SCHOOLS across East Hampshire are being encouraged to join St John Ambulance’s ‘Big First Aid Lesson Live’ next month.

And Alton’s Amery Hill School is leading the way by signing up to take part.

Hosted by TV medic Dr Ranj, the free, interactive, hour-long programme will be filmed in front of a live audience of students and streamed directly to classrooms via the internet on June 17.

The nation’s leading first-aid charity is urging teachers to sign up and help meet its aim of teaching a quarter of a million students vital lifesaving skills. This year’s lesson will be even bigger and better with two different lessons – one for primary schools and one for secondary schools.

The Big First Aid Lesson Live will cover a range of topics, including choking, chest pains, seizures and insect bites. There will also be live demonstrations, real life stories, chances for students to ask questions, and other interactive elements.

Amery Hill School has already signed up to enable 150 year seven students to watch the Big First Aid Lesson Live.

Assistant headteacher Joleen Riley will be overseeing the session.

She said: “We had a situation last year when one of our students, while on her way to school, came across an elderly person who had collapsed in the street. She was able to help through her knowledge of first aid, which just highlights why such training is so important.

“The Big First Aid Lesson Live will complement our citizenship programme, which is an integral part of our students’ education.”

Dr Ranj is following in the footsteps of Claudia Winkleman, who presented the lesson to more than 189,000 pupils last year.

“As a doctor, I know only too well how important first aid can be in an emergency,” he said.

“Being able to immediately help someone – a family member, school mate, a neighbour, or even a stranger – can be lifesaving. But you don’t have to be a medic like me to learn or use it.

“Anyone can learn first aid at any age and that’s why I’m supporting St John Ambulance’s Big First Aid Lesson Live. I’m excited to be hosting this year, as I know the lesson will help enrich the next generation with the confidence and knowledge to save a life.

“We know schools are time-pressed but the Big First Aid Lesson Live is free, easy to join, and memorable, so we hope teachers everywhere sign their classes up and get involved.”

The only equipment schools need to take part is an internet connection and a screen (such as an interactive whiteboard) for their pupils to watch in the classroom or during assembly.

Sue Killen, chief executive of St John Ambulance, said: “The Big First Aid Lesson Live is an accessible, easy to learn, and fun resource, and students will finish the lesson feeling confident they could one day be a lifesaver.

“I encourage each and every school to take part so their pupils don’t miss out on this exciting and educational event.”

To sign up to the Big First Aid Lesson Live, or for more details, visit