In 2014 ambulance and emergency services attended over 60,000 Cardiac arrests in the UK alone. It is averaged that cardiac arrests make up a large percentage of all 999 calls per year. With this in mind the PE department at the Cooper School in Bicester deemed it to be vitally important to arm all its 1100 pupils with the confidence and skills needed to deal with cardiac arrest, in the form of basic CPR training.

Supported by the British Heart Foundation, the Physical Education department led a week long, school wide focus on CPR and heart health. During this week pupils were actively engaged in various cross curricular activities, hosted by differing departments, that ranged from practical CPR training and talks from visiting Paramedics, to maths lessons that focused on how to calculate calories and science lessons that focused on how the heart works. This week also saw pupils taking part in inter house based competitions and a non uniform day that raised money for The British Heart Foundations “Wear Red to Beat it” campaign, in which, over £900 was raised.

To ensure the positive message pertaining to the importance of CPR training was shared to maximum effect, parents were also invited to attend an after school training session run by PE staff, supported by St Johns Ambulance. This after school parent session proved to be very well attended and was filled with positive fruitful comments from parents and guardians, of how delighted they were, that their children were being taught skills that could potentially save lives.

To ensure that pupils CPR skills are kept up to date the PE department now plan to hold annual CPR refresher lessons for all its pupils and parents.

Physical Education teacher David Cook, organiser of Beat it Week, stated that if each of the 1100 pupils went home and shared what they had been taught with two other people in their household, then potentially 3300 people should now know how to preform basic CPR. If just one of those people were ever in the unfortunate position where they had to preform CPR , remembered what they had been taught and acted upon it, then this whole week has been more than worth it!