Cochrane UK offer free interactive workshops in schools for Years 10 - 13

Cochrane UK offer free interactive workshops to explore evidence-based medicine and how it informs medical practice and everyday health choices.

Every day – on the internet, in conversations with friends and family, in the news – we’re exposed to numerous claims about health and health care (e.g. 'bacon causes cancer'). Claims may be biased, unsubstantiated, or inaccurate. Making sense of claims – whether they’re about drugs or diet – can be difficult but it is also important. At best, making health decisions on the basis of misleading claims is a waste of time and money. At worst, it can be harmful. Cochrane UK offer free, interactive workshops introducing encouraging  students to think critically about healthcare claims. Aimed at students in years 10-12, the workshops explore the importance of evidence in making healthcare decisions, encourage scepticism and signpost students to reliable sources to search for evidence. The session explores questions such as: 

·       What is evidence-based medicine (EBM)?

·       Why is EBM important?

·       How is evidence brought together in a systematic review?

·       How is EBM relevant to the practice of medicine and to everyday health decisions?

We can tailor sessions to the needs of your school and students. For example, we run sessions targeted at AS- and A-Level students specifically wishing to apply to study medicine and other health-related disciplines. Students frequently report being asked about EBM in their medical school interviews. Being able to think critically about health claims is also a more general skill and so we also offer sessions for a more general audience, from years 10 upwards.

We are able to travel to schools to deliver the sessions and can be flexible with regards to timings. For example we can run sessions after school, during a lunch break or during a scheduled lesson. We have also run sessions where students from multiple local schools have attended a session hosted by one school. There is no charge for our visit.  

About Cochrane UK

Cochrane UK is an organization funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and hosted by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. We are part of a global charity that aims to raise awareness and knowledge of evidence-based decision-making in health care. Cochrane’s work in producing systematic reviews is recognized as representing an international gold standard for high quality, evidence synthesis. You can read more here. 

Feedback from teachers and students

"I got an overview of evidence-based medicine that I would not have learnt through school. I also liked how the whole session of learning was given in an informal and relaxed manner. I learnt a lot about the process of EBM and how trials are conducted and performed fairly". - Anonymous student,  Waingels School, Reading

"I had fantastic feedback from both Year Twelves and Year Thirteens about the evidence-based medicine day - thank you very much for involving them and giving them such a great opportunity.  It has really moved them all forward and given them enthusiasm for further activities to prepare their applications". - David Gimson, UCAS and Higher Attainers Co-ordinator, Cheney School

"Thank you so much for organising this course. My students found it extremely useful, and spoke highly of the course content. I greatly appreciate what you're doing in terms of outreach, and look forward to continuing to send my students to your courses"Dr. Shanti M. Bharatan, Sixth Form Biology, and Medical Programme Co-ordinator, d'Overbroeck's. 

"Having chatted to some of the students they certainly enjoyed the talk and it has made them think more about claims behind headlines". Sarah Pannell, Lingfield Notre Dame, Surrey

Find out more and get in touch

If you are interested in Cochrane UK running a session in your school, or if you would like to find out more, please get in touch with Selena or Lynda via: general@cochrane.nhs.uk