Sharples School has been the base for the Hearing Impaired Unit for over 30 years. In 2016 the Hearing Impaired Unit became Thomasson Secondary Provision (TSP). This meant that all the pupils became part of Thomasson Memorial School (where many of them had transferred from at age 11) and were no longer classed as Sharples pupils. Originally the HIU provided a base for pupils who integrated into mainstream education for all subjects with the exception of modern foreign languages. Today TSP provides a much greater choice of integration for a wider population of pupils.
Individual levels of deafness vary from mild to profound. Several pupils have cochlear implants. Some pupils have additional physical or learning needs. Each child is assessed and individual learning programmes are planned and regularly reviewed to ensure that every pupil is provided with the best possible level of integration and support within the mainstream school. When children are unable to access the language content of mainstream lessons they are withdrawn in groups and taught in the Base. TSP courses of study, taught by Teachers of the Deaf, include English, Maths, Science, History, Gepgraphy, R.E. and ASDAN. Alternative programmes of study have been introduced for pupils who require more specialised teaching. In addition pupils have Communication Skills lessons each week in which we aim to reinforce mainstream programmes of study, providing language and academic support as required.
All pupils are supported by Teachers of the Deaf or Teaching Assistants/Communication Support Workers when they are in mainstream classes. Support includes signing, clarifying instructions, adapting questions, offering extra explanations and generally helping pupils to access each lesson.
Pupils focus on a normal school day, having morning break and lunchtimes with their hearing peers if they choose. All TSP pupils are members of a form tutor group for assembly and registration.