SPOTLIGHT ON…Oxfordshire Hospital School

Date Created: 6th Feb 2017

3 young students drawing on roll of paper attached to wall at Oxfordshire hospital

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The Oxfordshire Hospital School (OHS) believes in using the arts as a tool for communication, expression and building self-esteem. The OHS comprises of three different settings, all providing education to young people not able to access their usual place of learning because of medical needs.

We’re part of the Artsmark process because we feel it provides a platform for celebrating excellence and is a recognised standard of arts delivery. We are using our Artsmark status to highlight and celebrate the value and importance of existing arts projects, as well as to challenge ourselves to exceed our own expectations for the future.

“I feel very lucky to be part of the OHS. I love facilitating art sessions here and I’m always impressed by the quality and variation of work produced. The school really values the importance and impact of the arts; both staff and students work alongside one another to explore their creativity.” (Dionne Freeman OHS resident artist)

The arts are a firm part of the OHS School development plan. The collaborative projects that started as part of our Artsmark journey have been gathering momentum and are now an integral part of the school’s timetable. Using the arts as a springboard for circular-work is something that is constantly being developed and explored at the school.

Our Viral Footprints project sees the school working with artist and scientist, Lizzie Burns, to better understand viruses. The work uses visual imagery to show the patterns and intricacy of viruses, as revealed with an electron microscope and computer-generated models. All students are encouraged to experiment with materials to see what unique virus designs emerge.

“The workshop helped me understand how beautiful the inside of my body is.”  (Student)

Young boy looking through microscope at paint


Here at the OHS we are particularly proud of the partnership work we do with local and national cultural organisations. We are committed to advancing and developing the arts through varied and continued partnership work with Oxford University of Natural History, The Ashmolean, Phoenix Comics, The Museum of Oxford, Artslink, Pitt Rivers Museum and Community Albums.

An essential part of the school’s ethos is valuing student voice and responding to their needs. We invest in an artist-in-residence, who delivers weekly workshops to equip staff and inspire students. We believe in promoting student-led projects and sharing experiences that can inform others. Our current podcast project, Hubbub, with Radio Producer (Penny Boreham), sees students recording and sharing their experiences in hospital, in order to guide and inform future students.

Artsmark acts as a great starting point and a beacon for future exciting collaborations. It has provided us with the focus and platform to celebrate and showcase our creative work at Oxfordshire Hospital School. We would absolutely recommend it to other schools wishing to do the same. OHS feels passionate about and committed to developing possible partnerships with other schools to share knowledge and expertise.

Find out more about Artsmark here


Artsmark South East Bridge

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