CBBC and Coram Pull Strings to Make School Children Healthier and Happier
Leading children’s charity Coram and BAFTA-nominated puppeteers of the BBC Children’s characters Hacker & Dodge have joined forces to give UK school children better chances of leading happier and healthier lives.
The Coram Life Education programme, which reaches 800,000 children every year in nearly a quarter of UK schools, teaches life skills to children aged three-11 years old using fun, interactive and age-specific activities. Now, the multi-media programme has been given the CBBC treatment by the BBC’s Connect & Create team. Coram Life Education’s much-loved character Harold the Giraffe has been given a make-over and will now be joined by two exciting newly-created puppet friends Derek and Kiki on his adventures, as they explore the key issues facing children today in four new films. The puppets have been brought to life by BAFTA-nominated Phil Fletcher and Warrick Brownlow-Pike, the team behind CBBC’s anarchic Hacker & Dodge.
The films will take centre stage in the Coram Life Education programme, which teaches school children about self-esteem, drugs awareness, assertiveness and anti-bullying techniques, positive friendships and healthy lifestyle choices. The four films cover topics including: Healthy Living and Friendship (Year 1); Feelings & Being Left Out (Year 2); Friendships and Conflict Resolution (Year 3); and Choices We Make With Our Friends (Year 4).
Coram Life Education is designed by child development experts and delivered by qualified educators in specially-designed mobile classrooms. Coram Life Education staff work with teachers to tailor sessions to a class’s specific age, curriculum framework and needs. Using stimuli-rich and interactive techniques such as puppetry, role play and clips from the new films, the programme captures children’s imaginations to enable them to develop critical thinking and risk management skills.
Recent research with children who have taken part in the Coram Life Education programme demonstrates its exceptional success rate: 87% of children knew more about keeping healthy; 76% recognised how their emotions and needs change in different situations; 88% understood how others influence the choices they make about smoking, alcohol and other drugs; and 69% reported they had learned to be more assertive. More than three-quarters of teachers interviewed said they ‘felt more confident’ to deliver PSHE and 85% ‘gained new ideas for the classroom’ after taking part in Coram Life Education. The programme costs £5 per child.
Head Teacher Fiona Hamilton, of Coalway Community Infant school, which took part in a national pilot of the new films, said: “The school's annual Coram Life Education visit really enhances our PSHE curriculum work. The children and staff always thoroughly enjoy Harold's visit and take so much away from the sessions. This year the teachers particularly liked the introduction of the new BBC audio visual materials, which added a very positive extra dimension to the whole experience."
Jan Forshaw, Education Services Director at Coram Life Education, added: “With UK children languishing at the bottom of the international happiness league tables, it is now more important than ever that schools have access to a well-evidenced and cost-effective programme like Coram Life Education to help children cope with increasingly complex life choices. We are delighted that the BBC has donated their programme-making expertise to help us offer vital life skills that will positively impact the lives of many hundreds of thousands of children in the UK.”
Caroline Meaby, Partnership Manager, BBC Connect & Create, part of BBC Outreach, said: “We’re thrilled that our partnership with Coram Life Education has created a lasting legacy. All the BBC volunteers involved with this project have come away with fresh new insights into issues affecting children.”
For more information about Coram Life Education and availability in your area visit www.coram.org.uk/lifeeducationor call 020 7843 1290.
Notes to Editors:
Press contacts: Sue Massey, Coram’s Head of Marketing Communications, on 020 7520 0346 or email@example.com
About Coram Life Education
The Coram Life Education programme, established in the UK for over 20 years, is an internationally respected provider of high-quality and strongly evidence-based drugs and health education. It is used in over 4,000 out of the 16,971 schools in the UK, reaching more than 800,000 children every year. The programme, which is aligned with the National Healthy Schools objectives, uses a new nationally recognised and accredited outcomes evaluation framework that measures its impact and the value it adds to children in a school.
Coram is the UK’s first children’s charity, launched in 1739, which helps some of the UK’s most vulnerable children to dramatically improve their life chances.
We intensively support 15,000 children and their families across the UK, run the nation’s most successful voluntary adoption service and reach more than 800,000 school children through Coram Life Education’s mobile health, drug and alcohol education classrooms.
Visit www.coram.org.ukto find out more about our work.
About BBC Connect & Create
BBC Connect & Create is part of BBC Outreach, which brings BBC staff together with audiences to create unique learning experiences for everyone involved. Connect & Create offers staff the opportunity to use their professional skills and experience away from the work environment and to help charities and communities. Coram is one of its ten national charity partners. In the past year, Connect & Create devised and ran 81 bespoke projects with charity partners, placing 694 BBC staff as volunteers.