Jasper from class 3 at Bishop Carpenter Primary School brought smiles with his clown costume for Red Nose Day to benefit Comic Relief (photo from Bishop Carpenter Primary)

Here's how children celebrated Red Nose Day for Comic Relief in the Banbury area

Children at schools across the Banbury area shared a smile to mark Red Nose Day (Friday March 19) to help the Comic Relief charity.

By Matt Elofson
Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:55 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th March 2021, 8:12 am

Pupils from Bishop Carpenter Church of England Primary School supported the Comic Relief charity by hosting a 'Share a Smile' day at the school in the village of North Newington near Banbury. The school raised £300 for the Comic Relief charity.

A spokesperson for the school said: "We all came into school wearing something that made our friends and teachers smile. Our Headteacher Mrs Nichola Stevenson made us all laugh because she was dressed as Bananaman!

"We filled the school with silly jokes and all things that made us smile. We are not allowed to all get together due to Covid. So we spread a smile throughout the school from class to class like a wave. We also wanted to make the villagers of North Newington smile so we covered our school railings with jokes, funny sayings and lots of other things to make everyone smile.

"We were all given a challenge to make at least 10 people smile in the day. It doesn’t cost anything to smile at someone and they will probably smile back.

"A smile is such a funny thing. It wrinkles up your face.

"But when it's gone you'll never find

"It's secret hiding place."

The Comic Relief charity through Red Nose Day strives to create a just world, free from poverty.

This year’s Red Nose Day for Comic Relief provided a chance for pupils at two Banbury primary academies to spend a day laughing with school friends they have not seen in months.

Two weeks have passed since schools reopened to students under the Government’s easing of lockdown restrictions bringing to an end enforced home schooling.

For principals at Harriers Academy and Dashwood Academy, this year’s Red Nose Day has come at the right time. It provided an opportunity not just to raise money for those in need, but also to boost the mental wellbeing of their students.

Many have only been back in classrooms for 10 days and enjoyed' Sharing A Smile' – the theme for Comic Relief 2021.

Whether they were wearing themed accessories, dressing in reed or their favourite comfy clothes, decorating biscuits, dancing or telling jokes, fun was the order of the day at Dashwood & Harriers.

Amy Rogers, principal at Dashwood, greeted her young pupils at the school gates with balloons and red noses.

Students performed jumping jacks during break times to help them keep active, with 12,401 completed - the equivalent of 17.2 miles.

The children wore their school uniform, but were encouraged to add Comic Relief accessories from red noses to headbands. A special Red Nose picture frame was also created for students to stand in, take photos and pass a smile along. The grand total of £420 was raised for the charity in donations.

Mrs Rogers said: ‘’Our Jumping Jack challenge was performed in groups and was a chance to have some fun as a whole school, provide a sense of belonging and raise some money by being active.

‘’This year’s Red Nose Day is so close in timing to the children returning to school it has provided a welcome opportunity to boost the mental wellbeing of our students. The children have really enjoyed being together and doing something that makes them happy.’’

At Harriers Academy, all students were allowed to come in wearing clothes that make them happy and saw a range of outfits from onesies to pyjamas.

The biscuit decorating session saw students face a tough decision over whether to eat their biscuit there and then or save it to take home.

Other activities included pin the red nose on the donkey, discos, joke competitions and mindful colouring. The children’s generosity saw them raise several hundred pounds for the charity.

Jo Agate, vice principal at Harriers Academy, said: ‘’The children have really missed each other. Our priority now is to support their mental wellbeing, encourage them to have fun, and be children again and not worry about what’s going on in the world.’’

Nurturing the mental wellbeing of students is a key aim of the two primaries which are part of the Aspirations Academies Trust. It’s this that led to them partnering schools of mental health charity Place2Be, which has Kate Middleton as its patron.

A working party was set up between Place2Be, Dashwood and Harriers last year, with the charity helping the schools by highlighting strategies and methods proven to help children feel calm in classrooms.

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