A RED LETTER DAY

Posted by iChild, March 13, 2019 12:36 PM

Thanks to Comic Relief

The first Red Nose Day took place over 30 years ago! Laura Wilson, Schools and Community Fundraising Lead at Comic Relief, explores why it remains a highlight of the school calendar.

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When we ask comedians, actors and celebrities to be part of a Red Nose Day campaign, the first thing they tend to say – after “Yes!” – is “I loved Red Nose Day when I was at school”. They then go on to share their memories of the leadership team dressing up as Spice Girls, the Beyoncé-inspired flash mob at lunchtime, student vs teacher lip sync battles, sponsored silences, teacher gunging…

There’s no doubt that Red Nose Day is a much-loved tradition in schools. And at a time of budget cuts and growing pressure on school leaders and teachers, I believe that fundraising events provide a valuable opportunity to bring some extra happiness into school. Red Nose Day in particular combines something all young people love – laughing and having fun – with raising money for a great cause.

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Whether it’s dressing up, telling jokes, dancing, baking or performing, fundraising activities are a great way to bring pupils, staff and the wider community together. Schools that encourage pupils to take responsibility for planning, organising and setting up the day report added benefits for pupils’ sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Teachers regularly tell us stories of how Red Nose Day has given the most unexpected pupils an opportunity to shine, with a positive impact on their life skills, learning and behaviour.

At the same time as having fun, everyone has the satisfaction of knowing they’re doing something amazing to help others. Last Red Nose Day, schools and nurseries raised an astonishing £5 million to help disadvantaged families in the UK and the world’s poorest countries turn their lives around. For many children, fundraising for Red Nose Day is the first time that they realise they can make a difference in the world. This is reinforced by the Friday evening TV show, which not only helps them understand more about the lives of the people their money will support, but also makes them feel part of a wider, national movement for good.

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Beyond the fun and fundraising, Red Nose Day offers an inspirational context for meaningful, purposeful learning. Comic Relief provides a range of curriculum-related resources, spanning subjects from English and maths to geography and PSHE. Teachers tell us that the immediacy and relevance of campaign stories act as a major motivator for pupils’ learning.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed and think that it will be difficult to find time to collect in money for a non-uniform day, let alone to organise a day out of the ordinary, please reconsider. This could be your chance to be the teacher who creates the magical school memory; the thing that everyone talks about at the school reunion in 20 years from now.

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Join in on 15 March 2019 and help Comic Relief bake, dance, splat and sing our way to a bigger fundraising total than ever. Click here to order your free fundraising pack.

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