Norwich school pupils face disaster

Year six pupils from Lionwood Junior School were all action as they learnt about natural disasters

Norfolk Fire and Rescue's Urban Search and Rescue team treated the kids to a morning of fun on Thursday, September 29, with a serious message. The kids got the chance to try out the team's kit, playing at rescuing an injured friend and trying on facemasks and other equipment, with the aim of learning about natural disasters and the dangers facing youngsters in other countries during the schools Disaster Day.

Housing company Lovell donated materials such as timber and tarpaulin for the kids to make shelters in the afternoon, mimicking the actions of people in the wake of disasters.

The previous evening the kids had been treated to a shock when they were sent home with mysterious envelopes. They contained the news that the school, on Wolfe Road, had been hit by an earthquake, and they were to pack appropriately for a survival situation.

'Some of them packed very lightly,' said year six class teacher, Lara Harrey.

'Some of them brought teddy bears, Nintendo's and mobile phones, they hadn't realised that they wouldn't be any use.

'They learnt a lot today.'

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The day formed part of a term of activities and classes designed to teach the kids about the world around them and what the world looks like externally and internally, with classes on tectonic plates, tsunamis and volcanoes, and how to help other countries with classes on Oxfam, Red Cross and other organisations.

Lara said: 'We want to teach them that they are a part of the world, what it would be like for kids their age in other countries. Hopefully then they will be inspired to help.

'The Urban Rescue guys were great, they bought equipment along that was appropriate for our particular 'disaster', for building collapses and water disasters, like listening devices, stretchers, special cameras for use in really small gaps.

'The children loved it, there was loads of hands on stuff and they worked really well on making the shelters.'

Shirley Palmer of Lovell East Anglia was at the Disaster Day.

Shirley said: 'Lovell is proud of its relationship with the Urban Search and rescue team, which performs extraordinary work.

'We work to invest time and money into the local area, and this Disaster Day teaches children important lifesaving knowledge and skills.'