Fire Service Education team delivers safety advice to nearly thirty thousand children

The Education team at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) has visited a whopping 28,623 pupils across key stages 1, 2 and 3 as well as in SEN schools this year, to deliver life-long lessons in fire safety.

HIWFRS Education Officers have carried out 472 visits reaching 69% of all schools across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (April 2022-23), fuelled by their goal of making Hampshire and the Isle of Wight a safer place by educating the adults of the future.

The interactive fire safety lessons are specially designed for each age group and key stage, and they sit within the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum. Younger children can join in with songs and games and listen to stories, while older children take part in quizzes and complete worksheets to show what they have learnt. This ensures the children get the most out of their visit from the fire service – learning about fire safety whilst having fun at the same time.

Younger children receive a brief introduction to the role of the fire service, and how to stay safe at home, whereas older children (Key stage 3) messaging is more targeted towards fire risks and prevention of arson.

The Education team is a core part of the Children and Young People (CYP) team and thanks to their strong partnership with schools throughout the area, they have been successfully delivering fire safety classes to young people since 1996.

HIWFRS Education Manager Judy Rice said: “I’m extremely proud of our dedicated team of Education Officers who deliver potentially life-saving messages to school children across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It’s our hope that the fire safety education messages they learn now will keep the young people safe on their journey into adulthood, leaving them with a lasting knowledge of fire safety.

“As well as our scheduled school visits, we also now engage more reactively with young people following incidents to offer them support and guidance, as well as with Special Education Needs (SEN) schools, where we carefully tailor our approach to meet the individual needs of each young person.”

“We are proud of the strong relationship the Education team has built with schools over the past two decades. I’m pleased to say that we regularly receive positive feedback from schools praising the team and how informative and engaging the sessions are.”

Recent school testimonials:

  • “This was an amazing fire service visit we have had at the school. All the children were engaged throughout, and the education officer delivered the information really well. The children especially enjoyed the rhyme, thumbs up game and different claps for the correct answer.”
  • “Really informative, children were challenged respectfully and could understand the risks associated with fire; a child who had experienced a house fire was treated with care.”
  • “The children were very interested in the session and the officer held their attention well. It was very well suited to the age group and the children learnt a lot.”
  • “The session was interactive and the children were fully engaged, the officer was brilliant at engaging those who were a bit reluctant and made the session fun but still making it educational”
  • Absolutely brilliant – the officer was engaging, dynamic and well-paced. Well delivered. Children were engaged in the learning across the three classes. I really enjoyed sitting in on the session that was delivered!

Access the Kidzone area for a full suite of resources for children of all ages or find out more about our CYP team programmes.