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'Superbugs: Join the Fight’ School Programme

Raising awareness of antimicrobial resistance in schools across the UK.

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since they were first discovered1 – but a world without antibiotics could be closer than we think.

If we do not act today, it’s estimated that 10 million lives a year could be put at risk due to the rise of drug-resistant infections by 2050.2 That’s why we need to work together to find solutions to ensure that future generations continue to benefit from these life-saving medicines. 

As part of our efforts, we developed ‘Superbugs: Join the Fight’ – a school programme designed to educate students across the country about the real-world issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), whilst exploring practical ways to prevent the spread of infection and tackle the inappropriate use and misuse of antibiotics. The programme has been developed in partnership with the National Schools Partnership, a unique network of teachers, education experts and school leaders.

Now available for home-learning

As part of our response efforts to the coronavirus outbreak, we have adapted our lesson materials to enable children to participate online from home:

 

2020 'Superbugs: Join the Fight' School Competition

With the 'Superbugs: Join the Fight’ education resources now freely available year-round as a series of online learning modules, our popular school competition is back in 2020 with a new challenge. This year, we're asking students to help us tell the world about superbugs, vaccines or viruses by creating an advert for film, TV, radio or podcasts.

Entries must consider the ways we can all take action to reduce the rise of superbugs - and, as always, we encourage students to embrace their creativity! Shortlisted entries will be considered by a panel of expert judges, who will select a winner and runner-up in 6 categories across Key Stage 1, 2 and 3.

To be in with a chance of winning, students must submit a 120 second video or audio recording, storyboard or script - visit the National Schools Partnership website for more information on how to enter.

Visit the National Schools Partnership website to take part in this year’s 'Superbugs: Join the Fight' competition.

2019 Programme

Following the success of the 2018 programme, we enhanced the programme to include resources for 5-7 year old students, and added additional resources for 11-14 year olds. Our 2019 programme therefore included all the 2018 resources, plus:

  • NEW: Vaccines Lesson Pack for pupils aged 11-14
  • NEW: Superbugs Resources for 5-7 year olds
  • NEW: Assembly pack to use during World Antibiotic Awareness Week (18-24 November 2019)
  • NEW: Nationwide Competition for 5-14 year olds.

 

'Superbugs: Join the Fight' 2019 School Competition

In 2019, we partnered with the National Schools Partnership for the second year to give registered schools another opportunity to enter our exciting competition.

We received 1,600 entries, doubling our 2018 total and giving the expert judging panel an even tougher job of selecting just four winners and runners up across the different categories.

Find out more about the winning entries >

 

2018 Programme

The first iteration of our "Superbugs: Join the Fight" programme launched in 2018 and featured a range of teacher focused resources for 7-14 year olds (also included in the updated 2019 packs):

  • Teacher Guide with an overview of the ‘superbugs’ issue and curriculum links
  • Lesson Plan with activities that explore the issue and what students can do about it
  • Activity Sheets looking at the importance of personal hygiene
  • Presentation and video to bring the ‘superbugs’ issue to life
  • Parent Leaflet including key messages and tips around preventing the spread of infection
  • Poster to raise awareness of the ‘superbugs’

Feedback was extremely positive with teachers agreeing that the materials helped them to teach a lesson on AMR. Notably, around 97% of teachers surveyed claimed their pupils now understand the importance of personal health and hygiene, with 85% agreeing that their pupils understand the part they can play to combat antimicrobial resistance.3

 
‘Superbugs: Join the Fight’ 2018 School Competition

Participating schools were also encouraged to take part in the ‘Superbugs: Join the Fight’ competition which challenged students to come up with a shareable campaign idea to help spread the word about the issue of AMR in a creative and memorable way.


Finalists celebrated with their classes during a prize giving event at the Science Museum

Hundreds of entries were submitted from schools across the UK, from a catchy radio jingle to a creative comic strip. A panel of expert judges from the Science Museum, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the PSHE Association, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and Pfizer were given the challenge of picking a winner and runner-up from both primary and secondary school categories.

Winners were invited to an all expenses paid visit to the Science Musem for their whole class, including a prize giving event, access to the Wonderlab and a tour of the ‘Superbugs: the Fight for our Lives’ exhibiton. Find out more about the winning entries >

 

Antimicrobial Resistance: a global threat

We’re proud to be leading the conversation on antimicrobial resistance through awareness campaigns such as the “Superbugs: Join the Fight” school outreach programme. By educating younger generations and raising public awareness more broadly, we hope to empower people across the country to adopt the role of antibiotic stewards and take action to help lessen the threat of the so-called ‘superbugs’.”

Susan Rienow, Hospital Business UK Lead, Pfizer UK

No one person or organisation can fix the AMR problem on their own. From pharmaceutical companies to healthcare organisations, and policy makers to the general public, we all have a responsibility to protect the future of antibiotics.  

We’re committed to raising public awareness of this global threat through initiatives like the ‘Superbugs: Join the Fight’ school programme, as well as working with government, healthcare workers and other organisations across the globe to prevent this real-world issue from becoming a reality.

 

References

  1. HM Government. Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019–2024. Accessed April 2020
  2. AMR Review. Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: final report and recommendation. Accessed April 2020
  3. Pfizer data on file.
PP-PFE-GBR-3102 / Oct 2020