Primary pupils learn to save a life

Primary pupils learn to save a life

Published on 22 November 2019

This week, our Primary 3, 4 and 5 pupils have learnt valuable CPR skills with the help of Save a Life for Scotland (SALFS).

For the last three years, we have invited SALFS to spend a day teaching CPR skills to our Primary 3, 4 and 5 pupils.

This year’s volunteers were made up of: Watson’s parents, our local British Heart Foundation representative, doctors and nurses from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (who attended on their day off) and some of our own S6 pupils. Together they showed the children how to check the area is safe, call for help, safely put someone in the recovery position, or in the event that the unwell person isn’t breathing, how to perform CPR until help arrives. All essential skills that could save a life. Skills that were put into practice in June when a man fell from a motorcycle on Myreside Road after suffering a cardiac arrest and was revived by members of the wider Watson’s community.

All essential skills that could save a life. Skills that were put into practice in June when a man fell from a motorcycle on Myreside Road after suffering a cardiac arrest and was revived by members of the wider Watson’s community.

"If it happens in the street in front of me I know what to do to save someone's life." - Charlotte (P5)

While the older children practised on a first-aid mannequin, Primary 3 and 4 children brought in their own soft toys and teddies to ‘save’. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed their 30-minute session, enthusiastically practising chest compressions to the tune of Baby Shark.

Primary 4 Year group leader Tonje Ogilvie said: "They loved bringing in their soft toys and we carried on in class when we had left the Upper Primary hall - they didn't want to stop!" 

"I thought it was a great learning experience. I found it really interesting and I've learned an important life skill." - Matthew (P5)

RCEM Professor Matthew Reed from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, who has been instrumental in bringing  the Save Life sessions to Watson’s, said: “We noticed particularly this year that the P5 pupils who had attended sessions the previous two years were recalling correctly most of the basics, were able to perform very good quality CPR and were reasonably confident about what to do in such an emergency which was amazing to see.

“Whilst children ages 7-10, may seem young to teach these skills to they are very responsive to the sessions and seem to really enjoy them. One of the huge added benefits of the sessions is the children’s enthusiasm to go home and teach their family what they have learnt. This further widens the number of people who benefit from the teaching as anecdotally we are aware of many parents who then enrol on a first aid course, or on a course at work to learn these skills, although I am sure that the teaching they get from their children when they get home is second to none.”

SALFS was launched in 2015 and is the public-facing campaign behind Scotland’s strategy to improve survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The organisation is keen to emphasise that anyone and everyone can be involved in learning and teaching CPR.

You can find out more about the Save a Life for Scotland initiate at www.savealife.scot