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Supporting Children with Medical
and Mental Health Needs at School

 

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What is next for SEND policy and practice?

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Many politicians have a fondness for looking back, hoping to find solutions for today’s problems in actions of the past. With a focus on grammar and ‘knowledge rich’ curricula, the marginalisation of skills-based learning, and the back-and-forth reintroduction of grammar schools, it is hard at times to see even a spark of a new idea.
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Looking for HOPE

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We live in unsettled times. The events in Europe over the past weeks, along with the pandemic, force us to reflect. It’s easy to take for granted the things we have and the way we live, it’s generally only when life as we know it is interrupted that we think about the small things that make it what it is.
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What unites us, is much greater than what divides us

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We have a long involvement with HOPE (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe) and their president Jan encouraged me to write a post for their upcoming newsletter. I could not disappoint him, but where to start? There is so much happening in the world at the moment and not all of it is good.
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After the Storm

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It is not just the weather that’s been stormy, and although the winds are calming, at least for now and power is being restored, there’s still a lot of clearing up to do. This may describe events post Storm Eunice – but it could be said to describe this phase of the pandemic.
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Emotionally Based School Avoidance

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Back to school - but for some children and young people, it’s not that easy. For some, the New Year signals a fresh start and new challenges. Schools are welcoming students back despite the continuing COVID19 disruption; doing their best to safely teach, support and care for their students. But for other students taking that step back into the classroom will be hugely overwhelming. So much so that despite their very best efforts they simply won’t make it back the first week...or the week after.
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Take time for a rest

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A roller coaster, a carousel, a roundabout... These come to mind as we look at summing up this last term. And if you’ve ever experienced any of these fairground or playground rides you’ll know they can leave you with mixed feelings; exhilaration and excitement together with dizziness and slight nausea. Read more

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One Kind Word: Anti-bullying week

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As we start the week with a nationwide focus on anti-bullying, it is important to remember that children and young people living with chronic health conditions are more likely to be victims of bullying than their peers (1). 
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Mental Health in Schools: What Next?

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A conference last week organised by E-ACT Ideas in partnership with TES, Mental Health in Schools: What Next? brought together a varied range of speakers who are clearly passionate about changing perception and practice around mental health in schools.
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#MentalHealth Day

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There is something odd about identifying a specific day or week to focus on mental health and wellbeing. Surely, something so fundamental to everyone deserves more than a brief moment in the spotlight. However, the increased awareness and openness to talk about mental health may well be partly down to these awareness-raising days.
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Looking ahead, with the sun on our backs

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The sun is shining; the temperature is rising...it must be the start of the new school year. The mixed summer weather of grey skies, middling temperatures and downpours has broken for this first full week back and the weather map shows a big yellow sun. School summer holidays often feel sandwiched between early summer sunshine and trepidation. Nervousness at whether the summer respite will bring relief and refreshment followed by anxiety at what awaits us as we step back into the classroom.
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Reflections on the School Year

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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

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Camp in the Cloud

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Everyone has been affected by this pandemic, there's no question about that. Though it's often easier to think about what we've lost or missed out on, the most remarkable things to come out of this pandemic is the creative and innovative solutions people have come up with. The need to continue to connect and create together has given rise to some exciting projects. One such project is Camp in the Cloud. Find out how Over The Wall are making sure they continue to support children and young people over the summer. read more

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Living with chronic illness

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A chronic illness is wearing. It isn’t going to go away soon. It isn’t something that can be cured after a course of treatment. Chronic illness is long term and affects a person’s physical and mental health. Conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Disease, Crohns or IBD, Diabetes, Asthma and Epilepsy are all chronic health conditions that impact the lives of many school, college and university students.
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Changing faces, changing minds

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The impact of a life changing experience can carry on way beyond the initial hospital stay. This is part of the powerful message conveyed by Tatyana, a staff member at Chelsea Community Hospital School. Read more

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Educating children with medical conditions in the Netherlands.

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HOPE (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe) exists to bring together expertise in the education of children and young people with medical and mental health conditions.  Read more

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Returning to School

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As schools prepare for more students to come through the doors it might be a good time to reflect on what has been almost a year of life with Covid-19. Most of us never imagined many students would spend the year mainly learning at home or those attending school would be learning under restrictions that stifled collaborative learning experiences or the development of friendships.

Though it’s often easier to see what Covid-19 has taken away, its well worth looking at what it has helped to develop.

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What can schools learn?

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A new year, more challenges and a lot of catching up to do. This is what many schools, families, young people and children are thinking as the new school term gets started. But what can schools learn from this situation we are living through?
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Looking back as we move forward

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As the school term and 2020 draw to a close it seems a good time to stop and reflect. Who could have imagined that school would become the kitchen table, the bedroom or a quiet corner somewhere? Instead of playtime and chats on the school bus, friendships would be kept alive through Instagram and TikTok. It’s been a year like no other for everyone. Read more:

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Learning from Home

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Check out our updated Learning at Home resource page.
Although schools and colleges have resumed face-to-face teaching some students will need to self-isolate for periods of time due to Covid 19, while others living with chronic health conditions may be advised by their health teams to continue their learning from home.
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Staff Wellbeing

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Research tells us that a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing works best.
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Teaching at a London Hospital School

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An insight into teaching at a London Hospital School during these most unusual times. Chelsea Community Hospital School (CCHS) now has seven sites spread across the borough of Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the City of Westminster in London, UK.
I am the lead teacher at one of CCHS’s new sites.

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Students describe their experiences

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Students describe their experience of lockdown, returning to school and hopes for the future.
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Back to School

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As many children and young people gradually return to school over the coming weeks there is one thing we can be sure of, they will all have had a unique experience of the recent period of lockdown. This experience will inform how they feel about returning to school and what support they may need to manage the transition back to learning in the classroom.
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A year 10 student returns to school for their one allotted week

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Read an account from a  year 10 student on their experience of returning to school for their one allotted week in the summer term.

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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

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We are delighted to publish a new Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) section, which was written by Catherine Dunbar, Advanced Occupational Therapist at Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust.
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Children and young people's views about returning to school as lockdown is lifted.

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Phoenix Education Consultancy wrote a blog post for us on the findings of their survey exploring children and young people's views on returning to school as lockdown is lifted.
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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We are delighted to publish a new Chronic Fatigue Syndrome section, which was written by Prof. Esther Crawley, Dr Roxanne Parslow, Dr Maria Loades and Amberly Brigden at the Centre for Academic Child Health www.bristol.ac.uk/academic-child-health

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Learning at Home - SEND

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Here are some Resources on Supporting Children and Young People with SEND which we we think can supplement the work many schools are providing. We will be reviewing and adding to this resource list over the coming weeks.

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Learning at Home - All Subjects

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Here are some Resouces Covering a Range of Subjects we think can supplement the work many schools are providing. We will be reviewing and adding to this resource list over the coming weeks.

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Learning at Home - Science

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Here are some Science Resources we think can supplement the work many schools are providing. We will be reviewing and adding to this resource list over the coming weeks.

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Learning at Home - Art, Drama and Music

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Here are some Art, Drama and Music Resources we think can supplement the work many schools are providing. We will be reviewing and adding to this resource list over the coming weeks.

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Learning at Home - Maths and Computer Science

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Here are some Maths and Computer Science Resources we think can supplement the work many schools are providing, as standalone projects. We will be reviewing and adding to this resource list over the coming weeks.

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Learning at Home - English

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Here are some English Resources we think can supplement the work many schools are providing, as standalone projects. We will be reviewing and adding to this resource list over the coming weeks.

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Supporting Learning at Home

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We have put together information from trusted sources that parents and carers will find useful for supporting learning at home in the weeks ahead.
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Well at School - the latest advice and guidance during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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During these days of heightened anxiety due to the impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) the Well at School team will continue to bring you information and advice that can help support school staff and parents and carers. We will be updating this blog post as the situation develops with information, advice and resources that reflect the situation being faced by those working with and caring for children and young people, both at home and at school.

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State of the Nation 2019: Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Research Report

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The picture is complex.  This is the overall finding of the report on the wellbeing of children and young people today. For those working with young people in schools and other settings, this is unlikely to come as a surprise...Read more

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Mental Healthcare in Young People and Young Adults

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For anyone working with young people, this recent report from the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) will make an interesting read. It uses routinely collected national datasets to give a national picture of the quality of physical and mental healthcare currently provided, and how patients with mental health conditions use these services. Read more...

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

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We have created a new 'Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)' section in our list of conditions. We have revised and re-written the details on Crohn's Disease and also included information on Ulcerative Colitis.

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The Medical Needs in Schools project's new self-evaluation tool

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Steve Lowe from the Oxfordshire Hospital School explains their new self-evaluation tool developed by the Medical Needs in Schools project. MniS is a collaboration between Oxfordshire Hospital School and Children’s Psychological Medicine – Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  Read more...

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#FridayConversation

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We recently presented Well at School at the RSA Rawthmells Friday Conversations and enjoyed a stimulating conversation about mental health and wellbeing in schools.
If you would like us to present at your organisation / event please get in touch.

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Getting the best for your child - advice for parents and carers

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Parents/carers of children living with chronic and acute medical and mental health needs face a range of challenges getting them the best care and support. Read more here...

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Youth Mental Health First Aider course

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One of our teachers, Marie, recently attended NIMH's Youth Mental Health First Aiders course. Read her review here.

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Can we rise to the challenge of the Timpson Review?

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With its 30 recommendations, the Timpson review of school exclusion gives us plenty to think about. Read more.

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Baroness Mary Warnock

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We were saddened to hear of the passing of Baroness Mary Warnock. We remember her launching Well at School back in 2011. Read more.

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School Reintegration

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Great advice for teachers and SENCOs from Amy, the Reintegration Support Officer at CCHS, on helping students settle back into school after a time away for medical treatment.

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Wellbeing and Mental Health

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Our new Wellbeing and Mental Health section includes information on a range of school based interventions and the research supporting them.

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Integration and Inclusion for Children with Medical Conditions in School

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Assistant Heads from CCHS recently attended the ‘Integration and Inclusion for Children with Medical Conditions in School’ conference in Oxford.

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Understanding low mood and depression in young people

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Want to know more about low mood and depression in young people? The University of Reading and FutureLearn course Understanding low mood and depression in young people provides an accessible introduction to the subject.

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In Conversation... Reducing mental health problems in schools

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With the current focus on wellbeing and mental health programmes being delivered in schools, this podcast from ACAMH (The association of child and adolescent mental health) may be of interest to those working in Primary Schools.

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Advice for School SENDCO’s

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If you are new to the role of SENDCO or preparing to review your policy and procedures around medical and mental health needs see our new section Advice To Schools which includes a section for SENDCOs.

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Bully Free – an anti-bullying art project

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Bully Free is an exciting collaborative art project, which aims to promote awareness and open up discussion for young people about the seriousness of bullying.

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Social and Emotional Wellbeing

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Supporting Adolescent Learners: Social and Emotional Wellbeing. This short, free to access, online course by FutureLearn provides an opportunity to reflect on the specific needs of adolescent learners.

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International Workshop

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Join our international workshop on improving communications between hospital school and home school.

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10th International HOPE Congress

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We presented Well at School to the 10th International HOPE Congress in Vienna promoting it to collegues from hospital school throughout Europe.

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