accessibility & help

British Red Cross launches resource to teach first aid to five year olds

Wednesday 4 May 2011
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Henry Makiwa,, 0207 877 7479 or out of hours 07659 145095

The British Red Cross has launched a free first aid teaching resource for all primary school teachers, tailor-made for teaching first aid skills to children aged 5 to 11.

The new teaching package is part of the British Red Cross Life. Live it campaign to bring first aid to youngsters through learning in the classroom and outside school. The free, easy-to-use teaching resource is accessible online from today (4 May 2011) on the Red Cross website:

Liz Brunwin, the Red Cross Life. Live it. project manager, said: "With the new online materials we are making it easier than ever for schools to introduce first aid to pupils from an early age. Research shows us that while there is a great willingness on the part of teachers to equip their students with life-saving skills, this is currently a real gap in the classroom.”

Recent research by the Red Cross found that, while an overwhelming majority of primary school teachers (83 per cent) want first aid lessons for their pupils, less than one in five currently provide them.

With its new resource, the charity is providing a free, accessible yet comprehensive tool which does not require any previous knowledge of first aid for either teacher or pupil.

Liz explained, “We want all primary school children to have the opportunity learn first aid. The basics can be easily taught and don’t take children long to pick up. That’s why we’ve produced a flexible resource that can be used by all schools, and includes step-by-step guidance for those without any knowledge of the subject.

“The emphasis of the Life. Live it resource is on learning first aid through a variety of approaches: video, interactive activities, discussion, quizzes, drama, practical activities, drawing and more,” she added.

The Red Cross is expecting strong interest in the new resource from schools across the UK despite the fact that first aid within Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) has not been made a compulsory element of the primary curriculum in England as the previous government had planned.

Bethan Tidey, deputy headteacher at Beeston Primary School in Leeds who has trialled the resource said: “It is very impressive. I especially like the variety of activities and resources such as films, quizzes and pictures. The site is easy to navigate and obviously a lot of research has gone into it. I know my schoolchildren will love using and learning from it.”

Unlike in England, education authorities in Wales have made Personal and Social Education (PSE) a compulsory subject, and basic first aid is an option within this.

In Pontypridd, deputy headteacher and healthy schools coordinator, Huw Carmichael at Coedylan Primary says he is looking forward to using the resource.

“I found this to be a very child-friendly product and additionally there’s a lot in it for both teachers and pupils alike. I think this will be a very good resource and I’ll definitely be recommending it to others,” Huw said.

The British Red Cross believes that first aid is an important life skill that everybody should know. As young people move towards independence in their own lives and take on responsibilities in their own lives they should know how to help others, whether it is a family member, friend or fellow citizen.



Notes to editors

• For press enquires, images or to arrange an interview, please contact Henry Makiwa on 02078777479 /
• British Red Cross/ DJS research: online survey with 226 primary schools across the UK (Sept 2010)
• The new resource for primary-aged children follows the Life. Live it. first aid education kit for ages 11 – 16 which was launched in 2007 and is now used to teach around 100,000 young people each year.

British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.