North east children taught to be safety champions

School pupils from across Aberdeen city and shire have received certificates naming them medicine safety champions, as part of a new programme organised by Robert Gordon University.

Hillside Pupils ExperimentingStudents from RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences recently spent a week delivering lessons to 22 Primary 4 classes across North East schools, as part of their final year Pharmacy studies.

The innovative programme is designed to reinforce the students own knowledge and communication skills by applying them in a real life environment, as well as introducing school pupils to medicine safety from a young age.

It was trialled at Portlethen’s Hillside School in 2017, before being rolled out to the wider region last month.

Alyson Brown, Pharmacy lecturer at RGU, has looked back at the successful programme and explains more about what was involved.

She said: “We tried to make it as fun and interactive as possible. We used placebo or pretend ‘tablets’ for the pupils to count and label, they measured liquids using different types of apparatus and we had colouring sheets and word search activities all relating to pharmacy.

“In the end, every pupil took home a certificate show their parents, which also featured key safety messages, so they would never forget what they learned and could share it with their families.

“Not only did the pupils get an important message on medicines safety, but these workshops also taught our students to be confident in their knowledge and to put it to practical use, so there’s real mutual benefit there.”

Jay, a pupil at Ferryhill Primary School, said: “Measuring liquids and tablets was the best part,” while fellow pupil Chidirim added: “My favourite part was when we talked about if medicines are a good or a bad thing.”

Robyn York, a Pharmacy student who took part in the programme, said: “I really enjoyed it and the children understood all the different types of medicines and how to be safe around them. I was surprised how much they knew and understood. It was definitely a worthwhile experience for everyone and I hope it continues.”

Lesley-Anne Munro, Head Teacher of Hillside School, said: “It is vital that children learn from a young age how to stay safe around medicine. This workshop was a great opportunity for them to learn about science in a real life context and develop skills for life.

“It has been great that our partners at RGU can contribute their expertise and influence our Health Education Curriculum.”


Release by Jonathon Milne
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries