Skype and science are being used to ensure sick kids at The Children's Hospital at Westmead stay connected to their peers and to school.
The hospital's school principal Mercedes Wilkinson said the Connected Kids program began in early 2012, with students completing science experiments simultaneously in the classroom and the ward.
"The purpose is for them to connect with their peers," she said.
"The activity is just the vehicle."
Mrs Wilkinson said the school had so far taught almost 500 pupils this year, of different ages and for a different length of time.
Primary school teacher Josie Hodge said class numbers changed on a daily basis and that through Skype, ward students could relate to children in the class.
"We have some kids that due to their illness are just not allowed to leave their rooms — the oncology kids and others with infections have to stay in isolation," she said.
"This is a way for them to liaise with people other than doctors and nurses.
"It gives them a feeling of normality, that life continues even though they're sick."
Pupil Jazmin Goddard, 8, has spent a month in hospital for a nerve problem in her foot.
She said she enjoyed art classes at the school, which have included self portraits and a colourful watercolour painting of her name.
Other, Skype-based learning experiences have included a lesson on healthy food choices, where a teacher walked through the hospital's cafe with a screen and a pupil in bed ordered a healthy meal based on the footage.
■ The Connected Kids program was one of 11 school projects nominated for a CUA Community Care 2013 grant of $5000. Other Parramatta area schools nominated included Arthur Phillip High School, for an after-school care athletics development program; Holroyd School, for new playground equipment; and Rowland Hassall School, for a native garden and outdoor learning space.