CHILDREN trained in how to use lifesaving skills in an emergency have helped secure a prestigious award for an East Renfrewshire school.

Mearns Primary, in Newton Mearns, has been honoured for promoting an exemplary level of first aid knowledge and practice among staff and pupils.

The accolade has come from St Andrew’s First Aid as part of the Scottish First Aid Awards, which honour extraordinary people and organisations working to make their communities safer.

The school has implemented a progressive first aid teaching course which is delivered from nursery class through to primary seven.

Each pupil receives around nine hours of first aid-based learning each year, delivered by a mix of class teachers, parent volunteers and community partnerships.

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The teaching course has given pupils confidence to talk about their first aid knowledge and demonstrate how to respond in an emergency.

The school has also hosted ‘family fun nights’ with an emphasis on health and wellbeing, which include sessions on first aid and general lifestyle workshops.

In addition, Mearns Primary was recognised for its ambitious and innovative plans to deliver a week of fundraising to buy a public access defibrillator.
Sharon Hunter, headteacher, said the school was honoured to receive the ‘First Class Award’ for 2019.

She added: “Making first aid part of everyday learning is so important to building pupils’ confidence and inspiring them to be future lifesavers.”

Meanwhile, the school is investing in mental health first aid training for two members of staff who will deliver classroom sessions.

They will also provide additional support by holding workshops with parents to allow them to use the same strategies at home with their children.

Stuart Callison, chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, said: “Mearns Primary School is championing the importance of first aid and mental health first aid being taught as a life skill.
“It gives young people the confidence to intervene and use their skills if they are ever needed.
“The school has demonstrated a fantastic level of commitment and is a worthy winner of this year’s award.”