Shaftesbury Abbey Primary School, Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury Abbey Primary School, Shaftesbury

The challenge: Support hard of hearing visitors and students within the school with a system that allow them to fully engage in all activities.
The solution: A soundfield system, induction loop and additional microphones.
The benefits: All children and visitors, particularly hard of hearing children, can now be fully involved in group activities.

Improving disabled access can help educational premises to be more effective and competitive. Shaftesbury Abbey Primary School, situated in the beautiful town of Shaftesbury, Dorset, were due to have three children with double cochlear implants. With the increase in children from one to three in need of support with their hearing, it was suggested that the school consider taking appropriate action to enable all three children to participate equally.

“The hearing system has made such an outstanding difference to teachers and children alike.”

Elizabeth Gower of Dorset Hearing Support Services suggested that the school consider installing a hearing loop to enable the children to hear the speaker without the need of a receiver.

Head Teacher Michael Salisbury contacted Gordon Morris Ltd, and met with Mark Birch, Operations Manager, to review the buildings and understand the requirements.

Improved access

The school has a number of buildings, the oldest dating back to the 1800s. The suggested solutions included a soundfield system for teaching, with extra radio microphones for the larger PA system and a loop system covering the whole room.

With assemblies in a large hall, everyone is able to benefit from the new system.

‘The hearing-impaired children were fully engaged and able to hear the speaker, join in confidently with the singing and be part of the assembly’

There are benefits for the children who are not hearing impaired too. Those that sat at the back of the hall were able to hear via the PA system and soundfield.

The microphones, in particular, those worn around the neck, have been of great benefit to the teachers. Mr Salisbury explained that in assemblies the teachers were able to speak to all the children through the microphone rather than having to raise their voice. The children at the back of the hall could hear, enabling much better diction.

Mr Salisbury went on to say that when he trialled the mic with a child who has cochlear implants, he could see the joy on her face when Mr Salisbury asked her if she could hear him.

“We are delighted with the difference it has made to the school.”

Recommended service

Gordon Morris Ltd engineers offer the full package. From surveying the premises, advising what equipment is required to installing and maintaining the system, Gordon Morris Ltd does it all. Gordon Morris Ltd was recommended to Mr Salisbury by David Preston, the school governor. David works with St John’s Church in Shaftesbury, where Gordon  Morris Ltd installed a loop and PA system.

Mr Salisbury said that he was made aware of funding options via the Salisbury school Diocese, which, ‘other schools may not be aware of. It helped greatly.’ Mr Salisbury commented that, ‘when my neck microphone ran out of charge, I continued to teach, realising this is how we taught before the system was in place. The hearing system has made such an outstanding difference to all; teachers and children alike.’

When asked if he would recommend the system to other schools, Mr Salisbury said, ‘without hesitation. We are delighted with the difference it has made to the school.’

To find out more about what Shaftesbury Abbey Primary School can offer visit: www.abbeyschool.org.uk

Gordon Morris Ltd would like to thank Mr Salisbury for his kind cooperation with this article and wishes everyone at Shaftesbury Abbey Primary School the very best for the future.