Although learning programmes are personalised, general details about the Education of Sick Children curriculum are outlined below:
- All teaching takes place during school hours and term times
- On the ward, there is a part time teacher who provides support on the wards or in the schoolroom itself (which is also used as the dining room)
- Home teaching is provided by a small team of supply teachers
- Teaching in the hospital will be organised by the ward teacher according to the needs of the child and the demands on the service. Students work individually and, when possible, in small groups in the hospital school room. They are expected to continue the work being undertaken at their home schools and to explore their own interest. They are also encouraged to work independently at their own level and pace. Help is given when appropriate.
- In the home, teaching will be provided on a sessional basis, usually lasting one to one and a half hours depending upon the needs of the pupil, equating to 5 hours each week.
- Specialist support may be possible for the individual through the team of supply staff, especially at GCSE level.The Home and Hospital Teaching Service liaise with the mainstream schools when the child is admitted to the service. They are asked to provide work appropriate to the needs of the individual child based on a broad and balanced curriculum. Resources are also requested at this time.
The Educational Key Worker initially telephones the child’s school after referral to arrange for work to be set, collected and returned to school. An official letter later confirms the support required. As far as possible, the parents/carers will be involved in the liaison with the school as well as the home tutor.
Emphasis is given to the core curriculum, but other subjects are included as far as possible at every key stage. Home and school are encouraged to liaise as closely as possible to ease the transition period when the sick child returns to school. Students are encouraged through the continued use of the reward system used by their school, e.g. merits.
Preparation for SATs and GCSEs are vitally important as the child’s illness can be adversely affected by anxiety over examinations as well as reintegration. Arrangements can be made in anticipation of the need for the child to take exams at home or in hospital if necessary. Liaison with schools to put Special Consideration arrangements in place is essential.