Cancer Education In Primary Schools

What is ‘When Cells Misbehave’?

‘When cells misbehave’ is a school programme teaching primary aged children (Y4 –Y6) about the science of cancer to help them understand how and why cancer grows, how cancer is treated, and ways to keep their own cells healthy.

Developed by a team of science communicators, cancer scientists, clinical cancer nurses, psychologists, school counselling advisors, teachers, and parents because children need to be cancer educated.


Why is it needed?

Recent statistics presented by Cancer Research UK report that one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer, which means children are now increasingly likely to be affected by cancer in their families/communities.

Children have a lack of understanding about cancer and this encourages anxiety and fearful responses about what cancer is, why people get it, how it can be prevented, and the outcomes for anyone they know living with cancer.

Teachers report having no confidence in effectively supporting children who are affected by cancer in their families or communities. They describe a lack of knowledge of cancer themselves, anxiety about saying the wrong thing, and having no access to adequate resources.

What were the project outcomes?

This project was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

To find out what we learnt click on the below link to listen to our podcast about the project,

or click on our research page