St John Ambulance and WICKED join forces

Teach the difference

St John Ambulance has partnered with the award-winning West End musical WICKED to launch the website Teach the difference. The resource was created to help schools teach first aid to pupils aged five to 16 and to promote the values associated with the life saving skill.

Addressing a social need

The website was launched in response to feedback from teachers who believed first aid could help teach pupils crucial values. Almost all teachers (94%) surveyed said first aid lessons in school would aid young people in becoming more responsible. One in three teachers (30.2%) believed cost was the biggest obstacle to teaching first aid*.

Teach the difference addresses both of these by offering schools free or low cost resources to help increase the number of young people learning first aid. It uses the example of Elphaba – the musical’s lead character – to illustrate the values behind first aid.

Up to 150,000 people die each year when first aid could have given them a chance to live; schools can play an important role in tackling this problem. First aid, as a subject, can fulfil multiple elements of the PSHE and citizenship curriculum, using resources on the website.

A WICKED partnership

Drawing on WICKED's themes of choices, values and consequences, Teach the difference is the first step in St John Ambulance's partnership with the award winning musical and will enable schools to teach first aid in a more integrated way,

'It's crucial that young people are taught to make the right choices and learning how to save lives is a perfect example. Teach the difference offers schools a more engaging way to teach first aid that they can use at little or no cost. Working with WICKED means that we can present teachers with a uniquely engaging, free resource to give them additional support, at a time when they're likely to be under pressure to reduce the amount they spend,' said Will Chew, St John Ambulance Education Officer.

Inspiring a generation

WICKED Executive Producer Michael McCabe was inspired by St John Ambulance's determination that nobody should die because they needed first aid.

'Particularly when we saw the shocking figure that 150,000 people die every year in situations where first aid could have been the difference.'

Over 250,000 pupils have seen WICKED in the last five years. With her high morals, strong spirit and willingness to stand up for what is right, the lead character Elphaba has become a role model for many of those pupils.

'In difficult situations young people can now look to the figure of Elphaba to ask "What would Elphaba do?" When pupils are given this confidence, along with the skills to save a life, it makes for a very powerful combination,' said McCabe.

For a limited period St John Ambulance and WICKED will be offering a free Young First Aider teaching guide (retailing at £30) to those who register on Teach the difference.


*Surveymonkey survey of 104 teachers, September 2010