What's the Make a Difference Challenge programme?
The creation of this online course has been supported through a grant from the Pears #iwill Fund. It was designed to be used by teachers working in England. If you're accessing this from elsewhere - welcome! - but remember you may need to tweak a few of the references to English policies and procedures to make them relevant to your own situation.
What is the Make a Difference Challenge programme?
For more than a decade the Young Citizens Make a Difference Challenge has supported teachers across England to deliver quality social action projects in schools involving thousands of primary aged children and benefitting local, national and international communities.
The programme follows a structure which ensures that children lead the project and are at the heart of decision making, whilst teachers are on-hand to guide and facilitate their learning.
This online teacher training course forms part of the Make a Difference Challenge Annual Licence package. It provides a structured framework based on the Belle Wallace TASC Wheel to better understand the concept of child-led learning, and provides you with the tools to use back in the classroom.
On your return to the classroom you will use what you've learnt to empower a group of children to choose and research an issue they feel passionate about, before supporting them to create a solution to the problem using one or more forms of social action such as raising awareness, taking practical action, or fundraising.
Topics children have chosen have included tackling the problem of plastic pollution, to knife crime, campaigning against speeding on local roads, to saving hedgehogs, and direct action such as clearing graffiti and planting wild flower areas for the bees. If it's something in the community that children feel passionate about improving, then it could be the basis of a Make a Difference Challenge.
At Young Citizens we really believe that social action works best when it's woven in and embedded into the curriculum, but whether it's the whole school, a year group, or just a few children undertaking the challenge as a topic focus, or carried out as a post SATs project, with an After School Club or the School Council, the Make a Difference Challenge framework will support you to deliver and reward a quality social action project with your young citizens.
But don't take our word for it. Watch and listen to some of our Make a Difference Challenge schools talking about their experiences of the programme...