Provision at Nottingham Children’s Hospital School

The Children’s Hospital School supports children and young people from 8 main groups across 10 wards of the Children’s Hospital, each with very discrete needs:

  • Oncology, childhood cancers in all its forms;
  • Neurological conditions including brain injuries both medically and accidentally incurred;
  • Cystic Fibrosis and other respiratory conditions 
  • Gastro conditions e.g. Crohns disease 
  • All types of injuries and surgery both acute and elective (including orthopaedic);
  • A variety of medical conditions including those with unexplained symptoms;
  • Acute episodes of Mental ill Health;
  • Renal conditions, including those receiving regular haemodialysis treatment.

The Children’s Hospital School offers education for children and young people from Early Years Foundation Stage 2 to Post 16. The young people range in their educational needs from those with significant profound special needs to the highest attaining Year 13 students studying for A’ levels.

Teaching takes place at the bedside, in side rooms and in classrooms in the School Area, which also has use of an outside space. Teaching and learning at the Hospital School is highly personalised and takes place mostly on a 1:1 basis. A strong professional relationship with the NHS teams ensures a connected holistic approach. 

At the Hospital School, staff intend to provide the children and young people 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.  

Each pupil receives an individualised, 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. (See curriculum pathways below).  

At the Hospital School, a variety of additional opportunities are provided through the wider curriculum. These opportunities include activities and events delivered by visitors to school, for example: drama, filmmaking, music, theatre, science workshops, storytelling and art. Further curriculum experiences are delivered by school staff, which are tailored to the individual pupil’s circumstances and often provide a vehicle to help engage them with Hospital School as well as re-engage with the wider concept of school and learning. These sessions help to develop pupils’ readiness to learn, examples of this may include working towards achieving an arts award or engaging with special events. These additional curriculum opportunities can support and encourage pupil participation in a wide variety of circumstances. They are often key to initial interactions with pupils whose well-being and motivation is affected by their current situation. Additionally, they support the development of a range of personal skills, attributes and learning behaviours, for example: confidence, self-esteem, resilience, organisational skills, problem solving, creativity and social skills. 


Children’s Hospital School – Curriculum Pathways

Children and young people may move between pathways depending on their needs at any one time.

Readiness to Learn Pathway 

Often an initial curriculum approach for many pupils.

This approach is ideal for those pupils who may not yet be ‘ready’ (physically/emotionally/mentally) to participate in a formal, academic curriculum approach.

Teachers will focus on relationship-building, engagement activities that develop security in learning and the learning environment.  Learning may be planned around pupils preferred subjects, areas of interest or in developing life skills. 

Home School Liaison Pathway

This pathway particularly suits pupils who are ready to participate in a more formal curriculum, involving age/stage appropriate learning and who are likely to transition quickly or regularly between their own school and Hospital School. Hospital School staff will establish positive and effective liaison links with the pupil’s own school.

Teachers will focus on learning activities based upon the curriculum of the pupil’s own school and the teaching will be personalised to the needs of the individual.

Alternative Individualised Pathway

For some pupils, neither of the above pathways is appropriate. They may not be ‘ready’ to participate in age/stage appropriate learning as they may, for example, have been out of education for some time or are likely to be with HHELC for an extended period and their own school curriculum may not be appropriate to their current emotional or educational needs.

Teachers will focus on planning an individualised approach using, for example: an area of interest or themes based on a text, as a vehicle for cross curricular engagement and learning.