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Headteacher Janette Steel awarded OBE

January 1st 2012



Janette OBE sml


Dear Colleagues, Governors, Families and Friends of CCHS

I want to thank all of you for your good wishes on the Honour I received today.  It was only through your efforts and that made this award possible.

Talking with Gaza

As part of the Nour Festival of Arts we set up a live link-up with the Jabalia Prep "A" School in Gaza. We have a continuing project between our two schools in which the students explore and share lifestyles, cultural differences and comparisons of their environments. Students and members of the public asked their own questions to children and teachers from the school. More video here.

Leo wins Courageous Citizen award

Leo3_thumbLeo Jordan who has attended our school for 15 years won an award in the "Courageous Citizen" category of the Diana Awards. Leo is an Ambassador for Chelsea Community Hospital School. He has inspired students in the UK and abroad through his involvement in the school’s international projects, he supports those who are new to the school and those who speak little English. In addition he helped design a new school, has been involved in fundraising activities and has spoken publically about the importance of hospital education.

A Huge Thank You!

demi296Demi Lea handing over a cheque for £751 to Laura and Shaun. A HUGE THANK YOU to the Claydon family (Danielle, Demi Lea, Kai, Laura and their parents Tracy and Paul) who have raised £751 to go towards resources for Rose Ward and Foulis Ward.

School News - November 2011

School News
November 2011

Official Opening of the new School Building on Rose Ward.


Tuesday the 8th November, was a Jubilant evening – the official opening of the new school build for patients on Rose Ward, coinciding with the Royal Brompton Hospital winning a review into the heart unit closure. 
Sir Robert Finch on behalf of the Royal Brompton Charity officially declared the school open, he spoke of the importance of education continuing whilst children and young people are in hospital  - this was echoed by Paula Cogan, a long term patient who had spent more than 25% of her education at the hospital school.  Despite her many admissions to hospital, Paula achieved highly in her exams and now at University she is a beacon to other young people who face the challenge of having a medical condition on how to develop resilience and  remain motivated.  Claude Lattin another former student,  now studying Japanese at University, spoke of the wider impact of the hospital school,  for example the support of careers counselling and relevant work experience – Many thanks to both of them for being Ambassadors for hospital education.

The dilemma for CCHS was how we design a school in a relatively small space that will enable as many young people to attend as possible.  Patients with cystic fibrosis have to be segregated from one another, so only one student could be in a classroom at one time – we turned to the Architects for advice and we were lucky that Studio 4 who had worked with us to design the new school at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital were available – The team very quickly came up with an idea that created a sense of light by windows in every wall, and glass partitions which gave us five separate learning spaces.  Students, staff and parents were closely involved with thinking about how the space could be best developed – however our thanks must go to Laura Livesly from Studio 4, Chris Cole our ICT Manager for their diligence in ensuring all the technical details were incorporated. Many thanks also to Shaun Dolan, our artist in residence, who again steered the team towards a sophisticated colour scheme in the secondary rooms and studio and soft colours in the primary rooms.

The second dilemma was – How are we going to raise the funds needed?  - A Marvellous Medicine Ball,  cake sales, leaflets explaining the plan to all and sundry, after dinner speeches, persuading and cajoling – our Fantastic Friends of Chelsea Hospital School and volunteers all became fired up and did their par - so many, many thanks. We did it – ‘Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith’ (Margaret Shepherd).

As our school has always highlighted the arts as a way of developing communication skills, another strength is that of communication technology – so what better than to celebrate the new school than by asking Shaun and Chris to design an arts and technology sculpture – this piece integrates words from school reports and shapes from the school design – the art work continually changes colour and this can be activated from a computer or mobile phone – making a truly interactive piece of work.

The evening ended with Phillip Wells our ‘poet in residence’ reading some of our student’s poetry – the language of poetry develops communication skills and self expression, giving voice and form to the many losses children may experience in hospital, fostering attitudes and skills that maybe helpful when facing difficult times.  The feelings described in these poems gave one an insight into the difficulties faced by young people in hospital.

One year after obtaining our British Council International Accreditation, we were delighted to win first prize for our international links.  The Link2Learn Award Ceremony took place at Canary Wharf on the 16th November; the prize was £5000 which will be used to further develop our links with teachers and students in Gaza.  Leo Jordan our School Student Ambassador spoke about the importance of our links with schools in Europe, and our regular video conferencing with a boys school in Gaza.  He spoke of the international flavour of CCHS – how so many young people arrive from abroad to have complex facial surgery in the ‘Facing the World’ project , often travelling alone and with very little English – and how these international links help them to settle into life in London. 

A video was shown of ‘Talking to Gaza’ a compilation of students at CCHS sharing their views and lives with students in Gaza over the past two years.
At the same time an art exhibition and video conferencing session was taking place at Leighton House Museum, for the Nour Festival.
This enabled the public to join with our students to find out how these young people lived.  Along with this a curtain of porcelain tiles hangs like a curtain -  light shining through these tiles with a gentle imprint of Islamic materials –  imprints of ancient keys – evokes the loss of home.  This exhibition was put together with Joanna Eaves our international School co-ordinator, Shaun our artist in residence and students from Collingham child and Family Unit.  They must all be congratulated on this moving and fascinating exhibition – and for the organisation and imagination in developing this project.

A Year in the Life of Chelsea Hospital School,  is a photographic project developed by our website designer and music teacher Martin Dixon – please do sign up for a copy of this book which gives a comprehensive insight into the experience of children and young people in a hospital school.

Janette Steel
Head Teacher





Talking with Gaza

Our pupils and the public talk to students in Gaza
Wednesday 16 November 11.30 – 1.00pm
Since receiving the International School Award from the British Council in 2010, Chelsea Community Hospital School has continued its educational links with a number of schools in different countries. Focusing on their partnership with the Jabalia Prep "A" School in Gaza, the Nour Festival highlights aspects of a continuing project between the two schools in which the students explore and share lifestyles, cultural differences and comparisons of their environments. Throughout the Nour Festival a short film that outlines the project is being screened, which emphasises communication by means of video conferencing. During the exhibition there is an opportunity to be involved in a live link-up with the school in Gaza, when members of the public can ask their own questions to children and teachers from the school.

Grand Opening of the New Schoolroom

invite_thumbnailChelsea Community Hospital School
invites you to the official opening of our new schoolrooms
by Sir Robert Finch.

6 - 8.30PM

The Foyer
Royal Brompton Hospital
Sydney Street

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 020 3315 8672/3

School News August 2011

Chelsea Community Hospital School News

August 2011


Chelsea & Westminster Hospital’s new school has been a tremendous success, with all students reporting that the environment is much more conducive to studying – we have also been able to accommodate not only all the patients from the ward, but also an increasing number of community students.  Many of the students from the Community have been unable to attend school for long periods, due to their medical or mental health condition, so we are delighted to be able to report a significant improvement in attendance amongst this group.  We are of course waiting with baited breath for the exam results for our students, many of whom have completed their two year GCSE courses in one year, others despite being unwell have persevered with their studies, we wish all our students the best of luck in their College Courses and we look forward to hearing how their educational journey progresses.

Marvellous Medicine Ball

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who came to "The Marvellous Medicine Ball" and made it such a resounding success!
Special thanks to The Bombshellettes who enthralled us with their swing music and kept us all dancing through the night, to Lawrence our fabulous DJ, to the wonderful dancers The Bees Knees, to Lyla and The House Band for their great Rock and Roll, to John and David the Jazz musicians, to Zelina our auctioneer from Bonhams, to Phillip Wells the Fire Poet, to Shaun our artist in residence, to Chris our technical wizard, to Jessica for her sketching, to Martin for the photos, to everyone who donated items for the auction and to Janette, Lucy, Sue, Suet and all the volunteers and staff who worked so hard to make the evening such a great success.

Many thanks also to Chris, Georgia, Witty and the team at The Tabernacle, and special thanks to Mark the chef who donated himself for an evenings cooking - a very popular item on the auction list!

We have compiled a gallery of photographs from "The Marvellous Medicine Ball" where you can also order prints.

Music with Ignite (Wigmore Hall)

For 3 weeks pupils at Collingham, Chelsea and the Brompton have been working with a group of musicians (Ignite) from Wigmore Hall, in a series of music workshops that led to a performance for pupils, staff and parents in the chapel at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.

You can see and listen to their individual compositions here:

A spell to banish winter! by pupils from Chelsea and Westminster

Musicial Constellations by pupils from Collingham.

Ignite musicians began the performance by performing a piece called November.

Happy Easter!

Easter_thumb1A Happy Easter from everyone at the Hospital School. At Chelsea we held an Easter service and were joined by children from Collingham and by musicans from Wigmore Hall. We also had a live video conference link to pupils in our classroom at St Marys Hospital.

School News March 2011

We are delighted that Baroness Mary Warnock will be launching our www.wellatschool.org web site on the 15th March.  This event will be happening in the school on the first floor at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital at 4 pm, we would be pleased to see you there, if however you have other commitments, we look forward to hearing your comments about the new web site which we intend to be ever evolving, with a regular questions and answer facility. This site has been primarily designed to help teachers support the student’s in their school who have a medical or mental health iagnosis to achieve their potential.

Staff training day

On 4th January we had a staff training day - as part of the day staff produced some short instructional videos highlighting their favourite educational IT resources. Check out their videos here.


The Friends of Chelsea Community Hospital held their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday evening 9th November. See below for details of the many ways they have raised money and supported our school, and how you might be able to help too.

Celebrity / Sponsor needed!

StuartStuart's Football Challenge
We desperately need someone who can help one of our long term students, Stuart, realise his plans to
"Visit all London teams in, The Premier League, The Championship, League 1 and League 2 in one day on public transport" and raise money for our hospital school.





International Award for our school

open3Chelsea Community Hospital School is the first Hospital School to receive the International School Award from the British Council - in recognition of their work to bring the world into the classroom. The International School Award seeks to reward outstanding practice in the international dimensions of teaching and learning.

The Chelsea Community Hospital School is partnered with five schools around the world – including one in Gaza, with which the children communicate via videoconference.




 Video of the event by the British Council

Janette Steel, Headteacher said: “I have seen our students develop in confidence as they enter into debates with students overseas and see that, even though their lives may be affected by a medical or emotional issue, they are able to have a significant input into a wider community. This award is recognition that, even though one may face difficulties in life, this does not have to be a barrier to achievement.”

John Rolfe, Manager of the International School Award at the British Council said: “We are proud to be saying thank you for the inspirational range of international activity that has brought Chelsea Community Hospital School the prestigious International School Award. It brings together young people from around the world - often in need of extensive medical care and treatment - but also celebrates and recognises their rich cultural and linguistic heritage, and ensures their learning continues and develops in a creative, inclusive and supportive environment.”

Young people's engagement forum

young people's engagement forum Chelsea and Westminster Hospital hosted its 2nd children's and young people's engagement forum in April to consult with parents, families, children and young people about the design and development of changes to our children's services.




Our new school at CW

Planning MeetingWe are all very excited about the new building for our school classrooms at Chelsea and Westminster.
We have had many many meetings with the archictects, hospital staff, school staff and governors to plan the layout and design of the classrooms.
We have also had fantastic support from our students Leo and Lee. here they are at a planning meeting.

Quality in Study Support (QiSS) Recognition

QiSS loogoOn 17th December 2009 we gained QiSS"Quality in Study Support" status for our study support activities.

“We are delighted to have been part of the QiSS process. The experience has helped us a team in the hospital school working with our parents and young people to evaluate our service and also identify growth for the future”
Janette Steel
Head Teacher

What is QiSS?

QiSS stands for Quality in Study Support. It is the nationally recognised quality standard in this area and is based on the school out of hours learning 'code of practise'. It has been designed for schools and any setting that offers out of school hours learning. It provides a flexible tool for planning and quality assurance, and supports a school or organisation to ensure that their study support offer is effective.

The code can be used by anyone who is planning provision in a school from the study support coordinator planning and reviewing an initiative, to a senior manager who wants to review the impact of a full programme and measure thee ffect on things like attainment and school improvement.


OFSTED Inspection

We had an OFSTED inspection earlier this month. We're proud to say that it went extremely well - once again the inspectors have recognised the school as being 'Oustanding'.

Full details here:

Accessibility Toolbar

We are trying a new accesibilty toolbar on our website. To activate it click the icon at the top of each page.


You can use it to change the text size and font, to read a page or selected text or alter the style of the webpages. It's still being tested so not everything might always work as expected, but give it a try.

We've changed our name

To reflect the evolving role of the school we have, after discussion amongst staff, pupils and Governors decided that the school will now be known as Chelsea Community Hospital School.

Thank You!

Just to say a big THANK YOU to everybody who helped make our Haiti appeal sale such a success. 

We raised a total of £270 for victims of the Haitian earthquake.
The pupils at Chelsea were fantastic and really showed how committed they are to helping and thinking about others as well as how good they are at organising.
Thanks also to all those who donated items to sell.
We are hoping to replicate the success at another sale based at Collingham very soon.

Your World Our World

We met with 9 teachers from Finland, Greece, Italy and Poland when we hosted the first meeting of our new Comenius project linking European schools.
We spent Thursday deciding on the theme of our project and showing our visitors around our school sites. On Friday we worked together on a joint staff training day visiting The Ecology Centre and looking at ways of sharing and communicating ideas with our pupils and staff. We will be posting news and updates here.

Providing Inpatient Schooling on a Segregated Ward

Head teacher Janette Steel along with Chris Cole and Marie Sherlock made a presentation at the 32nd European Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Brest. The theme of the presentation was 'Providing Inpatient Schooling on a Segregated Ward'. As this was a medical based conference we were delighted to have been chosen to speak. It really shows the great strides that are being made in highlighting the importance of education outside the hospital school environment. It was also a marvellous learning opportunity for us. The breadth of medical and psychsocial expertise was immense, and very interesting to see posters presented by others advocating the importance of visits/liaison between childrens' schools and their medical team.

HOPE calling

hopeHOPE (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe) is an association of European hospital teachers who work in Hospital and at home with sick children.
If you are interested in joining up please contact Marie Sherlock at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Farewell Chicks!

chick_eggWe were eggstatic and eggcited about the pitter patter of tiny claws as our 10 eggs were hatching. The first of the brood was lucky 9 shortly followed by number 1, rumour has it that the first chicks to hatch were following nurse Chris thinking he is mother hen!

Sadly they have now all left and returned to the farm.

Melissa ran a half marathon!

melissa03.jpgCongratulations to Melissa, one of our teachers who ran a half-marathon on Sunday 29th March as part of Team Haem to raise money for the Child Bone Marrow Transplant charity Champs at St. Mary’s hospital.

School Vouchers

Our school is registered for both Tesco's and Sainsbury's vouchers. You can give them to any of our members of staff or at the school office. Thanks!

Heart and Design

heartanddesign-logo.jpgHeart and Design is a project working with the design and fashion communities to raise money for a CT Scanner for the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital NHS Trust.
Our pupils will be helping to create stories, pictures and animations on the theme of "The Heart". Watch this space!

School News Winter 2007

Seasons greetings to all our readers, it is amazingly gratifying to see this web site having more and more ‘hits’ – in particular my news in the early days was only read by one rather eager student – now it has hundreds of readers - thanks for all your comments – and especially those of you who have commented on the children and young peoples work that appears on the web site. It is so reinforcing for young people in hospital to know that they are reaching a wider audience.

We are always absolutely delighted to hear from our past students, so please keep letting us know how you are doing, such a wide range of studying, from theology to psychology with many ‘ologies’ in between. We have also been amazed by how many young people have achieved highly in their SATs, GCSE and ‘A’ levels despite spending much time in hospital. You really are an inspiration to so many other so please keep the news coming in.

Click here to see our team Trish, Ann, Fiona and Helena beavering away on their weekly fundraising stall – this stall has been running for 15 years and has ensure that the hospital school provides a 50 week a years education and arts programme. It also helps to pay for all the artists that visit the four hospitals on a regular basis

Here is some information about some of those artists

Painting and Performance Art
Shaun Dolan works as an artist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital and St. Mary’s. He addresses the content of the art curriculum, including GCSE art and ‘A’ level art. He works in many types of medium including, clay, sculpture, oils and conceptual art. This additional art gives children the opportunity to express themselves and develop a range of methods of describing their feelings.

Catherine Parkinson is a mosaic artist and works at Collingham Gardens, the children have now made 4 major mosaic pieces which we will transfer to the new building when we move. They have also designed and made plates with pictures of food for the new kitchen.

This experience of working with a real artist who is well known in the mosaic world has given the students confidence in their ability.

Art therapy
Susan Rudnick uses art therapy with children in isolation at St.Mary’s and The Royal Brompton – art therapy can help with containing feelings whilst in hospital, it provides an opportunity to talk describe feelings through drawing and painting rather than using words.

Phillip Wells is a performance poet and works with children at all sites to enable them to enjoy poetry and to begin to write their own, Some of these poems are on our web site.

Brian Speirs runs evening music groups at the Royal Brompton and Collingham and a lunchtime music session at Chelsea. These sessions are great fun and all ages plus parents can join in.

Giles Abbott is a wonderful storyteller and tells stories to children throughout the hospital school. This is particularly soothing for those children who are in bed or in isolation.

We also have the London Symphony Orchestra and the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery visiting all hospital sites on a regular basis, this experience enhances the children’s stay in hospital.

All these activities, as well as our youth club programme help us to provide and extended school for our pupils.

We are delighted that one of our students Obinna has been selected for inclusion in the 2008 Road Safety and Green Travel Calendar. 27 schools entered and 1700 drawings and paintings were judged.

ICT & Video conferencing
We are delighted that so many young people in hospital are now able to join in classroom sessions and link up with museums, art galleries and their school and colleges through video conferencing. This has been a steep learning curve for all staff and students and the ultimate experience of learning together. We look forward to students and families comment on this development.

Christmas Activities
We have had a wonderful two day visit from an extremely talented band called Iroko, this has been videoed and we hope you will soon be able to see this on the web site. This exciting and dynamic group have been visiting the hospital for the last 10 years so I am sure many of you can remember playing music and dancing with them.

On Wednesday 19th at 10.30am we will have our Christingle service at the Chapel in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, we look forward to seeing many of you there, the theme this year is ‘giving’ and we are very please that the mace bearer from the town hall will be attending the service.

Other activities include a visit to the pantomime at Richmond Theatre to see Cinderella and a Circus Space.

I wish you all a peaceful New Year,

Janette Steel
Head Teacher
















100 Club Initiative

100 Club Initiative
We want to raise regular income to support projects that help children in the Hospital School so we are starting a 100+ club. This is a kind of lottery whereby members buy one or more shares in the club annually and then have the chance of winning prizes, which will be awarded twice a year.

Healing Art

collage of healing art artworksHealing Art is an exhibition of children's art work which includes paintings, prints, photographs, mosaics, sculptures, masks and also poetry and writing. The subjects explored include bullying, isolation, terrorism, and self-portraits that show how it feels to be in hospital.

Congratulations to WCIT on their 10th anniversary

Congratulations to WCIT on their anniversary – it is 10 years ago that Chelsea Children’s Hospital School and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologist collided – saw stars and became irrevocably entwined.

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