Welcome to our Hearing Impaired Unit


Howes Primary School is the base for Coventry’s Hearing Impaired Unit (HIU) for primary age hearing impaired children.  It caters for children with a profound hearing loss whose parents choose a Total Communication approach to their education. Total Communication is a communication policy that involves children using mainly Sign Supported English.  Sign Supported English in the HIU is used as a support to spoken English, not as a substitute.  Development of good listening and lip-reading skills is essential to the success of this approach.  All pupils based in the HIU have weekly access to a deaf adult who uses British Sign Language.

All children in the HIU have Educational Statements or EHC plans based on their own communication and learning needs.  The children are encouraged to develop their language and communication, both spoken English and Sign Supported English, in all aspects of the daily life at school.  The children’s day is split between work in the HIU, generally literacy and numeracy and in their mainstream class.  They are supported in their mainstream class by staff from the HIU.  We try our best to provide the children with exciting hands on opportunities to involve them in their learning and to encourage communication at all times.  The mainstream children and teachers at school are eager to learn signing to communicate with the hearing impaired pupils and the hearing children and teaching staff in Howes Primary School have access to free BSL tuition from a deaf adult sign language tutor.

The HIU is staffed with specialist Teachers of the Deaf, Nursery Nurses and Teaching Assistants, provided by Coventry Sensory and Physical Support Service (SPSS).  The HIU works closely with other agencies to support the children’s needs including Sensory and Physical Support Service, Specialist Speech and Language Therapists, Cochlear Implant Teams and Coventry Audiology Service.  Parents are invited into school for parents evening but also have annual reviews every year to review the child’s Educational Statement/EHC plan.

Children are usually referred to the school through the SPSS.