A Year 4 class teacher from Lane End Primary School tells us how her class responded to the pandemic by supporting local families in partnership with the ‘One Can Trust’ food bank charity.
The children in my class wanted to make a difference to something that the pandemic had negatively affected.
The first couple of sessions were some of the most traumatic discussion that the children have had. They had experienced the trauma of the pandemic and witnessed the devastation it had left behind. They were extremely demoralised initially, saying things like ‘we cannot help anyone’ or ‘no one will take us seriously’. I knew I had to do something to prove to them that they could do it.
The videos provided by Young Citizens in the teacher training course of other children completing their projects and making a difference despite their age made my class feel like maybe they could do it too. They realised that age is no barrier if you really want to do something.
Initially the pupils wanted to help the local homeless charity but it turned out that we could not do this very easily due to Covid restrictions. The children refused to let this set back stop them, immediately changing their idea slightly to focus on getting food donations for a different charity the ‘One Can Trust’ charity which was helping needy families locally.
As a class they came up with a slogan for their project – ‘Turn a frown upside down’ because they wanted to make people smile with their project.
The children began creating posters encouraging other pupils in school to bring in any items they could donate. I was really impressed with how they tailored the message according to the key stage level of the class the posters would be in.
Pupils from across the school donated non-perishable items such as biscuits, pot noodles, canned soup and baked beans. The children in my class felt an overwhelming sense of achievement – considering they thought they could not make any difference at all to the situation before they started out on the project!
I would encourage any teacher to not get disheartened if your children meet bumps in the road during their Make a Difference Challenge project. They are super resilient when you let them take control – and you’ll help them to get through no matter what.