Students at Willow Bank School talk about Mental Illness.
Students at Willow Bank School talk about Mental Illness.
Our business manager Stef has been very busy this year trying to get the Children's Hospital School a new mini bus, so that we are able to take the students out on trips during the school year, to enable the students to access more Enrichment activities and curriculum based activities to aid their learning.
The Variety and The bingo association have been great support in this and have donated a mini bus to us. The big hand over of the keys was on Thursday the 16th March here at willow bank. Some of the students where involved in showing our guests around before the hand over.
Last Academic year, music specialists from the Soft Touch Arts Group came to deliver weekly session to students at Willow Bank in the summer term. This year, they have been back and have expanded their work to the CHS students at Ward 3! Superstars Steve and Perri have been leading workshops in music performance, technology and song writing.
All this great work has been very well received by students across the sites and will continue to run up to the Easter holidays. Similar to last year, it is hoped that the Willow Bank students can visit the Soft Touch Arts HQ at the end of the project to do some professional recording.
Money has been raised by the Children's Hospital School for the MacMillan cancer charity. Cake sales and raffles over two sites of the school raised £231.15, may thanks to all who were involved!
Labour MP for Leicester West Liz Kendall visited the Chidren's Hospital School earlier this month. She had a tour around the Willow Bank dayschool and met with staff and students. It was great to have a high level local politician visit the school. On her website Liz said:
'It is really important that children who are experiencing mental health problems have access to good quality education.'
KS3 and Year 11 visited Leicester Central Mosque in Leicester to enhance their learning in Religious Education and also to gain experience towards their ASDAN award. We were met at the mosque, by our guide for the morning, Parvaz. He was very friendly and charismatic and helped us all to feel welcome. He showed us all around the mosque, including the washing areas (Wudu), the prayer halls and classrooms as well as the recreational areas, such as the sports hall and squash courts. At the end of the guided tour Parvez allowed the students to ask questions. It was very pleasing to see many of our students feeling comfortable and confident enough to ask questions in front of others. They asked very sensible and relevant questions to inform their leaning back at Willow Bank. Well done KS3 and Year 11 on a very successful school trip!
On 4th December, Willow Bank School hosted its first ever careers fair. Representatives from a number of local post-16 education providers attended the event to offer information on local colleges, training providers and apprenticeships. Year 10 and 11 students had the chance to talk to providers about the courses they offer, what support might be available and the careers that these courses can lead on to. School staff and parents were also invited to attend. Feedback from students, parents and staff was extremely positive with many students feeling that they have a much better idea of what is available locally when they leave school. We hope that this can become an annual event in the school’s calendar.
Willow Bank has two new names on roll - Doris and Mabel.
These names belong to two young female guinea pigs who are now housed at the school. Doris is 6 months old and Mabel is still only 8weeks old. They came all the way from a breeder in Staffordshire.
There is much evidence that animals can have a very positive impact on people’s emotional wellbeing and these two little piggies are already bringing smiles to the student’s faces. The animals will help students develop a sense of responsibility as they will be involved in the day to day care of the animals and a positive bond between an animal and a child can support academic, social, and emotional growth. They will also fit in with our Eco School aims, becoming part a great way to recycle some of our vegetable waste from the kitchen and the garden.
The guinea pigs are very well housed in a hutch kindly donated by the Fosse Park branch of ‘Pets At Home’ and they have a secure outside run in order to enjoy the last of the good Autumn weather.
As part of the end of year and leaving celebrations, students at Willow Bank were invited to go on a trip to Drayton Manor Theme Park on the 26th of July. Around forty students attended the day and enjoyed a quiet park that was full of great rides and attractions.
Many thanks to Mr Jeffcote and Mr Sowman who organised the day.
On Monday 22nd May, eleven of our Year 10 and KS3 students visited the Caterpillar Learning and Inspiration Centre at Desford. Students took part in a variety of activities. Dressed in high-vis vests and glasses the students not only looked the part but participated in a guided factory tour and then undertook a real hands on challenge to construct a brake pedal for a Caterpillar Backhoe Loader. The groups were super impressive and all completed the task in record time! The final task was the lego challenge.
Teams had to work together, communicate ideas confidently and all take an active role-every student participated and the groups were commended for their excellent teamwork. The visit was fantastic, really enjoyable but also provided a valuable insight in the world of engineering!
Students at Willow Bank took part in a talk given by 'Adversity Adventurer' Alex Staniforth last week. Alex is a young veteran of mountain expeditions who has previously suffered from a number of issues. The students at Willow Bank heard all about life or death trips climbing Everest and how Alex managed to overcome his challenges.
To finish off another successful run of music sessions offered by Soft Touch Arts, two groups of Willow Bank students have recorded original compositions. Taking place on the 21st and 28th of March, the students made their way via bus to the recording studio on New Walk Leicester. Both sessions were very productive with songs 'Not A Good Day' and Scratchcards and Cigarettes' being recorded and mixed in the time available. Many thank to Steve, Peri and Joe for making the whole experience a success for all.
A group of students have had the opportunity to visit The Climbing Station in Loughborough as part of their enrichment afternoon on a Monday. The students have been learning how to boulder; this is a type of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses! As part of these visits, the students have studied for the National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme (NIBAS) Level 1 qualification which involves learning basic climbing moves, knowing the names for different kinds of holds and moves, as well as being aware of how to boulder safely. All of the students have thoroughly enjoyed their visits and their climbing skills have improved greatly over the 6 weeks. This has been a fantastic activity for developing self-confidence, team spirit and communication skills. Well done to everyone for taking part.
A group of five Willow Bank students have recorded an original song using the recording studio based at Soft Touch Arts on New Walk in Leicester. The song titled 'Colours' was written over a number of weeks at Willow Bank and features the students performing drums, guitars, bass, vocals and sample pads. This was part of an all day trip during the last week of the summer term and was the perfect event to end to a number of delivered sessions that focused on music writing and performing.
Recording was a very rewarding experience for the students and marks the first time in a studio for most. Many thanks to Steve, Dimitris and Joe from Soft Touch Arts for making this possible!
The school kitchen at Willow Bank has recently celebrated its third birthday. The kitchen was introduced during the BSF project that tranformed the school and replaced the previous method of outsourcing lunch orders. Rapidly becoming one of the most popular features of Willow Bank, the kitchen provides subsidised breakfasts for students, a huge range of lunch orders and a selection of snacks for break time. Catering Manager Catherine Rice also provides meals for functions and events at the school, the most recent being a mammoth buffet for the 2015/16 leavers assembly.
To celebrate the anniversary, free cake was greatly received by students. From now on, the kitchens birthday will be an eagerly anticipated date in the school calendar.
Students at the Children's Hospital School have created a chain story that was built in sections across all of the school sites.
Outreach started with a gripping opening, Willow Bank added a complication, Ward Three described a crisis and the LRI resolved the story. Each base was allowed a maximum of 400 words.
The basic idea was that the story started with a given opener of:
|The sound of breaking glass stopped her.|
The story can be viewed by clicking HERE
The staff of the Children's Hospital school based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary have re-started PE sessions as of Tuesday 1st of March 2016. The sessions will be run by fully qualified staff member John Ramshaw and will feature a good range of gym equipment. The sessions will occupy a two hour slot between 10:00AM and 12:00PM every Tuesday. Many thanks to George Johnson for helping to organize these valuable lessons.
This year, Soft Touch Arts have expanded their work with the Hospital School to include music production and recording activities at Ward 3. Ever reliable tutors Steve and Perri spend several days in the early part of the year working with the young people on the ward to produce several tracks of original work. A selection can be listened to here:
On Thursday 5th October 2017 the young people from ward 3 spent the day making cakes and other baked goods, in preparation for our Macmillan coffee morning. We made brownies, muffins, cakes, flapjacks, cheesecakes and much more so we could raise as much money for charity as we could with the help of the other wards in hospital. Despite students and staff getting covered in cake mixture and icing sugar, the preparation was extremely fun and spirits on the ward were high. Students and staff had the chance to chat over a cup of tea and a slice of cake which was really enjoyable.
Along with spending time in our dining room, which we spent time decorating with paper chains and glitter butterflies, we went around the other wards with a trolley of cakes and muffins, to spread our smiles around the hospital. When doing this we saw how much it makes people feel better to know they’re helping others. So not only did we raise £170 for Macmillan, we also managed to put a smile on the faces of the patients on the wards, as well as our own.
Quotes from the students & staff:
‘The amount of cake was amazing-it made it too hard to choose which to try’.
‘I enjoyed having the chance to bake all day’.
‘It was lovely to see students so relaxed and engaged-it’s left them wanting to do it more often’.
‘It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves, whilst raising money for a good cause. The cake was a bonus too!’
Written by the students at ward 3.
Young people from our CAMHS inpatient ward at Coalville hospital have been putting their artistic skills to good use this week, raising £50 for Comic Relief through a raffle of handmade cards, bookmarks and other craft pieces.
Rachel Scott, a teaching assistant from the hospital school at our CAMHS inpatient unit (Ward 3 at Coalville Hospital), runs a weekly ‘Helping Others’ group on the ward, encouraging the young people to get involved in community events and charity work to help raise their self-esteem. The group has already organised a coffee morning in support of MacMillan Cancer Support, and made Christmas cards which they took round to other patients at the hospital. They wanted to do something for Comic Relief, and had the idea of creating works of art which they could raffle to people visiting the ward. Rachel said: “I’m really proud of what the young people have produced and I know that they are too. Having the opportunity to do something practical which helps other people makes everyone feel good.”
Students also commented on the event:
‘It was a really engaging day and something I wouldn’t expect to do in hospital so it was great’.
‘I think it brought everyone together and you got to really interact with staff and other patients’.
‘I enjoyed giving out tickets for the raffle, and it was great to see people’s happy faces when they won their prizes’.
‘I think the fact that we made crafts made us more motivated’.
Staff on the ward also wore red for the day to raise even more money. Pictured are (L-R): Rachel Scott, teaching assistant, Helen Booth, deputy matron, Shabana Vadiwala, team leader, Wadzanai Chinosengwa, healthcare support worker and Rosie Denman, teacher from the hospital school.
Staff and students across the sites of the Children's Hospital School worked to raise money for the Children In Need charity on the 11th November 2016. This took place as a non-uniform day across the different areas of the school.
Ward 3 students have produced some excellent origami artwork in the CHS classroom in recent months. Various pieces have been created using a variety of techniques, the largest of which have been made using multiple 'origami triangle units'. The triangle units are simple structures made from a single piece of rectangle paper that can be combined to produce large, complex structures; the most impressive being the painted dragon.
The dragon was constructed and painted by many students over a number of weeks, making it a true collaborative project. It has since been joined by other individual and group origami projects. There is no sign of origami interest slowing down as past works continue to inspire new students to create their own masterpieces.