FAQs

You probably have lots of questions about the hospital school, what happens here and how you will be taught. That's why we've put together a list of our most frequently asked questions, which we hope you find useful. If you have another question that's not answered below, you can contact us directly. 

I don't know how long I will be staying. Should I bring my schoolwork?

It is a really good idea to bring your schoolwork with you. Also let your teachers know that you are going into hospital, so that they can get work together for you and let other teachers know that you will be away.

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Do I have to go to school when I am in hospital?

You don't have to go to school, but lots of young people quite like doing so, because it is a good place to meet other young people and there are lots of things to do to keep you busy.

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Can I just go to some lessons and can I choose which ones I go to?

Of course you can. You can choose which lessons you want to go to and you can stay for as long or as little as you like.

But of course the teachers would like you to stay for longer, but only if you are feeling up to it.

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Where will I be taught?

You might be taught in a small group in the hospital school, in a one-to-one situation on the ward, or even at your bedside.

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How will I be taught if I can't leave my hospital bed?

In most cases, a teacher will be able to come and work with you at the bedside for up to an hour a day. If you are a long-stay patient, you might even be able to use your own laptop to access the school's connection to the London Grid for Learning. More and more beds now have access to the hospital's Patient Bedside Education and Entertainment (PBEE) computer terminals. These provide filtered access to the internet to help you keep in touch with your home school, friends and family.

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What lessons are taught in hospital school?

The hospital school teaches all of the usual core subjects you find in your normal school: literacy, numeracy, english, maths and science are almost always taught as standard.

In addition, depending on the number of teachers available and staff expertise, you might be lucky to have access to other curriculum subjects such as art, design technology, history, geography, ICT, PSHE, and even PE!

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How many people will be in my class?

There could be just a couple or there might be a small group of between five and 15. Every day is different and so it is difficult to be exact.

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Do all UK children's hospitals have schools and do they teach work from the National Curriculum?

Not all hospitals will have a school and dedicated schoolroom facilities, but many now have teachers working on the wards and there may be areas for quiet study. 

The National Curriculum is normally followed where appropriate, but hospital schools can deviate from it if they need to.

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What if I am in and out of hospital? Will I go to my normal school or the hospital school?

This is a bit more difficult to answer. A lot will depend on your own situation, but you will always be welcome in the hospital school if you are an inpatient.

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I'm about to sit my GCSE/AS/A2 exams – what is going to happen if I'm in hospital?

As long as you let the Hospital School know in advance that you are going to be in hospital during your exams, they will try and make all the necessary arrangements for you. You might even be able to take your exams in hospital!

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Will my teacher at hospital talk to my teacher at school?

Yes, the hospital teacher will usually contact your home school teacher to help plan what will be best for you while you are in hospital. Speak to the hospital teacher about this if you have any concerns, and make sure your home school teachers know that you are going to be away. Ask them for any work you might need or even just topic headings so that the teachers here can make sure you are covering the same areas of study as your peers.

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Are resources provided for you in hospital school?

Hospital schools are usually well resourced and you should be able to borrow books, pens and paper, but try and bring your own if you can. If you are a long stay or recurring patient you might even be able to hook-up your own laptop or tablet PC to help you with your  school work.

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Can my sister or brother also learn at the Hospital School when they visit?

Unfortunately, there often isn't the space for brothers and sisters unless they too are going to be away from home for a long time. Ask your family to speak with the Hospital School Headteacher to see if they can accommodate your sisters/brothers whilst you are a patient here.

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Do hospitals have teachers who can teach in other languages?

Not always, but quite often they might have access to teachers who can speak a variety of different languages. Check with your individual school.

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What if I have special educational needs?

Every hospital school will have someone in charge of special educational needs. This person is usually called a SENCO and they will be able to help you with any individual needs that you might have. Rest assured that everyone is always welcome.

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What's the best way of staying in touch with my school or college when in hospital or recovering from home?

More and more schools are now using email, as well as phone and fax, to help young people to stay in touch. Your school might even have its own Managed Learning Environment (MLE), to help you stay in touch with your work while you are away. If you have a VLE/MLE login please make sure you bring it with you so that you can access your own school's learning resources.

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Where can I go for careers advice?

A good first step is your career's advisor or your local Connexions Service. Visit the Central London Connexions website for more information.

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