“First Aid & CPR” – readers’ suggest subjects that should be added to the school curriculum

It goes without saying that since many of our readers went to school the curriculum has changed quite significantly, whether that’s related to changes in grading, particular lessons or available subjects. We asked our readers what they thought that children should get to learn at school that they don’t currently...

By Christopher Hallam
Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 7:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 9:34 am

Here are a selection of their responses:

Kirsty Õ Disney was one of the first to respond with, “British sign language”, an excellent suggestion which a few of our readers’ agreed with. This was followed up by Nicola Kilcommons, who recommended the universal sign language, “Makaton, starting from nursery age so it then becomes second nature when it’s actually needed to communicate.”

Sue Faulkner would like to see the following as part of the school curriculum, “Common sense, dealing with money, how to pay bills and not get into debt", something many of our readers agreed with.

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STALYBRIDGE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Pupils raise their hands in a lesson as they return to school at Copley Academy on September 09, 2021 in Stalybridge, England. Senior school pupils, returning to school across the UK during the second year of the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, are taking part in a mass program of lateral flow tests designed to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

The next suggestion could seem quite abrupt, “Respect and manners a lot don't even have that for there [sic] own parents these days” but many people agreed with Vanessa Simmonite’s point.

Emma Allott kept it short but sweet and incredibly apt, “First Aid & CPR”, great shout!

Another wonderful suggestion came courtesy of Casey Edwards, “Black History”. Very true, Black British History is very much an intrinsic part of the fabric of the British Isles and its lengthy history, it was yet another suggestion both appreciated with and agreed upon by our readers.

John Gittens added his thoughts, “Finance, savings, mortgages etc... Not once have I had to revert back to play 3 blind mice on a recorder to help me in everyday life”, a point which amused many of our readers.

Riley Hornby commented, “education on mental health and well-being”, readers’ loved this point and it would be wonderful to see the stigma around mental health smashed, with a focus on well-being. An opinion that was was shared by 50 of our readers.

"Education on the dangers, consequences and ripple effect of knife, gun and gang crime...” wrote, Theresa Cave.

Daniel Horrocks added his suggestions, “First aid and medical treatment. British law. Accounts not all maths. Honest teachings of drugs and alcohol. And most importantly, basic ethics.”

Michelle Greville added her ideas, “DIY, how to wire up a plug, change a wheel on a car, how to stop a leak, cut a piece of wood etc etc all the basics you need in life for your home”, all very ‘simple’ yet hugely helpful lessons.

And Ami Darwent suggests; “Budgeting finances & First aid/ cpr should be mandatory. I think you should be given the option in secondary school whether you want to learn either a foreign language or sign language.” Or both?

Finally, Leia Bunker responded saying, “Financial management, cyber security, how the political and legal systems work (or don’t) in this country - stuff that will help them as an adult with jobs, homes and responsibilities.”

Rosey Andrassy noted that she was “not surprised to see 'respect', 'manners', 'courtesy' etc on here at all, sadly lacking in today's society as a whole. What I am surprised about is that people think teachers don't teach it? Surely not! In my experience it is overtly taught and covertly conveyed in everything teachers do and say. However, it is always the main care giver that has the greatest influence on attitudes and behaviours, no matter how much time or how little time children are with them. Courtesy, good manners, respect, etc are all values that teachers model and demonstrate on a daily basis and address throughout the day as a fundamental part of the curriculum. Sadly, for some children and in my 25 years of experience, this is undermined not only by what happens in the child's home but also in the deterioration of society's opinion of the teaching profession based on their portrayal by the education system itself, media or general public. The children's belief systems (not religious beliefs) which shapes their attitudes and behaviours has already been constructed before they reach school and will reflect the belief system in the home.”

There were some wonderful suggestions here, some less helpful one also, but it was very interesting (and heartwarming) to see how many people would like to see sign language as a key part of the curriculum, as well as First Aid.