Make A Difference Challenge

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Important - the MADC portal is only accessible to Make a Difference Challenge participants. If you are currently taking part in the Make a Difference Challenge and registering for the first time, please enter the code you were given at the bottom of the registration form.

The Make a Difference Challenge demonstrates Go-Givers in action! It is a child-led citizenship project for KS2 that supports pupils in identifying, researching and addressing a cause or concern that they want to do something about by developing an awareness raising campaign, fundraising or taking direct action.

It presents an opportunity for children to take the lead in making a difference to their communities and provides an excellent context for meaningful SMSC learning, literacy, numeracy and personal development.

The cost of the Make a Difference Challenge is heavily subsidised and kept to a minimum. We charge a nominal fee of £160 per school which covers a full day training session, materials and ongoing support from your Go-Givers representative. For further information on MADC opportunities in your area please contact a member of the Go-Givers team.

‘This is what primary education should be about’

In 2014-2015, 98 schools and 4,077 pupils
signed up to make a difference!

How does the project work?

The project takes place over a term and involves the following stages:

Go Givers Stages Illustration


    Participating teachers attend a full day's training session to equip them with tools and activities to scaffold the project and facilitate children's learning.


    Back in school, teachers introduce the project and facilitate the decision-making process as children choose the cause or issue they wish to champion.


    They gather views of the local community and identify the areas where they can contribute, making links with relevant organisations.


    This could be by raising awareness, raising money or through direct action.


    Children document their learning journey in scrapbooks. Representatives from schools showcase their projects at an event to celebrate achievements.

Watch this inspiring video of children from three schools taking part in the Make a Difference Challenge

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“Maths and English are important, but they’re important to a purpose, and if you can think of a purpose that’s more important than improving our global community, our national community and our local community I’d be struggling to beat you.”
Mick Waters, Former Director of Curriculum, QCA at Go-Givers fifth anniversary celebration

“Before I started the project I felt selfish but now I feel more kind”

How do children and schools benefit?

In Spring 2015 schools participating in the Make a Difference Challenge in Birmingham and Kent took part in a randomised control trial, run by the Cabinet Office, to assess the outcomes of the project.

The trial concluded that the Make a Difference Challenge was 'very effective in increasing empathy levels, problem-solving, grit, and community skills' as in each of these areas there were 'statistically significant differences' between the pupils who participated in the project and the control group. Participating pupils were 'more adept in problem-solving than the control students. Additionally, those who participated in social action showed a level of grit that was significantly above that of the young people who did not participate. Similarly, the level of community investment amongst young people was considerably higher amongst participants than control students'.

The trial also concluded that 'those who take part in the programme have a more positive outlook; stating that things in life are worthwhile more often than their peers and also reported lower levels of anxiety (a decrease of 22%).' Read the full report here.

Teacher evaluations show 91% of participants think the Make a Difference Challenge provides cross-curricular support for Pupil Voice, the Rights Respecting Schools Award and child-led learning.

Causes chosen by children in 2014 (the word size reflects popularity):

Visit our Research page for more.

‘Having the chance to respond to an issue that is affecting lives in the community they live in, has been very empowering for the children. It goes to show that just because you are young it does not mean you can’t take action!’


Who can take part?

In 2015-2016, the Make a Difference Challenge is open to KS2 children at schools in the following areas:

  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire

  • County Durham

  • Greater London

  • Kent

  • Leeds

To register your interest and receive details about the Make a Difference Challenge in your area, email

Have a look at winning scrapbooks made by children around the country documenting their own learning journeys

See many more stories of children making a difference by visiting  case studies in the
​Kids’ Zone or check out our YouTube channel

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