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Hajir’s Winning  Christmas  Footwork

A picture of one of Santa’s trusty reindeer, produced by Hajir Salim (10) from the Children’s Hospital School at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, will sit proudly on shelves and mantlepieces in homes and businesses across the East Midlands this Christmas.

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Armistice Day


At the beginning of November we took two students to France and Belgium to visit the battlefields and graves of World War I as part of the UK government’s First World War Battlefields programme to commemorate the centenary of the end of the war. Students carried out research into the lives of the soldiers to improve their understanding.

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Students' CSI Investigations

Mainstream schools have labs in which to teach science. However, in a hospital space is not readily available, so our teachers have come up with creative alternatives.

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Volunteers Needed for Saturday 13 October

This year’s Autumn Fair is shaping up a treat but we’re still looking for volunteers. If you’d like to come and man one of our stalls, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It’ll be held at our day school at Willow Bank School, Simmins Crescent, Leicester, LE2 9AH and all proceeds go to help improve facilities and buy equipment for the children and young people who attend Children’s Hospital School, Leicester.

Photograph donated by Alfred Schrock via Unsplash

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, attends the Macmillan Coffee Morning at Willow Bank Day School

Jon visited Willow Bank Day School on Friday 28 September to meet staff and students and attend their Coffee Morning.

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Children’s Hospital School Leicester Bags £4000 from Tesco’s Community Grant Scheme

Children’s Hospital School Leicester is delighted to announce it has bagged £4000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme.



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Children’s Hospital School Leicester Gains Highest Environmental Award

Eco-Schools, part of Keep Britain Tidy, awarded its highest accolade, the Green Flag, to the Children’s Hospital School Leicester following an assessment. Participating schools have to demonstrate three projects which are assessed for the award: however, our eco-team substantially raised the bar when it put forward a whopping 11 activity projects.

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Soft Touch Arts Return

That time of year is upon us again, with music specialists coming into all of the physical sites of the Children's Hospital School. Soft Touch Arts are back for the fourth year to run workshops about music performance, recording and creation. Returning to Willow Bank and Ward 3, the group has been offering sessions at the LRI for the first time to make sure a large amount of CHS students have access to musical enrichment.

Steve and Perry from the organization will conclude the run of sessions in the summer term, which will feature two groups from Willow Bank recording original material at the Soft Touch studio based on New Walk in Leicester.

We’ve Won Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Award

We were delighted to collect the Most Outstanding Group award, sponsored by the RSPCA, at Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots presentations evening, at the Barbican Centre, London on 9 March. The Roots & Shoots awards were designed to inspire children and fuel their desire to protect Earth’s environment and everything that lives in it.

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BBC School Report 2018

“Arrival” – a short documentary about what it means to be a refugee starting a new life in Leicester.




School Children Reach for the Stars at Leicester Royal Infirmary

On 5 March, a grant from the Institute of Physics enabled some of our students to have a lesson in the StarDome – a portable planetarium supplied by the National Space Centre. It was set up in the physio gym at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Children and young people could go inside with their families without compromising anyone’s medical care.

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Local Business Maidenhead Aquatics in Leicester Donate to School

Our pupils were delighted to receive a fish tank, donated by Maidenhead Aquatics in Leicester. The first fish (Striped Danio) entered their new home on February 1.

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Toys Arrive in December

The Children's Hospital School has been lucky enough to recieve a toy donation from Twinkle Education Publishing.

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Charity Donation of New Bus

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.

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Soft Touch Arts Return to the Children's Hospital School

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.


CHS Raises Money for Charity

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!

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A High Profile Visitor to the School

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.'

Liz Kendall

Colleges Come to Willow Bank

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.

Career Fair 2017

New Arrivals for CHS


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.

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Willow Bank Students Enjoy Drayton Manor

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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.

Willow Bank Students at the Caterpillar Factory


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!

Audience With Alex Staniforth

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.

Alex Stanihope


Willow Bank Students Record New Original Songs

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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.


Willow Bank Students Work to Gain Qualifications in Bouldering

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.


Willow Bank Students Record Original Song


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.

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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!

Site produced meals continue to make an impact


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.

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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.

CHS Chain Story

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

Leicestershire MEP launches Christmas card competition for local children

Labour MEP Rory Palmer visited the Leicester Royal Infirmary on Friday the 28th of September to speak with children on the wards. This was to launch his Christmas competition that will challenge youngsters to design and create their own festive seasonal cards.

Rory Palmer












Rory Palmer’s 2018 Christmas card design competition is open to all children from the East Midlands who either attend hospital schools or are inpatients or outpatients at an East Midlands hospital.

New Track Recorded by CHS Students

Since the new year pupils at the Children’s Hospital School at the Royal Infirmary have been enjoying musical enrichment sessions provided by Soft Touch Arts. Steve Nutter has been getting to know some of our long term students as well as providing one to one sessions for our shorter stay pupils. The last session was in June on the theme of Seaside and individual pupils used a range of instruments and some of their own voices to create one fantastic track that they had all contributed to. The students really enjoyed exploring the range of instruments that Steve had brought in and all seemed to find at least one instrument that they particularly wanted to play on the track. Well done to all the pupils involved and thank you to Steve for always making the music sessions so uplifting and enjoyable!

Listen to the track here!


Soft Touch Arts Provide Music Sessions

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.

MacMillan Coffee Morning

On Thursday 26th September, staff and students got together and held a Macmillan coffee morning.

Students had lots of fun baking cakes for the event. Together we made coffee cake, Victoria sponge, lemon cake, and a selection of vegan cakes including brownies and cupcakes.

We invited staff from wards 1 and 2 and together we had a lovely morning, chatting, laughing and enjoying a lovely cup of tea and a slice of cake (or two!).

The event was extremely successful and we raised an impressive total of £76.00 for Macmillan. We would like to thank everyone for their contributions.

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Quotes from students and staff:

“I really enjoyed the morning – it was nice to catch up with the staff and students over a nice cup of tea and a piece of cake”.

“The viccy sponge was M&S quality”.

“It was a good atmosphere and nice to do something for a good cause”.

“The preparation for the event was really fun and the decorations looked really good”.

“They had the positive vibe down to a T(ea)!”

“It was lovely”.


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Children's Hospital School University Hospitals of Leicester - NHS Trust Leicester Royal Infirmary - Leicester LE1 5WW
Tel: 0116 258 5330 Fax: 0116 229 8142