Curriculum for Survival

Curriculum for Survival

In line with the new apocalypse curriculum a series of innovative lessons were planned at the Academy. For rural and island communities these ‘life-skills’ were emphasised to the pupils as essential for future success. In fact, the survival of the human race was likely to depend on the ‘can-do’ attitude of small isolated groups. In mathematics the teenagers were shown statistical models that predicted the date their new skills were likely to be called upon.

These early more explanatory sessions were rarely listened to with any attention, the students were impatient to learn about more practical skills. They reasoned with certain amount of logic that during the approaching zombie apocalypse the central and most important skill to master was dispatching the undead and preventing their multiplication – primarily by preventing themselves becoming one of their number.

Traditional close quarters battle skills as perfected in the annual ba’ of the neighbouring town were useless, demanding as it did large numbers and close physical contact. The risk of being bitten or bled on by a zombie during any mob based fighting encounter was significant – a fact that had to be explained repeatedly to the larger less intelligent boys. However, the teachers and indeed their peers persisted though in getting their message across, inspired by a desire to save these individuals almost as much as to prevent them from ending up on the opposing ‘team.’

Older students were given a double period of ZA (Zombie Apocalypse) life-skills during which woodwork (barricading) and metal work (weapon making) skills were targeted. A number of deserted crofts and several empty shops provided ideal training grounds. The integrated nature of the curriculum meant that specialist skills training was also deferred to other subjects – biology now included battlefield triage, edible plant and animal sourcing as well as an introduction to zombie physiology and weaknesses – primarily bright lights and the double-severing of the spinal cord. Modern studies focused on logistics, bartering and psychological manipulation.

Whether it was because of an increased feeling of preparedness for the events to come and already occurring in other parts of the UK or because the students were engaged and motivated in their studies, an atmosphere of calm never experienced before settled over the school.

Gabrielle Barnby

2018