On the Ward
The playroom is staffed during school hours by an amazing hospital team of Early Years Practitioners who support both children and their families through what can be a very difficult time.
The playroom is filled with a wonderful range of play equipment carefully chosen to be both familiar and exciting for enquiring young minds. Children can explore and experiment in a safe environment in which no medical procedures take place. On sunny days the doors are opened to the garden and children can investigate a whole new sensory experience.
Equipment in the playroom is provided by a mixture of funds from HHTS, Barts Trust and generous donations from those who have had experience of the ward.
Staff ask that parents are present to supervise their children but are happy to lead the play while parents make those important phone calls.
Our fantastic teachers provide learning experiences for children aged 4 - 16. School is a great way to keep pupils' minds off their illness and to provide a sense of "normality" when everything else is new. Lessons are planned creatively to ensure that pupils of all ages and levels are engaged and able to learn. This requires staff to assess pupils early in the lesson through a combination of tasks and discussion so that they can adapt tasks to meet the needs of each child.
The schoolroom is well-equipped with a wide range of teaching resources for all age ranges. We have a range of technology which ensures that all pupils are able to engage with the learning no matter their physical impairment at the time of teaching.
Displays around the classroom and schoolroom corridor celebrate the work achieved by young people in the schoolroom and encourage others to learn from their discoveries.
Pupils who already have work provided by their own schools are also encouraged to join us to complete their work as additional resources and support can be provided.
The Acorn Ward garden is yet another "safe" space in which young people and their families are able to enjoy some fresh air and stretch their legs.
The garden was recently refurbished by Timotay. This was funded by Barts Charity. It is now a wonderful sensory space in which all young people can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors.
Some young people are unable to leave their bed or their room but that doesn't mean that they can't engage with HHTS. They will be visited by a member of staff who will be able to provide toys, activities and work at the bedside. When resources allow, teachers can even spend time with pupils in their rooms, ensuring that everyone gets the education to which they are entitled.
The YES group (Youth Empowerment Squad) are a group of adolescents who have good knowledge of the services within Barts Trust hospitals and who have been tasked with improving services for young people.
With this in mind they are working to design and resource an Adolescent Room on Acorn Ward as a space in which to relax and unwind during difficult times. HHTS have supported many young people and have helped in the early stages of the design of the room.
For some young people, home teaching is not appropriate. They are unable to attend school but still need the routine of getting up and out and ready to learn. If this is the case, the Education Centre is often the appropriate place for them to learn.
Lessons at the HHTS office base can be one-to-one or in small groups of pupils working on the same areas of study.