Pupils in Years Three and Four at Whyteleafe School have been learning of the most vital life lesson imaginable recently as the school has begun its annual course of first aid instruction.
The five-week course has been a fixture on the school calendar for four years, and is run in conjunction with the London Ambulance Service and the British Heart Foundation’s Heartstart programme.
“The knowledge of how to potentially save a life can only be a good thing for the children to have, so we’re really excited that we have this opportunity to pass it on to them,” said teacher Sarah Berke, who oversees the course.
“We’ve worked with the London Ambulance paramedics for some years now, so we have a really good relationship and they know exactly how to teach the techniques in the most effective way for children of this age. They’re learning things like how to deal with casualties when they’re conscious or unconscious, how to handle bleeding and the correct way to treat choking – the basics, but thing which might be the difference between life and death.”
Last year, despite significant public support, a move to see first aid instruction added to the national curriculum was rejected by parliament, so Whyteleafe, a member of the GLF Schools group, is leading the way in teaching the subject.
“The children and their parents are really behind the scheme,” added Ms Berke. “In any school, there are always some subjects which are more or less popular than others, but first aid is one topic that everyone can see is hugely useful and beneficial, so all the children are really enthusiastic about it and look forward to the lessons. This class could help you save a life. What knowledge can be important than that?”.
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