At OHS we believe in putting pupils at the heart of everything we do.
Through trust, positive relationships and a commitment to working together,
we inspire pupils to do their best.

Our curriculum is designed around individual pupils’ needs in the variety of settings in which we deliver teaching and learning.
We take into account those who are physically ill, injured or have other health needs.  Please see our full statement below.

At the OHS we promote access to high quality education, ensuring pupils are thoroughly prepared for their next stage in education: personalisation is a corner stone of our pedagogy, identifiable in both our ethos and working cultures, and importantly frames the successful learning pathways enjoyed by our young people.   Adopted as a whole school responsibility, our commitment to co-constructed personalised learning is demonstrated through the work of every teacher in every subject.  Central to this work is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching, assessment and evaluation that takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of our young people.

We know that our blend of academic aspiration and challenge, coupled with our  approach to  ‘Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC)’ drives our many successes.  For us, SMSC development is about far more than learning the curriculum.  We work hard to give all our young people the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to progress and achieve academically, socially and emotionally.   All of our teaching takes place in the context of safe and nurturing environments where each young person is known, and each individual’s learning journey is unique to them.

Our Curriculum

The OHS Curriculum is underpinned by the principles outlined in the DfE statutory guidance for Local Authorities, January 2013: ‘Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs’:

The Government’s policy intention is that all children, regardless of circumstance or setting should receive a good education to enable them to shape their own futures. Therefore alternative provision and the framework surrounding it should offer good quality education on a par with that of mainstream schooling, along with the support pupils need to overcome barriers to attainment. This support should meet a pupil’s individual needs, including social and emotional needs, and enable them to thrive and prosper in the education system. 

Every child should have the best possible start in life through a high quality education, which allows them to achieve their full potential. A child who has health needs should have the same opportunities as their peer group, including a broad and balanced curriculum. As far as possible, children with health needs and who are unable to attend school should receive the same range and quality of education as they would have experienced at their enrolled school.


At the Oxfordshire Hospital School, all young people are expected to continue learning as we recognise that school structure is an important part of their medical treatment. The below outlines what principles underpin the curriculum, why we believe these are important and how these will be delivered.


  1. Personalised, high quality learning opportunities and a holistic, child centred approach
  2. Continuity, built on the enrolled school curriculum and prior learning
  3. A broad and ambitious curriculum offering a range of National Curriculum subjects which support accreditations, longer term learning ambitions and careers for pupils age 5-18 i.e. working towards the Early Learning Goals for EYFS, a broad and balanced primary curriculum with a focus on maths, English, science, EBACC for KS3/4 and subject specific study, vocational and destination support for KS5
  4. Fun and creative learning and enrichment opportunities throughout the curriculum helping pupils to develop as confident, resilient and successful learners who make a positive contribution to the community and the wider world
  5. An appropriate sequence of key skills and  knowledge responsively matched to each  individual pupil’s age, stage and abilities alongside a bespoke teaching programme, where needed, in order to revisit previous learning, fill gaps in learning or where a pupil’s cognitive abilities has been affected by their illness
  6. A focus on Literacy Across the Curriculum in order to develop enjoyment, fluency and confidence in reading, writing and speaking & listening
  7. High quality next steps and transition planning for all
  8. Opportunities for pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to develop as confident, resilient and successful learners, to keep themselves healthy and safe and to prepare for life and work in modern Britain
  9. Wider child development experiences which may be missed by being away from the home school e.g. outdoor experiences & break times


  1. To recognise and value each individual’s unique abilities and needs so that they can thrive, prosper and be ambitious
  2. To minimise the impact of changing medical conditions on young people’s achievement and progress
  3. To ensure equality and inclusion for all
  4. To ensure that pupils are well equipped for a seamless transition back to their enrolled school or into further education, employment or training


  1. Partnership working with home schools/colleges through the 1:1 tutor role so that the curriculum at OHS links to the enrolled school as much as possible
  2. Bespoke learning programmes delivered through individual and small group teaching and enables teaching staff to personalise content in order to provide stretch, challenge and support
  3. ‘Live’ assessment to ensure that the teaching directly targets a young person’s gaps in skills & knowledge
  4. Work at the pace and needs of the young person, ensuring that the structure of school supports the work they are doing medically in a positive manner and does not become a detrimental pressure
  5. Approaches to support pupils in making connections between subjects and concepts, retrieving information and to develop a deep understanding, confidence and fluency in their learning
  6. Memorable experiences placing learning into a wider context, often delivered through a broad network of successful collaborations and external partnerships to enrich and enhance the curriculum
  7. A responsive approach to curriculum planning and review with pupils involved in decision making e.g. pupil progress meetings, 1:1  tutor meetings and other embedded & bespoke systems across the school for pupils to proactively shape their own learning e.g. pupil voice workshops at the JR and young people’s forum at the HAU
  8. Support for the young person to engage with their own learning and become more independent through engagement activities, life skills, personal development skills and preparation for the world of work through developing key LORIC skills delivered through the bespoke OHS Curriculum
  9. Opportunities for pupils to explore their own values, value the beliefs of others, respect diversity and to understand their personal rights and responsibilities
  10. Collaboration with home schools on the facilitation of public examinations and promotion of other recognised and meaningful  accreditation opportunities e.g. functional skills and AQA awards
  11. Support to consider option choices for next steps and signpost young people to get the support they need to follow their own pathway
  12. Use of innovative technology to support access,  inclusion and engagement in learning
The OHS Curriculum Model

The OHS provides a personalised curriculum offer for each pupil created from the following strands:

The Enrolled School (National) Curriculum 

This element of the curriculum is guided by information from the enrolled school eg through schemes of work, termly or weekly planning, phonics programmes, handwriting schemes, workbooks, online learning platforms, topic themes of exam board specifications. Using this information, experienced teaching staff at OHS, construct a personalised curriculum offer which aligns as closely as possible with that of the enrolled school, therefore maximising the opportunities for continuity of learning and a seamless reintegration.

The OHS (PD) Curriculum

The OHS (PD) Curriculum is a bespoke offer of curriculum engagement, enrichment and extension opportunities for all pupils. At times, it may be the sole source of the curriculum offer for pupils who are too unwell, or not yet able, to access the home school curriculum. The curriculum underpins the OHS Curriculum vision of ‘providing opportunities for pupils to develop as healthy, confident, resilient and successful learners’. Personal Development is embedded throughout the OHS Curriculum and focuses on 4 key areas:

● Social skills & communication – demonstrating an increased awareness of the consequences of actions on themselves and others and acquiring a better ability to work cooperatively
● Managing risk & decision making – identification, assessment & management of positive & negative risk to self & others, assessing the validity & reliability of information & identifying links between values, beliefs, decisions & actions.
● Motivation & concentration – participating in exploratory learning and focusing on specific tasks for extended periods of time
● Confidence & self-esteem – having the freedom, time and space to learn, grow and demonstrate independence

The OHS (PD) Curriculum consists of 7 strands:

  1. Careers, Information, Advice & Guidance; bespoke careers programmes matched to individual pupil need & underpinned by the Gatsby Benchmarks
  2. Curriculum Enrichment Workshops; engaging and enriching workshops offering opportunities to develop and extend a wide range of
    knowledge & skills across the curriculum
  3. AQA Unit & Arts Awards; accredited awards aimed at celebrating & validating individual achievement across the wider curriculum
  4. Pop-Up Projects; a responsive offer of projects linked to the pupils’ interests & needs, popular activities & seasonal events
  5. PE & Physical Activities; recreational and core sporting activities promoting physical & mental wellbeing
  6. Personal Development Skills; personalised programmes of activities , often outdoor, aimed at developing key personal skills eg bushcraft skills, fire lighting, archery, boxing
  7. PSHE/Health Education/Relationships & Sex Education (SRE); an opportunity for pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain



The Curriculum Across OHS
The Children’s Hospital, Helen House Hospice & the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

These in-patient settings teach pupils age 5-18 who have a range of acute and long term medical conditions with varying lengths of admissions. There is a high volume and turnover with around 800 pupils in any academic year. Pupils collaborate on designing their own bespoke, highly personalised curriculum, based on their personal interests and needs with OHS staff, enrolled school, parents and medical practitioners. Maintaining learning in the enrolled school curriculum is a priority in order to support continuity and reintegration; this is offered alongside a rich and varied OHS programme of high quality, motivational curriculum enrichment opportunities designed to support continued engagement with learning when a pupil’s focus, motivation and the ability to learn may be impacted by illness; these include internally delivered workshops such as food technology, science, values & virtual reality workshops alongside programmes provided through a broad range of external partnerships, including Oxford University Museums outreach programme, County Music service, Read for Good, Artists in Residence and Community Albums. Each pupil also has a high level of pastoral input through Values and PSHE workshops and personalised key tutor support. The curriculum is delivered through daily workshops and 1:1 or small group teaching. The settings aim to provide a broad curriculum offer taught by subject & key stage specialists wherever possible with a strong emphasis on key stage and specialist teaching e.g. for EYFS pupils, pupils with profound and multiple learning needs, phonics, English, Maths & science. Pupils are encouraged to work in groups wherever possible in order to support social & emotional wellbeing and transition back to the enrolled school or college; however, the dynamic nature of medical treatment in an acute hospital means that lessons are often taught on a 1:1 basis.


The Highfield Unit

The Highfield Unit is a 20 bedded psychiatric in-patient setting which teaches pupils age 11-18 who have been admitted with an acute mental health need such as an eating disorder, psychosis, anxiety or an emerging personality disorder. Continuity with the enrolled school or college curriculum is a priority in order to support re-integration whilst extension of this is necessary in order to broaden experience, inspire, and, build engagement and resilience. An additional OHS ‘core’ and ‘options’ curriculum enriches the programme for each individual pupil by offering a broad range of engagement for learning activities which provide the opportunity to try new experiences, develop new skills and rediscover the joy of learning in a safe and non-threatening environment; these include food technology, art, yoga, sports and outdoor experiences such as gardening and walks with a purpose. Pupils are also able to use the outdoor space for gardening and a state of the art music suite for making and editing music. External partners such as illustrators, poets, scientists and motivational speakers further enhance this offer. Each pupil receives a bespoke, personalised curriculum which has a high level of pastoral input and is constructed in collaboration with the pupil and OHS staff and is reflective of their capabilities as informed by the multidisciplinary team. Pupils at the Highfield are taught in groups, wherever possible, in order to support transition back to the enrolled school or college; however, at times, medical need may result in 1:1 teaching or teaching on the ward being most appropriate.


The Outreach Teaching Service

The Outreach Teaching Service (OTS) teaches pupils from 5-16 who are unable to attend their enrolled school due to their medical condition; this includes pupils with anxiety disorders, for example, and pupils in recovery from, or undergoing medical procedures. The service is a short term re-integration provision devolving the Local Authorities’ responsibilities outlined in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Up to 45 pupils are referred at any one time, each on a carefully matched reintegration pathway. Each pupil receives a bespoke, personalised curriculum which is constructed in collaboration with the pupil, parents, OHS staff and the enrolled school and is adapted in line with their capabilities as informed by the multidisciplinary team (most often the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service or a medical consultant). Most teaching in OTS is on a 1:1 face-to-face basis; lessons are supplemented by independent work (e.g. set via Google Classrooms).

Curriculum pathways include:

● core subjects of maths, English & science supplemented with a pastoral input, where appropriate, bespoke to each individual pupil’s needs
● Additional subject choices such as Humanities & MFL
● PSHE (including e-safety)
● PDC curriculum (including identifying pathways for further education, employment & training)

These pathways are enhanced by creative opportunities to join with pupils across the school in wider, motivational whole school curriculum led competitions and proposals such as poetry competitions, science week, sports week and Safer Internet day


All young people being taught by the Oxfordshire Hospital School receive a curriculum offer which is part academic and part therapeutic: the balance between these two elements is assessed on a weekly basis and adjusted to produce a personalised timetable which takes account of medical need, readiness to learn and SEND. Learning covered at the hospital school is linked closely to a pupil’s home school curriculum.

As a provision that provides outstanding teaching, learning and assessment students with SEND do well at Oxfordshire Hospital School (Ofsted, 2016). All students who have a SEND receive Quality First Teaching (QFT) as part of their personalised learning offer. Differentiation strategies are in the first instance based on the information provided by home schools to ensure continuity of support on transition from home school to hospital school learning.

The schools revolving door nature mean teachers conduct appropriate baseline assessments to assess the impact of a student’s medical needs upon their learning. Reflecting on impacts of known or yet unidentified SEND is a vital consideration in this process. All teachers and HLTA’s cannot only describe key features of most high incidence SEND but are aware of some initial support strategies.

Close links with clinical and community partners mean Hospital School Key teachers are able to advocate for additional support for young people when required. High quality case work is integral to Hospital school teachers’ core responsibilities. As a school we strive to ensure that young people with SEND are integrated to their future provision with their SEND needs even better supported than on admission.

Our Vision for SEND Pupils

At the hospital we never want to stop improving the offer for students with SEND. As a school the students are at the heart of what we do and making sure those that learn differently go on to enjoy and achieve is vital part of the culture of the school.

Over the next 12 months a network is being established consolidating expertise across the school and making it easier for colleagues in different settings to access knowledge support and advice on different areas of SEND.

We will use our upgraded ICT system to more clearly track the SEND needs of students across the schools different setting. This information means that each year we can deliver targeted training based on the frequency of SEND needs supported. The training focus will initially be on more advanced identification of SEND and building on current teaching staff knowledge to ensure they are aware of the latest support strategies.

We want to make sure we not only deliver interventions provided by home schools we want to be able to offer the best evidence best programmes available. We are keen to invest in our staff to ensure they are trained to provide these targeted interventions. We will review the impact of interventions using a combination of wholes school data, case studies, action research and importantly, conversations with colleagues’ young people and families.

Currently we regularly support colleagues in Health and Social Care services with Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) applications. We are keen to offer training to ensure these partners are instinctively able to lead on these applications themselves. We want our partners to feel as confident about advocating for students with SEND issues as we do.

Although we want to continually improve and go from outstanding SEND offer to regional expert in supporting students with SEND who have health needs; we still want to be constantly true to our values. We want to always be asking ourselves do we still build with kindness, and respect the resilience of our students with SEND? Having learnt with us are our students more confident young people who can enjoy and achieve as well as face problems and setbacks and learn from them?

For any further information please contact us on
01865 957480

Oxfordshire Hospital School c/o St Nicholas’ Primary School
Raymund Road
Old Marston Oxford

For any further information please contact us on
01865 957480

Oxfordshire Hospital School c/o St Nicholas’ Primary School
Raymund Road
Old Marston Oxford

For any further information please contact us on 01865 957480

Oxfordshire Hospital School c/o St Nicholas’ Primary School Raymund Road Old Marston Oxford OX3 OPJ