The Sandwell Hospital teaching team, Bernadette Sharpe is employed by the Sandwell Home and Hospital Tuition Service, based at Whiteheath Education Centre, Rowley Regis. The hospital classroom is open during term time between the hours of 9am and 12noon.
It is our aim to provide appropriate and relevant learning to patients whose education is interrupted whilst in hospital.
We work with patients who fall into different groups, some taking priority over others:
- Patients on a one-off visit to hospital of a day or two: when school absence is minimal, patients may choose an activity – something they feel they need extra practice or help with. We tend to focus our resources on the core subject areas of Numeracy, Literacy or Science. Patients may require some guidance or prefer to work independently, with feedback on completion.
- KS4 patients during exam season: we can provide laptops with access to educational websites, educational DVDs, revision guides, practice exam papers and relevant texts. Patients may come to the classroom to access schools’ learning platforms. We can liaise with schools to make arrangements for exam provision.
- Regular or long-term patients: in these cases, we liaise with schools to provide school work of appropriate levels and topics. We are able to offer their entitlement of 5 hours tuition per week at a minimum, with supplementary work if required. We encourage these patients if possible to come to the classroom, a change of scenery and away from the distractions of the ward. A regular routine of schoolwork during their stay aids a smooth return to school. A progress report is sent to their school on discharge from hospital.
- Patients with a low level of school attendance: one-to-one tuition in these cases can be of great benefit. We can provide advice and support with their options.
Involvement in educational activity is beneficial for hospitalised young people as mental activity often distracts them from their discomfort and has a positive effect on their mood.
With positive encouragement from parents, carers and staff, young people are often very willing to engage with school work and benefit greatly as a result..