When Education is Disrupted: Bridging the Gap for Sick and Injured Children


When a child living in the WA area becomes ill or injured and requires urgent medical treatment in Perth, it is not possible to attend school.

We spoke to Ronald McDonald House Charities WA Miss T teacher and Learning Experiences Coordinator about her role in developing and delivering dynamic, engaging and motivating learning opportunities for sick children and their siblings and sisters aged 3 to 17, of all abilities and cultures, and from all parts of WA.

“What I love most about my job is seeing firsthand how our global mission comes to life and unfolds every day, frowning,” said Miss T.

“Laughter fills the room and every member of the family, whether patient, sibling or carer, develops a positive sense of being, of belonging and to become – no matter how far they are from home.”

Play-based learning and creating positive spaces

Learning opportunities are offered twice a day for two hours, in the uplifting and comfortable environment of the Bass Family Learning Center, within the Ronald McDonald House, aligning with an inquiry-based approach to learning and the game.

“Most people don’t associate a child’s hospital stay with play and learning, but play and learning are universal and natural behaviors for children. It is an essential part of their development and well-being as it creates a safe environment for young people to be free and deal with feelings of fear, distress or sadness,” said Miss T.

Often when the lives of young people and their siblings have been severely impacted by illness or trauma, having a place like this can give them a sense of normalcy, helping them get excited about each new day. It also provides a critical and positive space to process the emotions that may be present when the rights to development and well-being are violated.

“The Learning Center becomes a bridge to the world outside of treatment,” said Miss T.

“The opportunities provided by The Learning Center through its play and inquiry-based approach provide children with a safe space to continue learning about the world around them and keep them connected and ready to engage in learning. when they go back to school.”

The intention of the Bass Family Learning Centre, part of Ronald McDonald House Nedlands

Their game-based approach to learning aims to achieve:

  • Commitment with learning at a time when children cannot access their usual school environment.
  • Opportunities build and develop social relationships with peers within the home.
  • Distractiongiving them a sense of routine and positive association for patients and siblings who may go through difficult and prolonged treatment programs.
  • Relief and respite for parents and caregivers.

As no two learners are the same, it is also important to accommodate children’s unique needs, viewing each student as a child with inimitable attributes, characteristics and personality.

“My job is to get to know my learner, build a relationship with them, and understand how to adapt to the needs of each learner as I strive to best support each student no matter what their challenges,” said said Miss T.

“I see the learner before their serious illness, injury or disability.”

The program is available to all school-aged children staying at home, including siblings of those in treatment. Although it is not a substitute for formal education or the WA curriculum, it offers sessions that complement a child’s education with activities appropriate to their age, motor skills and cognitive functions to keep them connected. to his education.

“At 10 a.m. the doors ring – a series of magic knocks – letting me know that the children are ready for the start of the session,” said Miss T.

“We fill our space with love, laughter and joy as we paint, cook and discover the world together.

“Each session ends with a round of compliments and a sensational rainbow of stickers. We pack up – knowing with great excitement that we’ll be ready to do it all again at 2pm.

People like Miss T of Ronald McDonald House Charities WA play a vital role in ensuring sick and injured children across Western Australia, from the northern pindan of the Kimberley to the southern shores of Albany, are connected to their education through to invigorating educational experiences. Visit the website for more information or to support Ronald McDonald House Charities WA.


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