We are a thriving school community that educates children and young people who are patients of the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
The school was established in 1949 and is located in a magnificent, light-filled building on the south bank of the Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament and surrounded by landmarks such as the London Eye, County Hall and Archbishop’s Palace.
We are a Department for Education hospital community special school, funded by the London Borough of Southwark for 68 planned places. The number of pupils we teach will vary, but on average we teach 60–80 children and young people each week. The vast majority of pupils are in-patients of Evelina London Children’s Hospital, though some may be siblings of patients or regular out-patients. Over the last academic year we taught 1,500 different pupils, and we have made a positive difference to each and every one. We are proud of our tradition of excellence in educating children who are unable to attend their home schools because of their medical needs.
Our staff work flexibly to meet the needs of the pupils. Teaching takes place in the main atrium school for those who are well enough to leave their ward. The space is divided into Sun classroom for children in the Early Years and Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2, and Moon classroom for young people in Key Stages 3, 4 or 5. Teaching may be individualised to follow the home school curriculum, or pupils may work on tasks as a whole class or in smaller groups.
Children who are not yet ready to come down to the atrium school are taught at their bedside, generally in shorter sessions of 25-45 minutes that are entirely personalised to the needs of the pupil. Those who are receiving dialysis treatment are taught on their ward 2–3 times a week for however long they are with us. We work closely with home schools to ensure that these children are, as far as possible, accessing the work of their peers.
Our teachers are skilled and experienced in facilitating the pupils’ needs and we are very proud of the high-quality learning our pupils engage in. All pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum at a level appropriate to them, gaining worthwhile knowledge, skills and values to take back to their home schools.