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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

UK children to be taught about terror attacks in school

Teachers will be able to use a book which follows a school of mice preparing in case of a cat attack

Children in the UK will be taught about what to do during a terror attack. The news comes days after a series of attacks in Europe (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)</p>
Children in the UK will be taught about what to do during a terror attack. The news comes days after a series of attacks in Europe (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)</p>

Young children in the UK are to be taught what to do during a terror attack with a picture book featuring animals.

‘Moggy’s Coming’ is a children’s guide on how to deal with the threat of a terror attack. It aims to teach children how to behave and how best to help if there is an active gunman or knife attacker or a suspected or exploded bomb.

The book, which follows a school of mice preparing in case of a cat attack, is to be introduced across schools in the UK and is aimed at primary school children aged 5 to 11.

The e-book has been developed by CitizenAID, who created the book alongside other materials with the intention to try to help prepare parents and teachers for the “unlikely but not impossible chance of being caught up in a deliberate attack”, according to the company’s website.

CitizenAID produced the book with the belief that it is vital to equip children with the abilities to respond appropriately to potential terror attacks.

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Organisations and experts such as the NSPCC and Emma Citron, a consultant clinical psychologist who specialises in children and trauma, have spoken publicly to stress the importance of talking openly with children regarding terror threats and to not shy away from the subject.

Talking to the BBC, Ms Citron says: "Give children basic facts, tell them what it is they want to know, ask them what they would like to know and then give them access to that," she says.

"Take the lead from them - we need to know what it is they want answers to."

The e-book tells the tale of the Mulberry School mice who experience a number of emergency situations such as a cat attack, which aims to represent the event of a terror attack.

In the tale of the cat attack, the teachers tell pupils to run away from the cat. However, if that is not possible then students are told to hide, tell the police and treat injured classmates.

The story emphasises the ‘Run, Hide, Tell, Threat’ message in a non-threatening way through poems, rhymes, a story and questions to initiate discussion.

A rhyme is also taught to the tune of ‘London’s Burning’ with the words ‘Moggy’s coming, Moggy’s coming, we’re in danger, we’re in danger, run hide and tell! Treat the hurt mice, treat the hurt mice!’

Currently, around 500 teachers across Birmingham, England, have been trained to use the materials in schools.

Brigadier Tim Hodgetts, medical director of the Defence Medical Services, who developed the materials, told The Times: “We are passionate about making sure what we learnt the hard way in the military does get into the civilian community, to wider benefit . . . If there are indiscriminate attacks in public places, children are part of the public and they will be swept up.”

“In secondary school we have teacher-led discussions about a shooter in a school. It is very clear these are very unusual, very unlikely situations and it is about being prepared, not scared.”

The e-book will be available to teachers for free in CitizenAID’s forthcoming education pack for schools and it also available to buy on Amazon. All the proceeds from the sale of the e-book goes to the citizenAID Charity.

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