New teaching resources for schools

NHS Blood and Transplant, in collaboration with Anthony Nolan, a charity that helps people with blood cancer and blood disorders, and with the support of teachers have developed a range of free teaching resources.

The resources are designed to help teachers to educate students between ages 11 and 16 about blood, organ and stem cell donation to support the Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) and Science National Curriculum.

Mary Marshall is a former blood donor who is now a donation ambassador. She delivers talks in schools about blood, organ and stem cell donation. Here, she tells us why the new teaching resources are so important.

When did you become a blood donor and why?

Mary Marhall with her family"My parents and brother were already donors and so I began donating too, in Birmingham, at the main centre. I made it to the 50 donations that I’d promised to my Dad. He’d had to stop at 49 because an emergency operation precluded further donations. Eventually I donated over 60 pints.

(Picture: Mary Marshall with her children and granddaughter) 

"My children also donate blood, even though my son has a needle phobia. My seven-year-old granddaughter came to a session with me. She was treated very kindly and had all her questions answered so I have hopes of her for the future! My late husband had a blood cancer and received transfusions, so that is an added impetus for friends and family (to give blood)."

How did you start giving talks in schools about donation?

"It was because of an article in The Donor about 12 years ago that I became involved.

"Some students are in 6th form and already donate. Others are thinking about it, many are hearing about donation for the first time. I find that sobering: so make sure you tell your children, grandchildren and their friends, and make it a natural part of their lives.

"The sooner you start to educate young people about donation, the better."

How you can access our teaching materials

At NHS Blood and Transplant, we have developed free, curriculum-linked resources for secondary school teachers in England, to educate Key Stage 3 and 4 students (11–16-year-olds) about blood, organ and stem cell donation.

You can download these free resources here.

The resources have been developed by NHS Blood and Transplant in collaboration with Anthony Nolan and with the support of practising teachers. They consist of two PSHE lessons, a Science lesson and an assembly presentation.

Each resource can be used as a stand-alone or combined and includes comprehensive teacher notes so that minimal preparation is required. There are also optional extension activities to extend students’ learning at home or in school.

Please tell us something about the materials

"I found all the material very informative, well presented and with plenty of diverse materials, such as guidance for teachers, interactive activities, presentations and video stimuli.

"The Donation and Choices PSHE lesson is interesting and prompts discussions encouraging students to explore the range of emotions that people involved in the donation process may have, and the considerations involved in a person’s choice to donate or not.

"Linking all the material is the thread of information about each donation process; both practical and ethical considerations.

"Students are given information to prepare them for when they are old enough to decide whether to become donors."

Mary added "I welcome the new organ donation law in England but appreciate why some people have concerns. The materials offer opportunities to young people to explore their attitudes towards donation, learning in the process about what is involved in being a blood, organ or stem cell donor, the laws relating to donation and why it is important for individuals and in society.

"I see donating as a duty. That’s my story and I hope that these resources will be used in schools to help a new generation write the next chapter."

Here is how you can help encourage schools to use these teaching resources.

In addition to Key Stage 3 and 4 teaching resources, our charity partners produce resources for 11-18 year olds and these can be found here.