In 2013 we launched a British Heart Foundation Heartstart programme with the objective of teaching all pupils emergency first aid skills. Dr Khan, a parent at the school, became aware of the fantastic resources provided by the British Heart Foundation for schools to be able to deliver this training within the school curriculum. Through his hard work and determination, the Stella Maris Heartstart programme is now entering its sixth year!
Since its inception 45 pupils have been taught the full Heartstart programme.
The programme is split into three stages: The first stage is delivered when pupils are in Years 1 and 2 and deals with conscious and unconscious casualties. It focuses on calling for help, teaching children how to contact the emergency services and what information they will need to know and in Year 2 how to put patients into the recovery position. Level 2 is delivered to pupils in Years 3 and 4 and deals with specific situations such as serious bleeding, choking and a suspected heart attack. The final stage focuses on cardiac arrest and the children learn how to perform CPR and this is taught to pupils in Years 5 and 6.
Dr Khan comments "The resources provided by the British Heart Foundation are excellent and really enable the training to be accessible to primary school children. Videos and paper resources ensure that the children can understand the content and recap on what they have learnt."
The programme is taught by staff at the school with Dr Khan acting as programme director and delivering the final stage on CPR.
Pupils who are currently in Years 5 and 6 took part in their CPR training session this week. Using the resusci Anne manikins makes the lessons more hands on and enables the children to practise and demonstrate their skills.
Headteacher Norah Johnson is a great believer in teaching children life skills within the curriculum "We hope to never be in a situation where life saving skills will be required but it is great to be prepared and equipped with the knowledge should it be needed. Our pupils enjoy taking part in the Heartstart programme and parents even tell us that the children are keen to demonstrate their skills at home by putting them in the recovery position! We are very grateful to Dr Khan for establishing and overseeing our programme."