Provision at Lookout Education Centre

The Lookout Education Centre at Hopewood provides education for the young people who are inpatients of The Lookout Adolescent Unit. 

The 32 bed inpatient facility caters for young people aged 12 – 18 years old. These young people are experiencing mental health difficulties that can no longer be managed in the community. This may include eating disorders or difficulties, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The unit has three wards:

  • Pegasus Ward, a 12 bed specialist eating disorder service
  • Phoenix Ward, a 12 bed general adolescent unit
  • Hercules Ward, an 8 bed Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for children and young people needing more intense support.

We endeavour to cover all subjects that the young people are studying at their home school using specialist teachers to liaise closely with their mainstream teachers to create a bespoke personalised education package. All groups on site have a personalised curriculum, differentiated to their needs which covers the core subjects of English, maths and science and an enrichment programme at Key Stages 3 and 4, and Post 16.

The young people at The Lookout face a range of medical conditions and mental health challenges and the amount of time they are inpatients can vary from a few days, to weeks to months. As a consequence, the needs of pupils who are missing education due to medical conditions and hospital therapies vary. The Lookout education staff recognise this and consider each pupil’s curriculum pathway on a case by case basis. They consider not only their current educational needs, but also their medical condition, as well as procedures and treatments they are undergoing, which may have a cognitive, physical and emotional impact on the pupil’s readiness to learn.

At The Lookout we intend to provide our pupils with a rich and varied curriculum which enables them to develop and maintain a love of and success in their learning whilst preparing them to transition as seamlessly as possible into their next educational setting or challenge.  This is achieved through a bespoke, personalised curriculum maintaining continuity, where appropriate, with the home school curriculum missed due to health circumstances.  Knowledge of pupils is gained through formative assessment (summative if appropriate), observation, conversations with family, liaison with home school / involved professionals and sharing of key information and prior assessments.  

Each pupil receives a well-planned and considered curriculum, which whilst taking full account of their medical, social, emotional and academic learning needs, focuses on overcoming their individual barriers in order for them to progress to their current potential.  Teachers and teaching assistants liaise closely with the Home School of each pupil and then skilfully personalise and adapt the planning sent, to ensure accurate pitch and challenge. Through liaison with Home Schools, priority subjects/themes are selected, as most pupils at The Lookout receive a reduced timetable, up to two hours of school each day as appropriate to their age, stage and current circumstances. If it is in the best interest of pupils, there are circumstances when they may follow a curriculum pathway which moves away from their Home School curriculum.

Reading is a key component of The Lookout provision with cross curricular reading skills taught and embedded throughout all subjects as well as promoting a love of reading in a number of ways. Read for Good is a charity which provides free books for children in hospital and our young people are also invited to take advantage of Listening Books’ audio library of content in our library. Other reading activities include reading for pleasure, researching, reading around an area of personal interest as well as reading across the curriculum.

At The Lookout a variety of additional opportunities are provided through the wider curriculum. These opportunities include activities and events delivered by visitors to school; examples include drama, filmmaking, music, ballet performances, theatre, storytelling and art. Further curriculum experiences are delivered by education staff, which are tailored to the individual pupil’s circumstances. These sessions help to develop their security in learning and readiness to learn, examples of this may include working towards achieving an arts award and engaging with special events and days. We believe that these additional curriculum opportunities can support and encourage pupil participation in a wide variety of circumstances. They are often key to initial engagement with pupils whose well-being and motivation is affected by their current situation. Additionally, they develop a range of personal skills, attributes and learning behaviours, for example, confidence, self-esteem, resilience, organisational skills, problem solving, creativity and social skills. 

E- Safety and SRE are taught on a personalised basis as requested by the Home School or if deemed appropriate in relation to individual need or circumstance, as assessed formatively by The Lookout staff. E-safety is discussed with every pupil before they use a computer/online technology in the Education Base. With regards to PSHE, Futures, SMSC and British Values, teaching staff will teach these discretely as requested by the Home School, as part of curriculum subjects or in relation to wider curriculum opportunities, events or celebrations. PSHE, SMSC and British Values are also addressed in a more holistic approach across the curriculum: through discussion, sharing opinions, debate and developing personal learning behaviours and attributes.

The site is also an examining centre for Functional Skills and offer AIM Awards in addition to, or to supplement public examinations.