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Pick a red nose

Love it or loathe it, Comic Relief has a huge impact on pupils. So, says Jan Trebilcock, put March 16 in your diary

It doesn't have to involve shaving your head, sitting in a bath of baked beans or strenuous weeks of preparation. Comic Relief's Red Nose Day on March 16, can be a positive experience at school. "It is a winning combination of being truly educational and fun," says Tess Wilkins, who teaches at Belle Vue Girls' School, a specialist language college in Bradford.

"The resources have a big impact because the children are learning about young people their own age. Talking about global issues can help put their lives into perspective. Maybe they think school is awful, but what if they had no school?"

One of this year's themes is to turn parts of your school red, and Belle Vue will have a red reception area and red tuck shop.

The school will also hold a promise auction and a 40-second Fame Academy-style event, just enough time to reveal a glimpse of participants'

dancing or joke-telling talents.

The activities also have a lasting impact. "The girls responded to the Asian earthquake and the tsunami by raising funds for the victims," says Tess. "It was their idea to help. They understand they are global citizens and have a responsibility toward others in the world."

Iain Murray, a Year 6 teacher at Bounds Green Junior School in Haringey, London, particularly likes the 360 degree interactive "worlds". In these, six African children reveal via film clips and learning activities, how they live and what makes them happy. "Simple questions like these help our kids consider their own lives. They come up with some amazing ideas," says Iain.

"They are looking at citizenship themes, but also getting the chance to look at their feelings, actions and behaviour. It is great for their self-esteem, to feel they have done something to help other people."

REASONS TO SEE RED

There's still time to do something for The Big One, this year's Red Nose Day.

Download ideas and teaching resources or order a school pack from www.rednoseday.comat-school

To nominate yourself or a colleague for Top Red Nose Day Teacher and win one of the prizes, including an iPod Nano, visit

www.rednoseday.comteachers. The closing date is March 30.

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