Love is a strong word. But when we spoke to a group of eight and nine year olds about a first aid session at their school, that word came up again and again. Meet the children from Breck Primary School who love learning first aid.
Situated in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, Breck Primary School has over 270 pupils between the ages of 4 and 11.
When enthusiastic higher level teaching assistant Anita Wylie joined the school in 2016, she made it her priority to introduce first aid learning into the classroom.
“I am passionate about the importance of teaching this valuable life skill to children,” Anita said.
Although first aid is not a statutory part of the school curriculum, an overwhelming 95 per cent of parents, 84 per cent of teachers and 97 per cent of pupils think it should be.
The British Red Cross is calling for first aid to be taught in schools.
And that’s exactly what Anita came across. Our Life. Live It. website is a free online teaching resource suitable for 6 to 11 year olds.
“The Life. Live it. resource makes teaching first aid exciting and fun,” Anita said.
“It encompasses a range of different learning styles so it is suitable for all children as they can watch videos, listen to explanations and practise first aid.”
Anita trialled the sessions with year four children – they were an instant hit.
What the children thought
From watching videos to acting out scenarios, the pupils at Breck Primary loved getting involved.
“My favourite thing about learning first aid was when we did acting out. I loved acting out the hot chocolate video,” said Archie.
“My favourite thing was learning how to help someone who is unresponsive and breathing because it is easy to learn – I got it in a few minutes,” added Thomas.
“I like to do first aid because I love learning new ways to help people every day,” said Lexie.
Anita was chuffed to hear such comments from her pupils.
“When evaluating the first aid lessons I was overwhelmed when all the children said they had enjoyed the lesson,” she said.
“What really made me proud was when the year four children led a first aid assembly and were able to re-enact their learning in front of their parents and the rest of the school, thus passing on some vital life skills,” she added.
Putting skills into practice
Three quarters of the pupils taught first aid have already put their skills into practice. Most have helped friends and family with small injuries like nosebleeds, a burn and a bleed.
“At home I managed to stop my sister’s nose bleed,” Thomas said.
“I once did call an ambulance for my friend. I love being able to help people and I love first aid,” added Emily.
But one particular incident sticks with Anita: “I was especially pleased when one child passed on his knowledge and taught his Cub group how to help someone who is unresponsive and breathing by turning them on their side and tilting their head back,” she said.
Over 50 pupils have completed the first aid programme since Anita joined the school and first aid is now an important part of their PSHE timetable and after school programme.
First aid for children
“It is important to know about first aid because when you get older an accident might happen and you will know exactly what to do, and you will get the opportunity to save somebody’s life.” Tansi, Breck Primary School.
If you agree with Tansi and work or volunteer with children, visit our Life.Live It. website to find our resources.