TAs in Special Schools – Supporting Language Development

The role three teaching assistants play at a school for the deaf At Mary Hare School for the Deaf in Berkshire, teaching assistants are playing a leading role in delivering language strategies and CPD across the year groups. This film highlights the contribution of three of the school’s TAs.

For many deaf children, literacy is a big barrier to accessing a full curriculum. In response, the school has introduced Language Enrichment Groups (LEGS) to provide focused support for pupils identified with a severe language delay. Liesl Britten is the LEGS TA for Year 10. As part of her role in the classroom, Liesl models new learning techniques for pupils and for the teacher.

Lesley White specialises in dyslexia, and works closely with head of geography Robin Askew, helping modify language and resources for the range of abilities in his Year 9 group.

Ex-pupil Sophie Gilmour works with pupils with an additional language delay in Year 8. Being profoundly deaf herself, she is able to empathise with the pupils and is an invaluable role model.

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