A SOLIHULL school is piloting the introduction nationwide of lifesaving lessons as part of the curriculum.
Alderbrook School joined hundreds across the country which have opted to start teaching first aid early, using free British Red Cross teaching resources to help teachers give children the skills to save a life.
Yesterday (Thursday) teachers and pupils took part in a first aid training session provided by Red Cross first aid trainer Victoria Linekar, learning simple but vital skills such as how to help someone who is choking.
Sean Hawker, history teacher and PSHE lead co-ordinator at the school, believes first aid is a life skill everyone deserves to learn.
He said: “If we want to get rid of inequality and bring in equal opportunity to all, first aid is something we should be teaching in schools. It’s a crucial life skill.
“First Aid can be taught to children of any age. We hope they’ll never have to use it, but in the event they need it, they could potentially save someone’s life.”
The British Red Cross says new research reveals a fifth of children (20 per cent) polled in the West Midlands have experienced a situation where someone needed first aid but almost half of children (48 per cent) say they would feel helpless to act if they witnessed an accident and someone was injured.
The research is being released by the British Red Cross ahead of World First Aid Day and to coincide with the launch of the pilot of first aid in schools.
Year 11 student Isabelle Chance, 15, said: “It’s a skill everyone deserves to know, because if something happened and they couldn’t help, they would feel guilty.
“If something happened now, and I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have remembered it. And if everyone knew how to handle these problems, I would feel safer if anything was to ever happen to me.”
Dan Hulburt, year 11 student, 15, said: “I would like to be a life guard as a summer job. I thought that this was quite good, and useful for people who might know how much First Aid is vital, and even as a refresher.”
Alderbrook pupil Safa Lavelle, aged 12, said after the session: “I think it’s quite important to know first aid, because you don’t know when you are going to be in the situation. I really enjoyed the session and I found out how to do CPR, and what to do when someone is choking.”
And Year 11 student Ben Argent, 15, says: “I feel more confident and now if something was to happen or someone was to pass out I know what to do. It is a life skill.”
A separate study by the British Red Cross found that up to 59 per cent of deaths from injuries could be prevented if first aid had been given before the medical services arrived. The actions of the first person at the scene are vital – and can mean the difference between life and death.
Ms Linekar said: “It was fantastic to see the students from Alderbrook school so enthusiastic to learn first aid today, by the end of the short session they have the skills to save a life.
“It was exciting to tell the students that after 10 years of campaigning from the British Red Cross and partners, first aid will be compulsory on the school curriculum in England from 2020, empowering a generation of life savers.
“Anyone can learn to save a life by downloading our free, first aid app giving simple and easy-to-follow steps for any first aid situation.”
Mr Hawkins, RSE teacher at Alderbrook was pleased to hear teachers could sign up to be part of a Red Cross teaching pilot, giving teachers access to free resources to support them to teach first aid at school.
The resources include lesson plans, learning activities for different ages and are mapped to the school curriculum for primary and secondary school children.