School backs first aid event

editorial image

Twenty-three schools in Derbyshire, including Brockwell Junior, will be tuning into The Big First Aid Lesson on June 12, to give their pupils the chance to learn vital skills that could save lives.

The nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance, is calling on more schools in the region to join the Big First Aid Lesson, which will be hosted by TV presenter Claudia Winkleman. The lesson is a free, one hour, online first aid training session filmed live and streamed directly into classrooms across the region.

It combines first aid training and 999 scenarios with real life stories, as well as plenty of opportunities for students to join the conversation via Google Hangouts.

Joanne Lenthall, a teacher at Brockwell Junior School in Chesterfield, said: “We have signed up because we believe it is a crucial life skill for children to be able to remain calm and feel confident in comforting and assisting in medical issues as and when they arrive.

“Whether it be playing outside at school or at home, children are usually the first on the scene, so to provide them with some knowledge and skills to offer appropriate help would be a huge benefit to all involved.

“It can often be a scary experience for the first-aider, as well as the injured party, but by giving the children this experience we may be providing them with attributes to deal successfully with many situations. And who knows, we could be building the medical profession of the future!”

The Big First Aid Lesson will teach students how to respond to emergencies, such as asthma attacks and head injuries. For more information visit

The only equipment schools need to take part is an internet connection and a screen, such as an interactive whiteboard, for their pupils to watch in the classroom or during assembly.

Claudia Winkleman, TV presenter and mother of three said: “The Big First Aid Lesson is a fantastic and engaging way of teaching students the skills they may need to help keep a classmate or a family member safe in an emergency while they’re out on the playground or during the holidays. All schools should make teaching young people basic first aid a top priority.”

Last year, over 32,000 young people tuned into St John Ambulance’s first Big First Aid Lesson. Schools that register for this year’s event are being encouraged to watch last year’s session to get to grips with skills such as how to perform a primary survey - the first step anyone should take in a first aid emergency – and put injured people into the recovery position.

St John Ambulance regional director for East Midlands, Chris Thornton said: “We’re asking teachers to commit just one hour of their timetables to our event so every student can learn how to save a life - it could be the most important lesson they ever learn.

“We’re looking forward to working with Claudia to create a fun first aid hour so more young people can be the difference between life and death.”

For more information visit