Bishop and Dean of Leicester help The Children’s Hospital School mark 70 years


The Bishop, Dean of Leicester and civic guests have helped mark the 70th anniversary of The Children’s Hospital School Leicester, at a special service at the Cathedral.

The service marked seven decades of the amazing school, which provides education for hundreds of students too ill to attend school, are hospital inpatients or at home for medical reasons.

Guests at the service, which recognised the often unseen acts of compassion and love by a wide variety of people supporting poorly children and young people, included the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lord Mayor of Leicester, Lord Lieutenant of Rutland and the High Sheriff of Leicestershire.

Students are referred to the Hospital School by schools and clinicians and are nurtured, supported, educated and enabled to reintegrate where appropriate.

The Children’s Hospital School has three sites (Leicester Royal Infirmary, Coalville Community Hospital and Willow Bank Day School) and also works in student’s’ own homes, aiming to provide outstanding education and care in partnership with other agencies.

Stephen Deadman, Head Teacher for the Hospital School, said many former-pupils were at the service including some from almost 60 years ago and the family of Miss Williams, the very first Head Teacher of the school.

He told those gathered for the service: “Seventy years ago the General Hospital Special School, as it was called then, was founded. In 1949 the school had one teacher with four fold-up chairs located in an oxygen room.

“Today, the school teaches across three sites and in children’s homes. There are 27 teachers and over 50 staff in total, teaching almost 600 children each year.

“Our school is a truly wonderful and inspirational place, providing outstanding care and education to all our young people. This is due to the dedication of many people over the years and each generation has played their part in making the school what it is today.”

The service enabled those attending to remember the past, celebrate the present and look forward with hope to the future.

Candles were lit to remember those from the school community who have died.  Ribbons representing each school site symbolised hope for the future.

 

Nikki Cole, Deputy Head Teacher, led prayers written by children from the Hospital School.

They gave thanks to God for the school; for those whose vision and compassion brought it into existence, and those who have served within it over 70 years. 

They also prayed for the children of the world and those currently at The Children’s Hospital School, for them to grow physically, socially, spiritually and intellectually.  

 A blessing was prayed for the teachers and staff who give their heart to teaching, and thanks was given for hospital staff who help those who are seriously ill.

 This is one of the children’s most moving prayers read out in the service:

“We pray for the vulnerable. We ask for the gift of courage. We remember those times when we have been pushed to our limits but have come out the other side strengthened by hope. We thank you for the help, guidance and support we have received from all those who help when we are unwell, very poorly and sometimes in hospital.  Lord, in your mercy hear our prayer.”

Acting Precentor at the Cathedral, Revd Canon Emma Davies, who organised the service said: “It was a real privilege to host the service for The Children’s Hospital School to mark this significant anniversary and to welcome such a lot of different people with personal connections to the school. The service was at times poignant and moving but with an overarching sense of gratitude for what has been and hope for the future too. Clearly, this School has a special place in the hearts of many, and continues to do very precious work with young people and their families.”

You can read more about the Hospital School on their website.