Helping Children With Medical And Mental Health Conditions Get The Best Out Of School

Reflections on the School Year

reflecting

As another unpredictable school year comes to an end what can we learn?  Endings allow us to look back. If we take the time to reflect and consider I’m sure we’ll all find examples of courage, resilience, creativity and endeavour. Every person, family, school and community will have a story to tell. This is what we see looking back at one school – Chelsea Community Hospital School. read more

We see a school that has continued to offer a full, creative, challenging, person centred experience to children and young people who are experiencing a medical and or a mental health crisis. The medical conditions and mental health conditions were going to be there without the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. What the pandemic did was make it harder for the school to do its job, namely, carry on teaching students in hospitals, units, centres and children’s homes because they were too unwell to attend their usual schools.

In spite of the challenges thrown up by lockdowns, travel restrictions, PPE, isolation and much, much more the school managed to reach a huge number of children and young people. Microsoft Teams, cycling miles to get to work, donning and doffing PPE, making phone calls, miming at windows, all helped keep the school doing what it does best. That is, connect with children and young people to bring learning to life.

Music workshops with City of London Symphonia and Wigmore Hall, poetry sessions with the Fire Poet Phillip Wells, science lessons of heart and lung dissections, a workshop with Opera Holland Park, a music an art marbling project, writing in hieroglyphics, GCSE assessments, Pride celebrations, Windrush poetry.... the list goes go on.  It’s not surprising the school provides such a varied and inspiring curriculum, it always has done. What is amazing is that it couldn’t be stopped from doing what it always does. The pandemic didn’t stop it happening; it merely changed some of the ways it could happen.

This story of one school is undoubtably echoed in schools across the country who couldn’t be stopped because of the creativity and tenacity of the whole school community, students, families, school staff, hospital staff and governors and all who support us through collaboration and partnership.

Students are at the heart of everything our schools do, it’s the students that inspire and make it possible. The future is still uncertain and the challenges great but by looking back and being inspired by what we achieved we know without a doubt there are more exciting and motivating opportunities around the corner.

The Well at School Team

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