What is Compass?
We understand that for some young people, going to school can be a huge challenge. They may have had negative experiences at school in the past, may struggle with their mental health or may have additional difficulties that make it hard to access education.
Compass is an educational pathway designed for these students. It is a part-time, temporary programme with small classes of students who have similar struggles, and friendly, understanding staff who want to help the young people in any way they can.
On Compass we aim for students to:
- Build good relationships with members of staff.
- Form appropriate relationships with peers in their class.
- Become used to attending school every day.
- Gain new skills and knowledge in a variety of subjects.
- Work towards qualifications when they are ready to.
- Transition to a new permanent school placement when the time is right.
- Have a positive experience of school!
To come to Compass, students must be in year 10 or 11, live in the local authority of Wandsworth, have an EHCP, and have had mental health difficulties that have stopped them being able to access education.
What is an EHCP?
An EHCP is an Education, Health and Care Plan. It is a big document that gives anybody working with you information about your strengths, difficulties and ways to help you. It is issued by the special educational needs department at the local authority and will get you access to extra support throughout your education, potentially up until the age of 25.
What happens on Compass?
Compass is based in classrooms on the playground of Ernest Bevin College. Whilst we are on the site of Ernest Bevin, we are a separate provision.
Below is the classroom we are based in:
Your timetable is built depending on how ready you are – we have three phases on the programme. We start with phase 1, where we will meet you in the community – either at your home or in a place close to your home, such as a library or cafe. This will be with a teacher or an educational care coordinator from the programme and you will spend the time getting to know one another and building up to coming into school.
Phase 2 will be when you are ready to start coming into school on a very reduced timetable. You and your teacher can decide together which subjects and times they think will work best for you. We are really flexible so this can change depending on how you feel. Below is an example.
Phase 3 will be when you are ready to join us every day for our whole programme. You will participate in maths, English, science, PSHE, citizenship, STEM and humanities. You will also have a pastoral session, which will be for half an hour with a member of our team. In the afternoon you will have independent work to do that our teachers will set for you.
At Compass, we are very casual. We don’t wear a uniform and we don’t have a strict dress code. We want you to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and we are happy for you to express yourself if you wish. We don’t ask for piercings to be taken out or nail varnish to be taken off!
You will work quite closely with either Sophie, Claire or Hollie, who are pastoral leads on the programme:
‘Every day my son looks forward to going to school – to get away from his room, and all the poking and prodding from doctors is such a relief. He is treated like a school boy, rather than a patient, and I think this has as much healing properties as medicine! Due to his illness, my son has missed about a month of schooling, but hopefully will have caught up because of the hospital school.’
‘Wow, where to begin. I wanted to write to you to demonstrate how much of a positive impact you have had on me……you have restored my faith in teachers everywhere...the CAMHS Campus School was definitely the highlight of Springfield for me as is the case for so many others. Rest assured if I ever get involved in the murky world of politics your funding will be quadrupled, ring-fenced and seared forever.’
‘We are so grateful and thankful for the brilliant staff at the St. George’s Hospital School. We have spent quite a lot of time there over the past 18 months, they have made learning such fun – memorable science experiments and story writing, the best time making posters and adverts and treats for the school cafe. The staff are cheerful, calm, gentle and above all fun. Thank you to the great team.’
‘We were so grateful to the teaching team. They have been absolutely fantastic. My daughter had surgery on Monday and was quiet and withdrawn. This has been instrumental in her recovery and also kept her mind on education whilst she’s been sick.’
‘Everyday my son looks forward to going to school – to get away from his room, and all the poking and prodding from doctors is such a relief. He is treated like a school boy, rather than a patient, and I think this has as much healing properties as medicine! Due to his illness, my son has missed about a month of schooling, but hopefully will have caught up because of the hospital school.’
‘We are so grateful and happy for the care and support – teachers are so helpful and very kind, we love you all for your hard work, keep it up. Thanks so much.’
‘Thank you for the range of learning opportunities you provided my son in hospital for the week for the week he was on the neuro ward. He found the activities very engaging and accessible. He thoroughly enjoys maths and looked forward to the activities you provided for this – he is especially looking forward to the spreadsheet analysis this afternoon. he enjoys music and was surprised to have the opportunity to learn about and play different instruments. Thanks again for all your help.’
‘We are so grateful that there is a school/classroom to attend. Josie really needs something to focus on when he’s in hospital, he looks forward to getting out of his room and working/studying English, Maths and other interesting topics he can learn about. It has really made a difference to his mood during the hospital stays, having been admitted so many times throughout the past 7 months. Furthermore, it helps him keep on top of his schooling.’
‘Thank you for helping me for the past 10 months. You have helped me to keep as motivated and hopeful for my future as I could have been. I cant wit to start college and maybe become a paramedic. I’ll always remember this school and everyone in it’
‘The service aims to enable pupils with long-term illnesses, mental health issues or who are pregnant to remain in education…... You and your staff ensure that these aims are fully met. Most pupils have missed long periods of learning due to illness. They make remarkable progress during their short time in the school.
Pupils told us that, without the school, they would not be able to engage fully in learning or sit any examinations. Parents value the high-quality teaching provided alongside the excellent care and support given to each individual pupil.’