The average patient stays at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for 2-4 days, but many children stay on for much longer than this. A long hospital stay significantly impacts a patient’s education. While missing school may be unavoidable, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Primary school – which allows patients to continue learning from their hospital beds – ensures that missing school does not become a reality.
The Primary School helps patients stay up to date with their language studies, mathematics and life orientation in addition to integrating the other subjects into the curriculum.
Michelle, a teacher, as well as the principal of the Primary School, has been teaching at the Hospital for 18 years.
She says her purpose is helping the children: “The children are passionate about learning and you always find them coming back to look for us at the school, merely because their experience here is not a stressful one,” says Michelle.
The children are encouraged to ask questions without fear, giving them a better understanding of the work. The extra attention and personal interaction they receive makes them feel very special.
“It’s a time where we can remediate problems and it’s a time where, if we can master two or three concepts at the time that the child is here, it gives that child that confidence and boost to say I can actually do this and it’s not that difficult. It gives them a boost to go back to school and continue with their education,” says Michelle.
The improvement in the children is phenomenal.
The children are eager to learn, they are more confident and they even encourage their parents to help them with their school work.
The impact that the Hospital Primary School has on the patients is amazing. They leave feeling motivated and so much more confident in their school work, believing that they can accomplish anything that once seemed impossible.