You are never too old to set new goals or to dream a new dream.
The Royal Marsden Schoolroom provides ambitious but flexible education for children and young people with cancer who are unable to attend school because of their health needs. Pupils receive a tailored, high quality, enjoyable education that builds on their prior attainment and enables them to fulfil their potential in the face of challenging circumstances. We believe that maintaining an interest in learning and being motivated to achieve educational goals is a key part of recovery and we are committed to personalising the curriculum in response to pupils’ individual needs and interests.
We work both within and beyond the framework of the National Curriculum and plan closely with teachers in pupils’ Home Schools to ensure that learning is an integral part of pupils’ admissions and that stress around falling behind is minimised. We help pupils to continue to make progress in core subjects, whilst also encouraging understanding and appreciation of the arts, humanities and technology and developing their spiritual, moral, cultural and social education. We also mark national events and celebrations that would be familiar features of pupils’ Home School calendars.
We aim to create a sense of normality and feeling of belonging for our pupils during their time in hospital and not least an opportunity to escape the trauma of their diagnosis and treatment. We strive to act as a positive and meaningful distraction, but crucially maintain progress and, in time support successful reintegration.
The schoolroom offers pupils a positive and safe place to learn at difficult times in their life. We try to plan as carefully as possible for transition, which can look very different for each pupil depending on the next steps in their treatment. We are committed to supporting each pupil’s successful return to their Home School and recognise that our schoolroom has a role to play in supporting our mainstream colleagues and in ensuring that the service we provide is widely understood by professionals and other agencies.
We are able to liaise with a pupil’s school prior to discharge in conjunction with our health teams, to create and implement a reintegration plan and support package. We work closely with Occupational Health, Speech and Language, Physiotherapy, Psychology and social workers and these teams all link with the community. Some children, who have been inpatients, may be ready to return home but unable to return to school. In such situations we can signpost to alternative education services and request that their own school make an application for Home Tuition. Many children happily return to their own school but for some, this can be daunting. When a pupil is ready to return to a mainstream setting, we can offer advice over the telephone to teachers and discuss any medical and psychological issues facing the pupil and the impact these may have in the classroom. A written report can be sent to Home Schools on request.
- Experienced team of teachers committed to ensuring each pupil makes significant progress in their educational outcomes
- Personalised approach and excellent collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams within the hospital to meet medical, learning and emotional needs of all children and young people
- High quality, enjoyable education that builds upon their prior attainment and provides them with learning that promotes the values of personal challenge, resilience, creativity and aspiration
- Creative, fun and varied learning opportunities consistent with the National Curriculum
- Positive and trusting relationships with both pupils and parents
Pupils and parents speak positively about the tuition provided at both hospital sites. Pupils are appreciative of some sense of normality during their time in hospital and often welcome the distraction from their medical needs and ongoing trauma.
The teachers work hard to provide a positive and purposeful learning environment in which the pupils report feeling safe and happy. All pupils comment that the teachers help them with their learning and that they make progress during their time in hospital.
Behaviour in lessons is outstanding with pupils working independently, one to one and collaboratively in small groups. Positive and trusting relationships are formed quickly between pupils and teachers and pupils of all ages and abilities feel a strong sense of belonging to the hospital classroom setting.
Offering a rich and varied curriculum is an essential part of hospital education, and the schoolroom teachers deliver a full range of lessons including PE, Computing, Music and DT including woodwork and cookery. In addition to this, we aim to encourage our pupils with activities which are beyond the normal curriculum and introduce them to new interests. Our aim in this is to increase their self-esteem and enjoyment during a difficult time, and positively influence their development after their treatment has finished.
To this end, we welcome specialist sports coaches, musicians and artists who regularly deliver highly enjoyable sessions for our pupils. We also work with museums, art galleries and other organisations both to host events in the schoolroom for the pupils and to be involved in competitions and other projects which our pupils can be involved with. Finally, we are keen that pupils have the same sense of involvement in special occasions that their peers would have in their home schools. We therefore run event days and parties for various religious and secular festivals including: Sports Day, Pancake Day, Chinese New Year, World Book Day, Fireworks celebrations, Diwali and Red Nose day. We are even keen to celebrate lesser-known events such as World Toilet Day and World Bee Day!
https://www.thenational.academy - Online classroom with lessons for each age group
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize - Revision, homework help and online games
https://nrich.maths.org - Maths challenges and games for all ages
https://ttrockstars.com - Times tables Practice
https://www.mathsgenie.co.uk - GCSE and A-Level Maths Revision
https://corbettmaths.com - Maths videos, worksheets and revision cards for all ages
https://mathsframe.co.uk - Maths games and worksheets for Primary pupils
https://www.sparknotes.com - Secondary English
https://www.topmarks.co.uk - Links to a number of educational resources for all ages
http://www.crickweb.co.uk/ks2literacy.html - English games and activities Primary