Students at Kingsley are being taught life-saving skills that a national heart charity is calling on the government to make compulsory as part of the physical education curriculum.
Kingsley is leading the way by already including basic life support (BLS) as part of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons.
In a joint initiative with the BLS Society at Warwick University, Year 9 students undergo four hours of vital life-saving training, which includes managing an unconscious, bleeding or choking patient.
In a recent survey carried out by the British Heart Foundation, 73% of school children said they wanted to learn how to resuscitate someone and give first aid. More than 75 per cent of teachers and parents also agreed it should be taught in schools.
The charity’s Head of Policy & Public Affairs Maura Gillespie says: “Teaching young people how to save a life is as important as learning to read and write. They are skills which equip them for real situations they might face in their lives.”
Kingsley is the first school in Warwickshire where pupils undergo BLS training given by second year medical students in their spare time. If the initiative is deemed to be a success, the BLS Society is very eager to continue the project in other interested schools around the county.
Trainee doctor Idan Bokobza is one of more than 40 students who have been trained by the BLS Society to teach this course, modelled following the British Heart Foundation’s Heartstart Scheme. Six medical students from this group have taken the training sessions at Kingsley.
“It is a win, win scenario for us all as the girls learn vital life saving skills and we get experience of interacting with young people, which improves our communication skills and will hopefully make us better doctors when we qualify,” he says.
Kingsley Head teacher Ms Heather Owens believes it is a vital part of a student’s education to be taught BLS and first aid skills.
“As a forward thinking school we want to equip our students for life in the real world and skills like this are part of the process. Whilst we pride ourselves on the academic achievements of our pupils we also give equal importance and value to education in the widest sense to produce the next generation of well rounded young women,” she says.
Picture 1: Some of the Kingsley students with medical students. Certificates were presented to all girls who completed the four hours of BLS training.
Picture 2: Learning how to deal with major bleeding.
Picture 3: Warwick University medical students keep a close eye on Kingsley girls as they practise their bandaging technique.