Ruhrland Hospital School in Essen (Germany)

Ruhrland Hospital School

Ruhrland Hospital School (Photo: H. Frey)

Our school: Situated in the very heart of the Ruhr valley in North Rhine Westphalia (west of Germany) our hospital school offers lessons for students of all grades, school types and all abilities and special needs. On average we teach about 160 pupils per day, i.e. about 1.000 per year, 15 per cent with physical/ chronic, 85 per cent with psychiatric diseases. They are taught by 30 teachers (about half of them trained for special needs education) at seven units spread across the city.

Our teaching sites: in our main building a team of four teachers offers special lessons for about 20 out-patients, in two in-patient Clinics for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy there are six units with teams of two to four teachers each who teach about 70 students, about 30 students are taught by two teams of three/ four teachers in two  day-units (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry), three teachers work with about 25 students in the University Paediatric Clinic, two colleagues work in the institution “StepOut”, home for about ten youth with drug abuse background; finally, in “House Columbus”, an optionally closed institution, ten girls who need intensive educational care are taught by two teachers.

Within the different units we all follow one major aim: bridging the gap between pre- and post-medical treatment, i.e. accompanying transitions and promoting re-integration into the regular school system by teaching the core subjects (German, Maths, English), by offering all sorts of helpful counseling and coaching, and by promoting cooperation and networking with all people/ systems involved in the complex process.

Special lessons/ classes: Of course, we offer more to our students than just teaching the core subjects. In summer we profit from the fact that we are situated on the river Ruhr. So we go canoeing with some of our students on Lake Baldeney. Other students have the chance to take part in (orthopedagogical) equestrian vaulting lessons because we are lucky and have two teachers who are not only horse-maniacs, but also trained experts. Throughout the academic year our units organise day trips, projects, exhibitions – usually closely connected to lesson topics or topical events. Two special projects aim at connecting all the different units with their different demands: a project week in summer with one overall topic, e.g. “happiness”, which ends with a summer festival in and around our main building, and our school magazine (Zwischenzeitung – Magazine “In-between”), which is published once a year and contains articles, drawings, interviews etc. made by our students.

Back to school: As a result of a research project on the topic “school absence” we offer – together with clinic experts – special counseling for parents with children/ youth who have not attended school for a longer period. It is a project based on the cooperation of Essen education authority, educational counseling center, youth welfare office, Ruhrland Hospital School, regular schools and the local LVR Clinic for Child and Youth Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Perspectives:  In difficult and changing times teacher training plays an essential role, e.g. in the field of new technologies (“mobile learning”, “learning online”, “video conferencing”), teaching German as a secondary language (- you know about the number of refugees entering into our school system) and counseling/ coaching – complex, difficult situations demand competent, professional ways of communication, e.g. when talking with teachers at regular schools about compensations for students with long-term illnesses who have a legal right to individual compensation for the (educational) disadvantages they might experience because of their illness. In addition, we stand in for promoting the needs of our students on a political scale: educational laws must be adjusted to the fact that one out of five German pupils experiences a period within his/ her educational life with a serious illness and, thus, school absence/ need for home or hospital schooling.

Heidrun Friebel

Heidrun Friebel

Author: Heidrun Friebel, Hildegardstr. 83, D – 45475 Mülheim; Email:

Trained as a grammar school teacher (1989-1991) I worked as a teacher for English and German at different comprehensive schools in the Ruhr valley from 1991 till Feb. 2010. Since then I have been teaching at Ruhrland Hospital School, Essen, at different units (physical and psychiatric, in- and out-patient). In addition, I have also been working in the field of orthopedagogy since 2004.




Canoeing at Lake Baldeney, Essen (Photo: Ruhrland Hospital School)

Canoeing at Lake Baldeney, Essen (Photo: Ruhrland Hospital School)

“Angels – what do they mean to you?” – Project with students in the University Paediatric Clinic (Photo: Ruhrland Hospital School)

“Angels – what do they mean to you?” – Project with students in the University Paediatric Clinic (Photo: Ruhrland Hospital School)

Academic Hospital School in Uppsala (Sweden)

We are 11 teachers/specialteachers and one director in three units. Some of us are special teachers.

  1. Somatic hospital (children’s hospital)
  2. Psychiatric hospital ward. (acute ward)
  3. Regional Rehabilitation ward. (physical and neurology)

School children in hospital, are protected by the Swedish law of school, and should be provided education by hospital teachers. The teachers are employed by the municipality with economic support by the Swedish government.

In the big national hospitals, often connected to a university, there´s always a hospital school. We have in Sweden a national association with about 120 associated members. Every second year between a HOPE-conference we have our national conference.

The teachers within our group have different specializations. Our aim is to be able to meet all children´s needs and provide a similar education as far as possible. We have two separate classrooms, one for older and one for younger kids, naturally we teach in the wards, as well. For kids with complicated disease and long treatment the hospitalschool is important for improving results and hopefully, you don’t need to restart your time in school.IMG_0080 (1) IMG_1123 IMG_1140 (2)

Nordre Aker school in Oslo (Norway)

Nordre Aker Skole - Nydalen

Nordre Aker Skole – Nydalen

Nordre Aker School provides education for children who are patients at Oslo University Hospital, at the Children’s Division of Mental Health.
The children are between 6 and 18 years old and are temporary students at Nordre Aker School while following a treatment program at the hospital.

Nordre Aker School is an institution school consisting of two divisions‘- Nydalen and Sogn.
The school’s primary role is educational survey, training and outreach activities. The children are given a specially designed training program in close cooperation with the unit and the schooling is based on the treatment given.
Nordre Aker school is an institution school rooted in the school Education Act § 13 – 3a

The Childrens division – Nydalen
The school provides an educational program for children who are enrolled in the Children’s Division of Mental Health, which consists of two units, A and B. The target group is children aged between 4 and 14 years old. The treatment is individualized for each child and family.

Special education teachers from Nordre Aker School are part of the treatment team. The teachers are responsible for educational assessment; they work closely with the local school, PPT (educational psychology service) and any other departments involved. The school follows a flexible model, in which the teachers provide with help and guidance to the children’s local school. When needed special teaching is provided within the school premises.

Students can not apply directly to Nordre Aker School. The offer applies only to children who are patients at the Children’s Division of Mental Health.

The Youth division – Sogn
The school provides an educational program for children and adolescents from 13 to 18 who are enrolled in the Youth Division of Mental Health. It consists of two units: Intensive care day -and night unit and Intermediær.

The school also provides services for children and adolescents from 4 to 18 years who are patients at the family and network.

Special education teachers from Nordre Aker School are part of the treatment team. The teachers are responsible for educational assessment; they work closely with the local school, PPT (educational psychology service) and any other departments involved. The school follows a flexible model, in which the teachers provide with help and guidance to the children’s local school. When needed special teaching is provided within the school premises.

Nordre Aker skole - Sogn

Nordre Aker skole – Sogn

Contact data:

Nordre Aker skole
Sognsvannsveien 67,
0372 OSLO

Telefon:+ 47 22144000

Tikkamäki hospital school, Joensuu (Finland)

Tikkamäki school

Tikkamäki school

Tikkamäki School, which takes care of hospital teaching in Joensuu, is part of the town’s school system. The pupils can originally come from comprehensive schools in different parts of North Karelia and the municipality of Heinävesi. The pupils are undergoing medical examination or treatment in the child psychiatric, child neurological, youth psychiatric or somatic ward in the Central Hospital of North Karelia. Some pupils come to school from their home and they are undergoing treatment in youth psychiatric policlinic. Tikkamäki School is administered by Nepenmäki Comprehensive School.

The aim of hospital teaching is to make sure that the pupil is not left behind in their studies. Providing education during hospitalization is also a means of giving the pupil hope regarding their own future and of preventing their exclusion from society. Teaching is part of the child’s overall rehabilitation and its starting point is creating a positive relationship between the pupil and the teacher.

Tikkamäki School is situated in building L at the Central Hospital of North Karelia. School is  for forms 0.-6. ( i.e. children aged 6-12) and for forms 7.-9. (age 13-15) study. School is in the same building as children`s and youth`s  psychiatric wards so co-operation is feasible. The teaching of each pupil is planned individually and the curriculum of the forwarding school is followed as closely as possible. In addition to individuality, the curriculum of Tikkamäki School emphasizes art and expressive skills in the preschool class and in the 1st– 6th  forms  and foreign languages, mathematics and practical subjects in  the 7th-9th forms. In the ninth form the emphasis also lies in planning further studies. The length of the pupil’s school day is affected by their condition, treatment and ability to work in groups.

Tikkamäki´s staff

Tikkamäki´s staff

The hospital teachers co-operate with the teachers of the pupil’s home school. As the pupil is entering examination or treatment in the ward, the teacher discusses matters relating to school with the home school teachers. During the pupil’s stay in hospital school their curriculum and evaluation also create close co-operation with the forwarding school. When the pupil is returning to their home school the hospital teacher visits the home school supporting their return to school in a return meeting. The participants of this meeting are the pupil, the parent, teacher in the home school and the hospital teacher. During the examination and treatment periods there is also close co-operation with the parents and  the medical staff in consultations about both school and treatment matters.

In matters relating to education the parents are always asked to contact Tikkamäki School. The medical staff is responsible for the treatment. If the child is absent, the parent must inform the school. If the pupil needs a permission to be absent, the parent must ask for the  permission from the school.

In preschool and the 1st-6th forms the staff includes special education teachers Irja Hara, Minna Kamppuri and Juha Virkkala and teaching assistant Anita Ikonen. In the 7th-9th forms the teachers are special education teachers Leena Papunen, Marika Mervola and Pekka Muikku and teaching assistant Heini Sokkanen.

Leena Papunen ( teacher in charge)

Höhere Schule im Spital – Salzburg (Austria)

schule7 Jahre Höhere Schule im Spital Salzburg

Die Höhere Schule im Spital kann schon ein kleines Jubiläum feiern. Bereits fünf Jahre gibt es diese Institution, die Schülerinnen und Schüler, die längere Krankenhausaufenthalte vor sich haben, schulisch unterstützt.

Das Projekt Höhere Schule im Spital lebt von der intensiven Zusammenarbeit der Schülerinnen und Schüler, der Eltern, des medizinischen Personals und natürlich den Lehrerinnen und Lehrern frei nach dem Motto des diesjährigen Kongresses der europäischen Vereinigung der Spitalspädagoginnen und –pädagogen HOPE: „Together for a better education of sick children and adolescents.“

HIS – Höhere Schule im Spital Salzburg oder:  HIS wie „Herz im Schulalltag“

Wenn ich die HIS kurz beschreiben sollte, so würde ich sie als eine besondere Schule für Jugendliche mit besonderen Bedürfnissen unter besonderen Bedingungen mit einer besonderen Führung bezeichnen.

Eine besondere Schule deshalb, weil der Unterricht nicht in einem Klassenzimmer stattfindet, sondern in Krankenzimmern, in Aufenthaltsräumen von Krankenhäusern, in Räumlichkeiten der Heilstättenschule oder zu Hause bei den jeweiligen Kindern. Ein Unterricht ohne Schultafel und ohne Klassenverband.

Mit der Bezeichnung „Jugendliche mit besonderen Bedürfnissen“ meine ich Schüler, denen durch längere Krankenhausaufenthalte ein normaler Schulalltag nicht möglich ist. Unfälle, schwere Erkrankungen wie Krebs,  Komplikationen nach Operationen sowie langwierige  psychische  Erkrankungen machen einen regulären Schulbesuch unmöglich, und dennoch ist gerade ein Stückchen „Normalität“ in dieser schweren Zeit unglaublich wichtig. Hier ist nicht Mitleid gefragt, sondern neben der Wissensvermittlung im jeweiligen Fachgebiet  ist es auch eine wichtige Aufgabe, eine Abwechslung in den schwierigen Krankenhausalltag zu bringen und so zu einer „mens sana“ beizutragen, die gemeinsam mit den Therapien im Krankenhaus als gemeinsames Ziel  einen „corpus sanum“ hat.

Unter besonderen Bedingungen heißt, dass die Schüler mitunter während des Unterrichts im Krankenbett liegen oder am Tropf hängen oder unter dem Einfluss von Medikamenten stehen. Der Unterricht muss deshalb der jeweiligen Situation angepasst sein, und es können sich therapiebedingt ganz kurzfristige Änderungen der Unterrichtszeit und der Dauer der jeweiligen Unterrichtseinheit ergeben. Auch die Konzentrationsfähigkeit der Schüler kann von Stunde zu Stunde sehr unterschiedlich sein.

Die besondere Führung ist durch einen Direktor gegeben, der als ein bescheidener und umsichtiger Organisator im Hintergrund, diese nicht im konventionellen Sinne zu führenden Schule leitet. Er muss für jeden Schüler neue, individuelle, manchmal kreative, optimal der Situation des kranken Schülers angepasste Lösungen  suchen und finden. Sein guter Geist ist trotz seiner Zurückhaltung stets in dieser seiner Schule spürbar.

Ich habe in den letzten Jahren verschiedene Schüler der HIS in Italienisch unterrichten dürfen. Dürfen deshalb, weil auch für den Lehrer der Unterricht an der HIS eine große Bereicherung darstellen kann. Durch die besondere Situation entsteht eine besondere Beziehung zu den Schülern.  Gerade diese emotionale Seite des Lernens (Lernen mit Herz und Hirn), die auch in der neuerdings viel zitierten Studie von John Hattie als essentiell für einen Lernerfolg gilt, ermöglicht es, in diesen schwierigen Situationen oft trotz massiver Einschränkungen durch Medikamente und Umstände, gute Fortschritte und schöne Lernerfolge zu erzielen. Der Eifer und Fleiß mancher HIS Schüler ist trotz oder gerade wegen ihrer Situation oft bewundernswert. Die Aussicht, nach dem Verlassen des Krankenhauses in den normalen Schulalltag eintreten zu können und im Unterricht trotz langer Abwesenheit mitzukommen, ist für viele HIS Schüler eine sehr starke Lernmotivation. Eine Motivation, mit der man als Lehrer im „normalen“ Schulbetrieb nicht immer rechnen kann.

Beeindruckend ist auch manchmal, mit welcher Selbstverständlichkeit die jungen Menschen mit ihren Krankheiten umgehen und mit welchen  durch die Krankheit gereiften Persönlichkeiten man es mitunter zu tun hat. Es gibt Jugendliche, von deren innerer Größe und innerer Kraft man auch als Erwachsener viel lernen kann.

Durch mein Fach Italienisch durfte ich in den tristen Krankenhausalltag auch ein bisschen italienische Lebensfreude hineinbringen. Wenn man „Freude spendet, empfängt man aber auch Freude“ und zu sehen, dass lernende kranke Jugendliche auch Spaß am Lernen haben, weil sie von ihren Sorgen abgelenkt sind, erfüllt einen auch selbst. Der schönste Moment ist für mich und auch für alle anderen Lehrer, die an der HIS arbeiten, aber immer, wenn die erkrankten Jugendlichen dann endlich das Krankenhaus verlassen dürfen und wieder in ihr „normales Leben“ und in ihre „normale Schule“ zurückkehren dürfen. Wenn sie ihr Ziel, dass sie im Unterricht an der HIS verfolgt haben, nämlich trotz langer Abwesenheit in der Schule wieder mitzukommen und kein Schuljahr zu verlieren, erreicht haben, so erfüllt das auch ihre HIS Lehrer mit unglaublicher Freude.

Und so ist die Höhere Schule im Spital eine Schule mit Herz, die sowohl Schüler als auch Lehrer bereichert!

Autorin: Mag. Petra Huber (AHS-Lehrerin für Italienisch und Musikerziehung und Lehrerin an der Höheren Schule im Spital Salzburg)

Hospital Teachers in Umeå (Sweden)

Presentation at the HOPE-conference in Vienna 2016 of the Schoolsupport-documents produced at The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation


Thanks to The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation teachers at the Swedish pediatric oncology centers have had the opportunity to start a network.

We meet twice a year and at times we coordinate our meetings with consultant nurses and braintumour nurses.

The network was formed in 2003.Our meetings are valuable opportunities (for us pedagogues) to exchange experiences related to the task of teaching children/adolescents with cancer diagnosis.

We have been able to develop the co-operation with the students home schools and our co-operation with the consultant nurses and the braintumour nurses.


In 2012 we had the opportunity to introduce our networkmodel to our colleagues at the HOPE conference in Amsterdam. We thereby could stress the importance of the support from The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation. We introduced it by a visual display and a flyer with information about the network.

Some of the members from the network participated at the HOPE conference in Bukarest 2014 and experienced that a couple of other countries had started to organize networks in their own countries inspired by our model.


The HOPE-conference of 2016 is taking place in Wienna in May.

The Swedish Hospital Teachers ´Network at Childhood Oncology Centers would like to present a schoolproject drawn up by the Swedish Childhood Foundation.

The” Right to support in school” consists of three documents;

Advice to the headmaster, Advice to the mentor, Advice to parents.

The documents are well structured and distinct. We would like to describe their contents and also how we use them and how they are received and used by home schools.

We would like to do the presentation as an open workshop. We want to start with a short speech and continue with discussions, led by us, concerning questions important to all pedagogues working with ill children.

We would like to do the presentation together with Björn Olsson the coordinator and the author of the project. As a poster he will present the process of producing the documents in close dialog with us.


The documents are at the moment being translated to English. They will be available at the workshop. We focus on the documents concerning the headmaster, mentor and school. These documents are also useful when introducing immigrant children and their parents.

The document to parents is built on Swedish school-law and not that relevant to other countries. But could of course inspire to start develop documents adjusted to other countries curriculums and laws

A group from our network is planning the presentation but at the conference all of us from the network will participate as leaders in group-discussion.

We are sending this to you who are planning the Vienna-conference,

well aware of the fact that it is not completely in line with the theme of the conference. We would like to know if you think our project is interesting enough to present at the conference.

We are grateful for a quick answer to give us a hint if we should continue with the preparations.


Kind regards from hospitalteachers in









Ingrid Olsson

Hospitalteacher in Umeå, Sweden

Welcom to Skolen St. Olavs Hospital (Norway)


Jan Tingstad

Jan Tingstad

The School at St. Olavs Hospital offers education at primary and secondary level to pupils/students who are patients at the hospital. We are located at the Unit for Children and Youths and at the Unit for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. In addition we provide curriculum education for students at college/high school level at other units at the hospital. We maintain a close relationship with the various units.

The school activities are located within the hospital area in Trondheim. Situated in the central part of Norway, Trondheim is the third largest city in the country. Our school has a headmaster and seven teachers. Most of our pupils/students come from the three counties “Møre og Romsdal”, “Sør-Trøndelag” and “Nord Trøndelag”. The State owns the hospital. However, it is Sør-Trøndelag county which is responsible for the School and the teaching of the youngsters (age 6 – 18) at St. Olavs Hospital. The county cooperates with the municipality of Trondheim in the running of the school.We give individual tuition/education to children, youths and adults hospitalized at St. Olavs Hospital who have rights according to the national law of education (“Opplæringslova”).



We want to provide the pupils/students with as normal life situation as possible, with focus on confidence, prosperity and life quality. In cooperation with the pupils’/students’ home schools we want to give chronic ill and long-term hospitalized children adapted education, to make it easier for them to return to their home school.

Please, feel welcome to contact our headmaster for any further information:
Phone: +47 72574747

Please, feel welcome to contact the teachers by Phone or E-mail. You find the teachers under „Ansatte“.