The infection was already in the school so the S2-S5 pupils needed to be vigilant as they went various workshops to learn how to survive, with minimal resources, and work together in order to make decisions when faced with moral dilemmas. It soon became clear that the infection had started in the S6 common room and none of them had survived zombified as they prowled the corridors. As a result pupils began to recognise the impact of pandemics and natural disasters can have the communities and their economy, to identify the difference between needs and wants. Survival required team work, social skills and the ability to listen to each other, to take turns and to share resources. The experience was designed to provide a stark contrast to the plight of people in West Africa suffering as a result of the Ebola Crisis.
This interdisciplinary project was the result of collaboration between two pupils, Brittany Fordham (S6) and Verity Jamieson (S5) and their teachers. The two girls had approached key staff with their idea to have a zombie apocalypse and raise both funds and awareness of the Ebola Crisis. To take the idea forward they were then asked to do a presentation to all staff, pitching for support but also asking teachers to contribute their planning and teaching skills to make the whole experience an enjoyable safe, hands on learning experience with a clear link to real life events in Africa. ‘We kept the apocalypse bit a total secret right until the last minute!’ said Verity ‘they only knew about the Zombie Prom planned for that night but no one guessed!’
Turning into a Zombie during the day meant that pupils were ready for the dance at night. Faces got expertly painted whilst in quarantine and Brittany taught pupils how to dance to Thriller so that Kinlochleven could ‘Flash mob’ in the evening. ‘Pupils weren’t allowed to stay in quarantine for long though. Mrs Machin gave them temporary immunity if necessary to make sure everyone got the most from the experience.’ said Brittany, ‘It was great fun but hard work.’
The pupil evaluations have been really positive; ‘I learnt how quickly a deadly disease can spread. Ebola is a really serious problem’ wrote one pupil wrote; ‘today was totally awesome’ wrote another ‘it was the best day ever!’
Kinlochleven raised £428. 53 for the OXFAM Ebola appeal, which will be matched pound for pound by the One Foundation.