The long summer holiday is over – it’s time to head back to school. What’s the most important thing you think pupils will learn this year?
Perhaps they will conquer equations, master French, or triumphantly learn the periodic table off by heart.
But what if they learnt how to save a life?
When 16-year-old Anmol saw an elderly man collapse in a shopping centre car park, she stopped to help.
The teenager calmly observed the situation, called 999 and stayed with the man, providing reassurance until the emergency services arrived.
“I was surprised no one else was willing to stop,” she said.
“People should help each other.”
Anmol knew what to do because she had recently learnt first aid at her school. But first aid is not a statutory part of the school curriculum.
The British Red Cross believes educating young people in first aid is important – and we’re not the only ones.
An overwhelming 95 per cent of parents, 84 per cent of teachers and 97 per cent of pupils want it to be part of the curriculum, too.
That’s why we are calling for first aid to be taught in schools.
But we also provide an array of resources to help schools and anyone working with young people. Together we can make sure that young people don’t miss out on these life-saving skills.
And it’s thanks to these resources that Anmol’s school – Seven Kings School in east London – was able to teach its students first aid.
ADDING FIRST AID TO THE TIMETABLE
Seven Kings School wanted to develop a new learning module for their sixth form students. So they asked young people to share their ideas.
Following a survey, it became clear that first aid was a popular choice.
The then co-ordinator of sixth form citizenship, Christina Servante, set out to incorporate first aid into the school’s enrichment programme.
But where could she get first aid information from?
Fortunately, Christina came across our First aid learning for young people website where we provide a host of free resources to support educators – from teachers to club leaders.
“I found the resources really useful and easy to use,” Christina said.
“I could follow step-by-step instructions for each first aid skill. I also loved how the videos, quizzes and suggested activities led to interactive and engaging sessions.”
ANMOL PUTS HER LEARNING INTO ACTION
But what really got the pupils talking was an activity about the bystander effect.
They explored the qualities that motivate and enable someone to stop and help a person in distress – and just weeks after the session, Anmol overcame the bystander effect to help that elderly man.
Christina is immensely proud of her student and has found teaching first aid a really rewarding experience.
“Our young people have the potential to be caring and proactive citizens, they just need to be taught the skills to give them the confidence,” she said.
Anmol agreed: “I think all students should have the opportunity to learn first aid skills, especially in the sixth form when we are about to embark on new experiences such as further education or work.”
“It’s been a really enjoyable experience for both teachers and students,” Christina added.
“There’s a real buzz in the classroom when first aid is taught – with lots of participation. I would encourage other schools to go for it.”
FIRST AID FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
- If you work or volunteer with young people and want to teach them first aid, visit our First aid learning for young people website
- Find out more about our advocacy work to get first aid on the curriculum