Make A Difference Challenge
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.
Who can take part?
In 2017-2018, the Make a Difference Challenge is open to KS2 children at schools in the following areas:
If we are not currently running the Make a Difference Challenge in your area, and you would like us to, please let us know!
In 2017, 87 schools and 3,089 pupils made a difference to causes they care about!
“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
How does the project work?
The project usually takes place over the spring and summer term and involves the following stages:
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.
- CHILDREN CHOOSE THEIR CAUSE
Back in school, teachers introduce the project and facilitate the decision-making process as children choose the cause or issue they wish to champion.
- CHILDREN RESEARCH THEIR TOPIC
They gather views of the local community and identify the areas where they can contribute, making links with relevant organisations.
- CHILDREN TAKE ACTION TO 'MAKE A DIFFERENCE'
This could be by raising awareness, raising money or through direct action.
- CELEBRATION EVENT
Children document their learning journey in scrapbooks. Representatives from schools showcase their projects at an event to celebrate achievements.
“Before I started the project I felt selfish but now I feel more kind”
How do schools and children 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.
‘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!’