Park High School is a mixed comprehensive secondary school in Stanmore, London. It has over 1800 students between the ages of 11 and 18.
In 2015 Naomi Barker, head of Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship, Economic education (PSHCEe) introduced first aid lessons in to the school’s teaching programme for year 7s.
Naomi said, “I feel it is extremely important that young people are equipped with first aid knowledge, both practical and emotional, to ensure that they can help themselves and others in any given situation.”
Since its introduction, the school has been using the Red Cross’ First aid learning for young people free online teaching resource suitable for 11 to 19 year olds. When talking about the resource Naomi and her team said, “It’s excellent and really easy to use – requiring no prior experience or training.”
Every year some 270 year 7 students complete a first aid programme at Park High School. Naomi said, “we ensure that we have a half term dedicated to learning about first aid so that students can fully develop their understanding of the skills.”
Naomi has found that her students really enjoy learning about different first aid skills, each lesson is different as they can pick from 16 first aid skills and accompanying resources.
Young people can also use the resource independently; lessons in a computer room allow students to test their skills through the interactive quizzes. The educator zone allows teachers to track progress and quiz results. Naomi said, “This allows us to assess learning and re-visit any areas if required.”
Naomi said, “Students really enjoy looking at the emotional response too - the interactive resources on the website are excellent for this with engaging videos, scenarios and quizzes to assess learning.” They can, not only understand the key steps to take when helping someone in a first aid emergency but, really understand how fellow young people felt when they may or may not have had the skills, confidence and willingness to help friends, family or strangers.
Through the resource students can really relate to the different contexts from Reheem who becomes unresponsive and breathing after drinking alcohol at a friend’s house to Seb who cuts himself when he tried to jump the railings.
“The curriculum support booklet from the Red Cross is also really useful at supporting teachers with their delivery,” Naomi said. Teachers can also access the educator zone, with the ability to download lesson plans, resources and certificates.
First aid on the curriculum
Head of PSHCEe and member of the PSHE Association, Naomi Barker believes that first aid should be statutory in all schools. “It equips young people with essential skills, knowledge and understanding which is valuable both now and throughout life," she said. "It is of absolute imperative that they be given the opportunity to learn these in school through a rigorous and tailored PSHCEe curriculum and for these to be delivered consistently across all schools PSHE needs to become statutory.”
Naomi said, “I fully support first aid becoming a mandatory part of new statutory PSHE curriculum. PSHCEe works as an appropriate forum for integrating this into the curriculum.”
What students said:
From watching videos, doing role play activities and thinking about how they would feel in different first aid situations, the students of Park High School have found their first aid lessons really valuable and think all young people should learn this essential life skill.
“All child and young people need to know first aid skills so they can help others,” said Mithusha.
“I think it is important for people to learn first aid as an emergency can happen at any time, and we need to know how to deal with it,” said Tia.
Sagal said, “It’s vital for every school to learn first aid. This way we are aware of how to help one another."
I can save a life.
Students believe they are learning life-saving skills.
Abdullah said,“Learning first aid can change the world as it saves lives – it can really make a difference to people lives.”
“In case I witness a person who needs help,I can go and help them and save a life,” added Jahnui.