'Tis the season to be giving – and these schools are doing it with a reverse advent calendar

'It is better to give than to receive – I think that that it makes you feel good.' As the countdown to Christmas begins, schools across the UK are supporting their local communities in a very special way

Kate Parker

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‘I wouldn’t want to be hungry, I don’t want other people to be,' says Jack, aged 7. 

Jack is a pupil at Hickling Infant School in Norwich and this year he, alongside his classmates, will be taking part in a reverse advent calendar. 

The concept is both incredibly simple and immensely generous. 

On 1 December, millions of children – and adults – across the world begin the countdown to Christmas by snaffling the chocolate waiting behind the first door of their advent calendar. And from Friday, pupils and staff from Hickling Infant School will be giving, rather than taking. 

Reverse advent calendar 

Headteacher Kat Arnold says: "We’ve asked for a donation each day from a specific child. We’re a tiny infant school with a family feel and everyone is very much up for helping the community.

"We realise the importance of helping one another – especially at Christmas time – and feel it’s a really important message for the children." 

The food collected will all be donated to Stalham Baptist Church, who take the food and create different meal boxes: breakfast, lunch, dinner. 

More than 100 miles away, in Luton, Ferrars Junior School are also taking part in a reverse advent calendar. 

"We have asked each child to donate one item of non-perishable food to a class food parcel in the hope that we have 12 food parcels to deliver to Luton Food Bank in the new year.

"The idea came from the Luton Food Bank and looks to support families in the local area in the new year after the busy and expensive Christmas period", says deputy headteacher, Alison McDade. 

"It is better to give than to receive. I think that that it makes you feel good," says pupil Maryam, aged 7.



Long Sutton Primary School, Sir Frederic Osborn School in Welwyn Garden City and Newcastle High School are all collecting for their local communities. 

Here at Tes towers, we were more than happy to say yes to Ezzy Moon's suggestion that we do our own reverse advent calendar. Our donations will go to our local community and we encourage schools across the country – and around the world – to join in. 

If your school is also donating to food bank this Christmas, we'd love to hear from you and see pictures of your calendars. Please send them to tes.letters@tesglobal.com

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a schools and colleges content producer.

Find me on Twitter @KateParkerTes

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