What the role of the teaching assistant is, and what specific support they can give a pupil with hearing loss.

What the role of the teaching assistant (TA) is

The role of the teaching assistant (TA) when supporting a pupil with hearing loss is to:

  • understand the young person’s hearing loss and the impact on their education
  • support the young person to self-advocate
  • know how equipment works and perform daily checks
  • help the young person to become an independent learner:
  • get to know the young person and what they need to succeed
  • understand where to target support
  • learn to anticipate potential barriers in order to plan and provide support
  • help the pupil take part in the social and academic life of the setting
  • promote and develop inclusion and positivity within the setting

Specific support the TA can give

Equipment checks

The TA should:

  • carry out daily equipment checks or hearing devices or radio aids, and
  • troubleshooting any problems
  • know who to call if the problem is not solved, for example the parent, Teacher of the Deaf (ToD), or Audiology
  • encourage and support the pupil to become independent in care and maintenance, in relation to targets set by the ToD
  • make sure there are systems in place so that other staff can carry out daily checks if the TA isn’t at school

School progress

The TA should:

  • have a clear understanding of the current attainment and next steps for the pupil in terms of expected progress
  • support the pupil to achieve this independently by considering if there are specific skills that need to be taught, for example
  • listening and attention skills, to remain focused on a task and filter out distractions in the environment
  • cognitive flexibility and organisational skills, building the capacity to switch gears and adjust to changing demands, priorities or perspectives
  • developing the pupil’s auditory memory, the ability to listen, hold information in mind and use it

Academic and social skills

The TA should:

  • organise pre and post teaching sessions so the pupil is familiar with vocabulary and important concepts before a lesson, allowing them to follow the teaching and helping them to understand and complete independent tasks
  • be ‘word aware’ and mediate the lesson content appropriately for the pupil by simplifying complex language so that they can access the lesson, for example in Chemistry explaining that H20 is the scientific word for water
  • organise small group work spanning both academic and social skills, so if a pupil is withdrawn on a regular basis they’re still included within a group of their peers
  • monitor and evaluate if they need to step back and give the young person space, seeing if they could succeed independently or with peer support

We want every young person to become an independent learner with a thriving social life. The school have a teacher of the deaf to support and work with the TA, who should ask for advice if they have questions.

We reflect on practice and work together to implement any recommendations that we advise in our visit notes and training.

Contact us
Sensory Support Service
Elmfield House
Greystoke Avenue
Westbury-on-Trym
BS10 6AY

Phone: 0117 903 8442
Text: 07810 506 669
Email: sensorysupportservice@bristol.gov.uk