Children about to take the plunge into high school education have become the first to graduate from a brand-new programme which teaches everything from diversity to water safety.
Funded by the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, Fire Champions is a unique six-week programme for Primary School years Five-to-Six, delivered by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service working in partnership with Merseyside Police and the North West Ambulance Service.
The sessions are educational focussed on health and well-being. Their key messages are around fire, road and water safety, arson, antisocial behaviour, hate crime and first aid, and engaging the children through physical activity. The aim is to keep children safe and away from risk in their community, building up their self-esteem, self-confidence and self-control whilst increasing their awareness and respect for the work undertaken by our blue light services.
It combines this learning with fun and energetic games, and it will send students from Nutgrove Methodist School in Thatto Heath, into comprehensive schooling clued-up and physically fit.
“The final year at junior school is an exciting and emotional one for children” said Detective Superintendent Georgie Garvey, Head of The Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, “as they go from being the big fish in a small pond to the small fish in a large one. Unless checked though the upheaval and clamour for favour and new friends can lead some down dangerous pathways to antisocial behaviour. Fire Champions ensured that they began this journey with sound ideals, renewed confidence and knowing that people were behind them.”
One student said: “I live near a lake and so was interested in the water safety session. I know now that you should never swim in water if you don’t know how deep it is. I will stick to the swimming pool from now on.
Even though I am diabetic and had to sit out now and again, I enjoyed the sports sessions ” said the student who had just recently provided light and sound for the school’s leavers ball.
He added that he now knew more about the pressures the emergency services face and that the fun activities – which included parachute games and circuit training in playground boxes to illustrate isolation – were a terrific way of getting to trust those who protect us.
Nick Rogan from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our aim is for those taking part to leave the programme as “Fire Champions”, with a message to spread through the school, at home with families, friends and across their communities.
“We have been able to build relationships with the children at Nutgrove Primary and we are so pleased they enjoyed the sessions and crucially understood and took away those Key Community Safety and Life Lesson Messages”.