Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCHM)

Melbourne, 2013/14

NoTosh Team

Hamish Curry, Tom Barrett

How to achieve a balance between treatment and learning

Educational Programme Redesign

With over 1,500 children resident at any one time, and only a handful of full-time teachers, RCHM wanted to challenge the pre-established norms of learning and teaching to allow for greater flexibility and consistency in the development of each child’s learning. A complete redesign of their education programme was required and NoTosh was appointed to help.

Working with the widest possible cross-section of staff – teachers, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, child psychologists – we ran a series of workshops to introduce the NoTosh Design Thinking process and to encourage staff to think about their roles and relationships with each other and also with the children in their care. It soon became clear that there was tension between teaching and medical staff and we worked through a process of prototyping and feedback to find a solution to this imbalance.

Once teachers and medical staff were on the same page, we were able to bring the children themselves on board with NoTosh Design Thinking and work out how to create a system that that would deliver a level of consistency in each child’s learning and also work around their treatment programme. With empathy for the students’ challenging situations identified as a key contributor to success, staff and students alike adopted a trial and error attitude that encouraged everyone to work without fear of failure. Adapting their learning around their treatment, the young people began to take ownership of their projects, creating physical products such as books to show their learning and provide useful or entertaining resources for the other students.

“We’ve introduced a level of consistency that allows regularity to return to our young patients’ lives while opening up new and exciting opportunities for them. Along with NoTosh, we’ve created a new way of learning for everyone involved and ultimately helped to raise the profile of the hospital. It’s been a systematic change that would not have happened without this process of design thinking.”

Lauren Sayer, Head of Teaching & Learning, RCHM
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