer Age Bands
5 to 7
7 to 11
Needs Level

General Provider

Is your service accessible? (consider in general terms how you make your service accessible, in addition to any specific premises issues)

Both schools have disabled toilet facilities and ramp/lift access so all areas of the school can be accessed.

What are the eligibility criteria for your service? (please include any age restrictions, types of need catered for etc)

To be considered for a place in the provision a child needs to: Meet the LA’s statutory assessment criteria for an Education, Health and Care Plan with a primary need of hearing impairment Have a significant, permanent, bilateral hearing impairment which has a significant impact on learning and development Have severely delayed language as a result of hearing impairment Have a hearing impairment and associated difficulties which affect access to the curriculum and require specialist teaching or support Have a hearing impairment which has a significant impact on social and emotional development Have a level of ability within the range expected in a mainstream school Demonstrate the ability to function within a mainstream educational setting with appropriate differentiation Require intensive, specialist teaching and support to achieve the outcomes identified within their EHC Plan, including: A highly personalised programme to support needs associated with a hearing impairment within a flexible approach adapted to the needs of individual pupils

How are referrals/applications made to your service? (include details of who can refer/apply and referral and application process)

Decisions about placements are made by West Berkshire SEN/EHC panel in accordance with the agreed criteria for admission to the provision. Having considered professional advice and parental preference, if the Panel decides that a resource placement would be appropriate, papers relating to the pupil will be sent to the Head teacher for consideration. In the great majority of cases, pupils will be put forward for placement on completion of a statutory assessment leading to an Education, Health and Care Plan, or following the Annual Review of a pupil who already has an Education, Health and Care Plan. Parents seeking a place for their child should discuss this with the West Berkshire SEN Manger (Nicola Ponton) and/or their SCS Teacher of the Deaf in the first instance. If another local authority wishes to seek a place in the provision for a child they should contact the West Berkshire SEN Manager.

Who provides / funds your service?
Local Authority
Are children, young people, parents / carers charged for your service?
Inspection outcomes/quality awards

Infants: OFSTED 2011 Outstanding “Pupils who attend the hearing impaired resource (HIR) base make excellent progress because the provision is outstanding. It is tailored closely to meeting their individual needs whether they are being taught alongside their classmates in the mainstream classrooms or in the resource base.” “The progress of pupils with statements of special educational needs is particularly impressive. These pupils have very positive attitudes to school and learning. As one parent or carer of a pupil in the HIR said, 'My son has a hearing impairment and he has been given excellent support and he loves coming to school.”

Juniors: OFSTED 2022: Good "Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get the support they need. This enables them to access the same curriculum as their peers. The leader of the specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND (specially resourced provision) makes sure that its pupils are included in all aspects of school life. Additional training for staff enables these pupils to access learning successfully. As a result, these pupils achieve as well as others in the school."

Juniors: OFSTED 2017: Good "The leader of the hearing resource base (HRB) makes sure its pupils get the support needed to learn well in mainstream lessons. Training for all staff has helped ensure that these pupils can access learning successfully and make good progress. Back at the base, pupils benefit from more individualised specialist teaching which helps them prepare for and consolidate their learning in class. Regular speech and language therapy supports appropriate development of pupils’ communication skills. Other suitable support, such as for emotional development, is provided as needed."

Feedback and complaints procedure

Any complaints should be directed initially to the Teacher in Charge of the Resource, or to the Head Teacher at the school. If issues remain unresolved they can be referred to the Service Manager for SEN and Disabled Children’s Team: SEN and DCT Service Manager West Street House West Street Newbury RG14 1BZ 01635 503646 jane.seymour@westberks.gov.uk

How will I know my child will be safe using this service?

Safer recruitment procedures are followed during staff appointments. All staff and volunteers undergo DBS checks. Staff receive regular safeguarding training. The school has a child protection and safeguarding policy which is available on the school website.

Quality checks

  • Not applicable

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