The Rowan Hearing Support Centre at Southfields Academy is managed and resourced through Wandsworth Sensory Support Service. This means that the Centre has access to a wide range of resources, specialist staff and facilities. The Centre is a very well established part of the Academy having been set up in the 1960s to enable young deaf people to enjoy the best of both worlds – learning in a mainstream school with outstanding resources and opportunities combined with outstanding specialist support.
The Rowan welcomes visits to the Centre so that we can listen to your needs and explore together how we can best support you and your child.
Deaf children and young people have very specific needs at the secondary stage of their education. They need an achievement focused learning experience to enable them to prepare for adulthood. At the Rowan we base our support on an in depth understanding of each student’s strengths, needs and aspirations. We use this to devise a personalised and well-resourced programme.
Children supported by the Centre take part in a vibrant after-school programme which has included:
• Manga comic drawing
• Rock climbing
• An introduction to driving
• Activity holidays
For families there is a Parent Education Programme and a wide range of information and support services through the Centre and its link to the Sensory Support Service.
We are confident that, as a most highly regarded and well-established provision with outstanding teaching, accommodation and resources, we can provide each student who comes to us with a launch-pad to lifelong success and self-confidence.
Facilities and Resources
The resources at the Rowan are outstanding. There is a strong emphasis on the use of technology to support learning, develop skills and support communication and independence. Information technology is state of the art and includes touch screen computers, iPads, video cameras and interactive touch screen boards in teaching rooms. Audiological equipment is also the most up-to-date with personal FM systems (and wireless microphones) available for all and maintained to an optimum level.
The Wandsworth Hearing Support Service also provides the habilitation for children on the St George’s Cochlear Implant Programme and therefore, teachers in the Centre have access to a high level of training expertise and resources with regard to students with cochlear implants.
How we work
We start with an in depth understanding of where each child is at, not only in terms of their learning but also their views of themselves and their relation to others. We work closely with families to gain a better understanding of their child.
Every student has a personalised learning programme which is developed, delivered and evaluated by the Centre staff. Students and parents are fully involved in this process.
The level of specialist support is very high. We support students in mainstream lessons as well as pre and post tutoring of curriculum topics. We also provide individual and small group teaching in our state of the art Centre.
We carry out regular hearing aid and cochlear implant checks to ensure students’ equipment is working to optimum levels. There is also weekly speech and language therapy to develop language and communication skills. Homework support is provided on a daily basis in the Centre by teachers of the deaf.
We expect high standards of behaviour. As deaf students reach adolescence, they need sensitive and skilled support to promote their social and emotional development. We take a pro-active approach to this in the Centre and deliver programmes to promote social and emotional well-being and keep deaf children safe.
Our expectations are high. We support students to develop as confident, socially competent individuals, able to navigate the world of further and higher education and world of work. Students take a range of courses leading to qualifications such GCSEs, BTECs and A levels. Students may also have needs in addition to their deafness requiring sensitive and highly skilled specialist support. The Academy has other specialist provision on site (The Achievement Studio) which caters for students with speech, language and communication difficulties and/or autistic spectrum disorders. Deaf students can access this additional resource if necessary and staff from the two provisions work closely together to ensure specific needs are met.
Students make outstanding progress between their starting points on entry to the Centre and on leaving. Students graduate as confident and articulate communicators able to express their needs and views with a range of examination successes behind them. Students have gone on to a range of destinations, higher education, further education and apprenticeships. Examples of recent courses studied include:
• Airline and Airport Management
• Business and Computing Systems
• Interactive Media and Law
A student has also achieved “The Wandsworth Young Person of the Year” award for Outstanding Achievement.