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School news and events

Statue unveiled    

News, newsletters and events from Evelina Hospital School (EHS).

"End of Year Newsletter" Highlights...

"Summer Term Newsletter" Summer Term highlights...

Children’s Art at the Evelina Children’s Hospital School (ECHS)

Open to the public from 13 - 18 July at the Evelina Children's Hospital School.

Art has an important place in the ECHS’s curriculum. We find that it usually engages the children and young people and at times our parents, who find it therapeutic and relaxing. Many chats, confidences and explorations of their own life situations happen whilst we work together completing an artistic task. Here at the ECHS we are immensely proud of the achievement of our pupils and very happy to showcase their work. Because children come and go and some only come for one day, you’ll find that many pieces are the products of collaborative work, and in some instances over weeks, and across all the areas of the school.

Other exhibits are created with guidance or adult support. With children who have profound and multiple disabilities, we support through using hand on hand methods. Most pieces were created completely independently. The exhibition‘s theme is “The World Around Us”. We have been inspired by different artists, including the likes of Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Klee, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Matisse etc... We also worked on African silhouette art and on Adinkra prints. Our school has been fortunate enough to have had talented illustrators visiting us, including; Richy Chandler, Maja Sten, Jane Porter, Laura Carlin and Axel Scheffler. With Jane Porter the children were collaborating to create a book full of wonderful images, which we are very proud of. Another major inspiration to us is our wonderful nature surrounding us. The art pieces were created exploring and using various techniques, such as collage, painting, hand prints, tape resist, crayon resist, newspaper art, cut outs, multimedia and much more.

We hope that you will enjoy looking at the work and celebrating with us the creativity of our children.

As a part of celebrations of our World Maths Day 2017 celebrations Maths on Toast came to hold a Festival of Triangles!

Children have been busy building lots of triangles to make tetrahedrons.

We are now putting together the tetrahedrons to make a giant Sierpinski tetrahedron!

Finally here is our giant Sierpinski tetrahedron.

World Book Day at Evelina Children’s Hospital School

As part of our World Book Day 2017 celebrations we were lucky enough to have the author and illustrator Jane Porter working with us for two days at the end of which we produced our very own book!

Jane began her project with a morning on dialysis ward, where she helped the children create some beautiful rainforest creatures. She also visited other wards, and spent a day in the classrooms creating the narrative of the book and working on the layout of the colourful pages.

Our finished book is a beautiful collaborative, one-off, hand-made large collage book on the theme of rainforests including a bit of science, ecology and geography but in the form of a story narrated by a parrot!

Jane commented “ The work the children produced was wonderfully exciting and vibrant” . She has now put it all together into a hand-bound book for us to treasure , to read , and to exhibit in our Art exhibition in July. Thank you Jane.

"Autumn Term Newsletter" Autumn Term at EHS gets off to a flying start...

Click on this link to find out what we did.

Have a read of his blog about his first visit to Evelina Hospital School via the link below.
Richy’s blog

In partnership with Readathon, a charity which provides books and stories to children in hospitals, children’s author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler launched their new book, “Zog and the Flying Doctors” at the Evelina Hospital School on Thursday 8th September.

The book launch was celebrated by many, including children, families, staff and Zog himself! The event was full of excitement and laughs as Julia Donaldson and her company of actors performed the story of “Zog and the Flying Doctors”, with some catchy songs.

Axel Scheffler drew live for the audience and to wrap it all up everyone received an exclusive signed copy of the book by the duo themselves!

We can’t wait to see them again!

We were honoured to be invited to the unveiling of the statue of Mary Seacole in the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital. Our very own Mary Seacole actress came with us to listen to some inspiring speeches and witness the special moment when the statue was revealed for the first time.

Sculptor Martin Jennings had visited the Crimea to make an imprint of the battleground which forms the backdrop to the statue. At night, the statue will be lit up to cast a shadow on this backdrop.

The links below will take you to the news sites about the event.

I hope everyone comes to see what they get up to here at the Evelina Hospital School.

Dialysis Unit School at Evelina London

"Child Safety Week" This years theme will be "Turn off technology", (6th-12th June 2016)

As part of Child Safety Week, we were delighted to welcome two community support officers who provided expert advice on keeping safe when out and about. For the younger children, the focus was on the practicalities of crossing the road safely, and for secondary pupils there was some good advice about not allowing your mobile technology to prevent you from concentrating on the roads.

On Friday 27th May we were lucky enough to have Paralympic hopeful Ryan Raghoo and international sprinter Gareth Hopkins visit our pupils here at the Evelina School. They told us their inspiring stories and answered the children's questions about their regime, diet and plans for the future. After challenging everyone with some circuit training activities they went to visit pupils on the wards and sign some autographs.

We are keen to foster a love of reading and to help us out our author in residence, Jeanne Willis, visited the school on 10th May. She focused on her book ‘Tadpole’s Promise’ and brought the book to life by talking to the children about what inspired her to write it.

Jeanne’s visits are sponsored by the charity Readathon.

Have a look at our chick diary

We had a fantastic workshop with a Viking this April. She linked her workshop to the idea of navigation to support our topic on Space – navigating by the stars!

Nursing through the ages – Florence Nightingale

As part of the celebrations of 10 years since Evelina was built on this site, we thought about the history of nursing. An actor came in and taught us about Florence Nightingale, who founded many of the practices on which British nursing is based. Florence Nightingale was a passionate advocate of good nursing practice, showing that patients had a better chance of survival with trained nurses in clean hospitals. She is known as the founder of modern nursing.

Both the actors who visited us as Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole were organised in conjunction with the Florence Nightingale Museum, which can be found in the car park of St Thomas’ Hospital. Look out for our display in the entrance there!

Link: http://www.florence-nightingale.co.uk/

Activities and resources

As part of our celebration of the hospital’s 10th anniversary, we thought about nursing over the years. As it was Black history Month we had an actor in as Mary Seacole, a famous nurse from the Caribbean during the Crimean War. Here she is with a modern nurse at Evelina!

War Horse Gallops into Evelina

Members of the cast of the National Theatre’s production of War Horse made a special visit to Evelina London Children’s Hospital on Wednesday 16 December.

War Horse thrilled patients and staff who were amazed to see Joey, the life-sized puppet horse trotting through the hospital. One pupil, 11-year-old Luca Ambrosone, gave Joey a thank you card saying it was the best day of his life.

Joey was joined by members of the West End cast, including James Backway as Albert and Ben Murray as Song Man. The cast gave out gifts and entertained the children and staff with Christmas carols and songs from the show while Joey tapped his hooves in time with the music.

Actor James Backway said: “We were all so excited to have the opportunity to bring a little bit of Devon sunshine to children who we know are all being really brave. It’s not an easy time to be in hospital if you are an adult, but for a child at Christmas, it must be particularly difficult.”

Marian Ridley, Director of Evelina London added:”It was great to welcome the National Theatre, our Southbank neighbours, to Evelina London. The performance was a wonderful surprise for the children we care for and it was lovely to see the faces of our young patients when they saw Joey coming through the hospital.”

The visit marked the screening of NT Live’s filmed version of the multi-award winning production of War Horse at the MediCinema at St Thomas’ Hospital, London later that evening.

War Horse Gallops into Evelina

MediCinema, an independently funded charity at St Thomas’ Hospital screens a wide range of films for patients, their families and carers to allow them to switch off from the reality of their hospital stay and treatment.

The National Theatre’s production of War Horse adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling novel by Nick Stafford is a story about a boy and his horse set in Devon and France, and against the backdrop of the First World War and running at the New London Theatre in the West End until 12 March 2016.

Pupils, families and teachers of Evelina Hospital School were delighted this week when the City of London Sinfonia gave a special winter concert. The musicians come into school each week to deliver interactive performances in the school and on the wards, and this concert was a celebration of their work in school over the year. Pupils enjoyed seasonal classics and modern favourites and were able to join in with a variety of instruments matched to all tastes and abilities.

The school are enormously grateful to the musicians and the fundraisers who support them as their work in school enriches our already vibrant music curriculum and gives children and young people access to performances at the highest level. We look forward to music making throughout 2016!

Evelina Hospital School is excited to be working with the amazing Suzanne and Tracy of Singing Hands team this year. One Friday a fortnight the Singing Hands fly in to teach and entertain the pupils with signed songs, stories, rhymes and games. The sessions are especially appealing for our younger children, those who are new to English and those with difficulties communicating in speech, but teachers and parents are always keen to join in too.

Suzanne and Tracy co-founded Singing Hands in 2002 after learning Makaton to communicate with their own children. Their mission to bring inclusive communication strategies to families and child care settings has been a roaring success. They have worked with the BBC on episodes of Tikka Billa and Something Special, so many children in the hospital are already mini-experts.

Staff in school are making the most of the expertise of the Singing Hands team by running our own Singing Hands club at lunchtimes where we practice popular songs and nursery rhymes using the DVDS.

If you want to find out more about their work, here’s a link to their great website.

Evelina Hospital School is delighted to be working with celebrated children’s author Jeanne Willis over the course of the year as part of a newly launched Readathon-in-Residence scheme. The Readathon charity already donates a regular supply of new and up to date children’s books to hospitals across the country with monies raised from sponsored reading activities in school. This new scheme aims to partner popular children’s authors with schools and play departments in hospitals in longer term meaningful collaborations.

War Horse Gallops into Evelina

Jeanne is author of many well known titles, including Tadpole’s Promise; Dr Xargle’s Book of Earthlets; Mummy Do You Love Me?; Bog Baby and Bottoms Up! Staff, families and pupils were all delighted to listen to Jeanne read from her books Mole’s Sunrise and Sunrise Laughs that explore visual impairment, disability, friendship and love. We were lucky enough to have some of Jeanne’s books from Living Paintings, a charity that creates and lends tactile books for blind and visually impaired readers. We also used our Makaton to sign the stories and created Sensory Stories for our pupils who are learning through their senses.

After her visit Jeanne gave a fascinating talk about her own influences as a writer of children’s fiction, which gave us some real food for thought about finding exciting opportunities for writing in our school day. We are very grateful to Jeanne for volunteering her time in this way and can’t wait to continue working together in the future.

Pupils at Evelina Hospital School have been bewitched this term by the storytelling magic of Phil McDermott. The school has been lucky enough to draw on Phil’s services following a generous charitable donation from Southwark News, allowing storytelling to take place in the school and on the wards once a week for this school year.

Phil has many years of experience working in schools across London and the world promoting the importance of oracy as a route to literacy. Children and young people at every stage of their development benefit from his riveting and spontaneous performances and we have seen some excellent pieces of work come from this exciting stimulus. In his own words he ‘wants to help children learn by feeding their ever-hungry imaginations with exhilarating tales of wonder, excitement and adventure.’

To see more stories from Phil, visit his website here and contact the Evelina school office for a log in to enjoy his stories at home.

Starlight Pantomimes give sick children the chance to boo, hiss, cheer and shout… and forget for a while about how unwell they feel. Twice a year, the Starlight Panto troupe criss-crosses the UK visiting hospitals and hospices and bringing distraction and fun to thousands of children. Evelina Hospital was lucky enough to be visited by the troupe on 16th November and the event was a great success.

Julie Ainsworth, a play specialist in the hospital, said “Today means a lot to the children, especially the little boy in the front row who hasn’t laughed for weeks. It is a proven fact that play and laughter help recuperation… like the little girl who was wheeled down in her bed to watch; her recovery will definitely be improved for being out of her ward this afternoon.”

Staff from Evelina Hospital School had a fantastic day on 20th November when they went to visit a variety of schools across the region. We went with open ears, eyes and minds to see what good practice was taking place in mainstream, special and hospital schools, making sure that we bring back the best ideas to our own school.

Early Years Leader Francesca Bevan visited Stephen Hawking School in Tower Hamlets and had this to say “I had a fantastic day there – the staff were really welcoming and the children were lovely. The school has so many facilities and resources on site to support the progress of the pupils. It is graded by Ofsted as an outstanding school and it was clear this was the case. The nursery teacher believes the success of the school is due to strong links with outside agencies and the local community. The staff clearly worked coherently together as a team too. I would recommend it to other staff if they are looking for a successful special school to visit.”

We would like to thank all of our host schools who gave generously of their time and experience. Evelina Hospital School welcomes visits from other professionals; please contact the school office if you would like to come and see how we work.

"A school with a difference" Guy's and St Thomas' magazine, (Issue 15 page 10)

"Alternative classrooms" The Guardian Online (full article)