FREE programme including CPD certified teacher training

The Herefordshire Make a Difference Challenge is funded by Herefordshire Community Foundation and the Pears Foundation and is free to all schools covering the primary phase in Herefordshire.

What is the Make a Difference Challenge?

The Make a Difference Challenge is a child-led social action programme for KS2 children. It provides pupils with an opportunity to identify and research a social or environmental issue that they feel passionate about, then make a difference through awareness-raising, fundraising or taking practical action. The project starts with participating teachers completing a CPD certified training session which equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to facilitate the project back in school, supporting children to choose a local, national or global issue that they would like to make a difference to and helping them to bring about some form of positive change. 

"The children have gained a real desire to make a difference, they are already talking about what we could do to help our community next year!"  Participating teacher, 2019 Durham Make a Difference Challenge

Online CPD Certified Training 

Participating teachers complete an online, CPD certified training session (4 hours) to introduce them to social action and how it supports pupils’ SMSC learning, personal development and a rich curriculum as well as equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to scaffold the project and facilitate children's learning. Teachers are also provided with access to a bank of online resources, including lesson plans and case studies, to support their own professional development and help them to facilitate engaging, meaningful projects.

Sign-up to take part

Celebration Event - 16th June - Ludlow Assembly Rooms 

Participating schools send a delegation of approximately 10 pupils to a Celebration Event in the summer term where children from each school make a persuasive presentation. Pupils are asked to tell the audience why their social or environmental issue is so important and what people can do to help them 'make a difference' and bring about positive change. The event is a fantastic opportunity to develop speaking and listening and presentation skills.

"I learnt how to speak out in front of others and make sure that I am heard." Participating pupil, 2019 Durham Make a Difference Challenge

How much time does it take?

The programme is most effective when run during lesson time as a cross-curricular, class project. Typically, schools spend around 10-20 hours on project-related activities but these might take place in literacy lessons (e.g writing a letter to their MP would support persuasive writing) or other subjects.

Lessons can take place every week over a period of time, or be delivered through drop-down days over a few weeks, perhaps as an after-SATs project. Some schools run the programme as an after-school club or with their School Council but it is important to ensure there is enough contact time with the group to develop an effective project.

How do children and schools benefit?

Independent evaluation of the programme has shown it increases pupils' empathy, problem-solving and understanding of their community as well as helping them to develop a more positive outlook. Teachers report that less academic and harder-to-engage pupils particularly benefit from taking part as the project puts learning into a real-life context making it more meaningful for children. Many schools also find the programme helps them to deepen relationships with parents and the wider community, supporting community cohesion. 

"Children rarely have the opportunity to 'own' a project and make all the decisions." Participating teacher, 2019 Buckinghamshire Make a Difference Challenge

In October 2018 we were awarded the status of Impact Partner for Generation Change - a new certification scheme to recognise youth social action organisations that are deeply committed to learning about, and improving, their outcomes through a shared impact framework. To achieve the status, we had to complete a 12-month accelerator scheme that included independent validation by Dartington Service Design Lab.

Sign-up to take part