Education is offered to all school age students on the Ifor Ward at the Whittington Hospital. Children are taught in our specially equipped classroom, on the ward or in cubicles.
Our intent in the hospital classroom is to provide all students with access to a relevant, fun and engaging curriculum. We do this through a themed based approach for KS1-3 students, which provides consistency and continuity with learning in mainstream schools. Our themes are matched to student needs and key objectives from the National Curriculum. This allows for students to progress with their education while absent from school.
Dialogue with students at KS4 enable us to provide a personalised programme of support. Learning is focused on students’ individual course at school or college. We are able to provide resources, past papers and access to ICT that helps facilitate learning for GCSEs and other courses students are studying.
Curriculum offered in the hospital
Given that students are in hospital for a number of reasons that impact on their wellbeing our staff work flexibly with them, providing an individualised programme of support. We aim to focus on the requirements of the national curriculum but at times this may not be appropriate. Our staff are experienced and sensitive to the needs of children in the hospital, working closely with nurses, doctors and consultants.
When children feel well enough to engage with learning they are asked to fill out an ‘All About Me’ questionnaire. From this teachers are able to gather information about what the child has been learning at school, what are their favourite subjects and if there is anything specific they would like to work on during their stay at the hospital.
Key Stage 1 – 3
Having worked with primary colleagues we have developed a topic based curriculum for children aged 5-14. We are confident that this offers something exciting and engaging for all and referencing this to the child’s ‘All About Me’ profile we can identify topics that they will enjoy working on.
We have six main themes which link in to what children will be learning in school. The themed units are Humans, London, Relationships, Space, Sport and the Environment. These units incorporate work on English, science and humanities and cover objectives from the national curriculum. We also celebrate and recognise important events during the year such as Black History Month, Remembrance Day, Chinese New Year, and International Women’s Day.
Where possible the learning and teaching of maths is integrated into the themed units but the emphasis is on developing content and skills required in the national curriculum.
Key Stage 4
At this age the vast majority of students are studying for their GCSEs and may have anxiety about missing school. They are confident in identifying what they would like to work on and our staff are able to facilitate this. Our classroom is resourced with text books, revision guides, computers, calculators, iPad, and scientific resources to enable students to access work.
The curriculum is also enhanced by outreach visits to the ward e.g. Children’s Museum, Zoolab, Magicians
Sometimes children on the ward are unable to visit the classroom so we offer them the opportunity to learn at the bedside. Sometimes this will be teachers working with them or the school providing age related learning trays where they can select work relevant to their key stage. The school also has iPad which can be given to children working from their bed. On the iPad we have educational games and access to the internet so students can continue with their studies.
Links with children’s mainstream school
If children have a planned stay on the ward for 3 days or more we make contact with their school. We do not discuss reasons for children being at the hospital but, in most cases, speak to their Head of Year about any particular school work that we can support the child with.