The pupils within the Total Communication Class follow an adapted Curriculum which is further differentiated to meet the individual needs of learners. The curriculum is both challenging and motivating and has a particular focus on communication and interaction. British Sign Language (BSL) is utilised across all subjects, and throughout the school day, in order to ensure understanding and participation.
All pupils within the class use BSL as their first language, however also use other appropriate communication systems such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), objects of reference, photographs and other graphic/sensory representation. The pictorial IT programme 'Communicate in Print' is fully utilised within the classroom in order to support pre-readers in their understanding.
The class are supported by the Specialist Teaching and Learning Sensory Service. A range of specialist practitioners such as audiologists and Speech and Language Therapists are also linked to the resource provision. Pupils within the class also have additional needs requiring input from specialist services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
All of the pupils and students within the Total Communication Class have an initial assessment with a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. The therapist devises programmes for TCC staff to follow and works 1:1, and in small groups, with students on a weekly basis.
Whilst pupils within the provision benefit from the specialism within the classroom, they are also valued members of the Foreland Fields School community. In order to ensure social inclusion, the TCC pupils are encouraged to form relationships with pupils outside the specialist environment by joining their peers for routine events such as assemblies, mix with their peers at break and lunchtimes and join in with whole school events. The TCC teacher supports pupils at whole school events by utilising BSL signing in order to ensure their inclusion/understanding.
The high staff ratio within the TCC provision ensures that pupils can be supported outside the classroom to integrate within the school community. The pupils within the TCC provision have access to all enrichment and extra-curricular activities including lunchtime clubs and are supported by BSL trained staff in order to ensure their inclusion.
One pupil from the Total Communication Class represents his peers on the School Council.
Pupils within the TCC provision benefit from a range of off-site activities including water therapy and horse riding sessions. Pupils attend weekly riding sessions at the local Riding for the Disabled Centre.
At the same time that Foreland Fields School was developing its provision, the local college, East Kent College (EKC), opened a specialist post 16 department for Deaf and Hearing Impaired students. Foreland Fields School have always had close links with EKC as many students have enrolled onto post 19 courses at the college upon leaving school. The school also provides a link college course for post 16 learners to both plan an appropriate pathway and promote a smooth transition to their post school provision.
We hold regular events with East Kent College in order to ensure the pupils and students within the TCC have increased access to a Deaf community and opportunities to interact with a wider group of Deaf peers.
Students within the TCC provision will have access to independent careers advice from the schools adviser from the Education Business Partnership Kent (EBP Kent). This impartial advisor will work with the pupils, their parents/carers and the school to plan a post school pathway.