George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh

George Heriot’s School complete an 8 week philanthropy unit as part of its Critical Thinking course with Senior Three. The lessons start by looking at the pupils’ perceptions of charity and giving and using recent examples from the news about charities’ work. Each class receives a visit from a representative from a local charity and this is useful in helping us understand how charities are managed and the decisions they make in terms of staffing, marketing, finances, etc.

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One lesson was used to model how to research charities using the Big Give’s database and then pupils were able to spend time completing independent research of the database. They were encouraged to use their analysis and evaluation skills as they looked at a charity’s profile, mission statement, website and accounts. This information was then used for further discussion and reflection in small groups.  At the end of the unit, pupils considered ways to support a charity – their ideas included making a donation, completing a fundraising activity, offering their time and campaigning on behalf of a charity.  Their final reflections noted the development of their learning and skills over the 8 weeks:


George Heriots 3“I now feel that if I had to give money to one of two charities, I could compare them in lots of different areas – e.g. number of staff, mission statements, aims, expenditure.”

“I’ve realised that you can do much more research into charities than I first thought. I want to analyse a charity’s work and see where the money is going.”

“I’ve learned not just to look at information and accept it is true. I need to look further and find evidence.”

“This has changed my view of charities because it has made me realise that you must complete in-depth research on which charities you are going to donate to as different charities spend different amounts of money on their projects.”



Oundle School, Peterborough

In 2016,  Oundle School once again ran the Big Give’s Philanthropy in Schools programme, which aims to inspire the next generation of philanthropists.

Through the generosity of the School’s alumni Old Oundelian Club, each Fourth former (Year 10 pupil) at Oundle had access to a £5 voucher which they could donate directly to a charity of their choice. Each House group was then given the chance to present a ‘pitch’ to the School’s Charity Committee for a charity that all the Fourth formers in that House agreed was worthy of receiving the grand prize donated by the Old Oundelian Club. The best four were then given the chance to present to three members of the Old Oundelian Committee in the Big Give Grand Bid, with a chance to win a £1,000 donation for their chosen charity.

The four Houses chosen for the final were Bramston who backed Build Africa; Laxton who backed the Willow Foundation; Sidney who backed Meningitis Research; and Wyatt, who backed Childline.

The winners were Wyatt House, who are also planning to present on Childline at Laxton Junior School.

Head of the School’s Charity Committee, Ian Clark commented, “The Big Give Grand Bid 2016 has hopefully helped a number of Fourth Form pupils find out more about charities and how they work, and those who presented gained some excellent experience. We hope that the OO Club will be willing to continue its generous support in the future.”


George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh

George Heriot’s School has delivered the Philanthropy in Schools programme for two years running as part of its S3 Critical Thinking course. This year, eight classes (170 students) took part in the programme over an eight week period.

George Heriot’s focused on developing the analytical and evaluative skills of pupils, requiring them to think carefully about the decisions they make when researching charities. The programme was adapted to facilitate peer reviewing of the students’ research skills and choices, with emphasis placed on individual decision making.

To bring the programme to life, George Heriot’s invited representatives from local charities to come in and speak to the pupils about how non-profit organisations operate.

Click on the images below to read more about how George Heriot’s ran the Philanthropy in Schools programme.

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Ormiston Chadwick Academy, Widnes

Ormiston Chadwick Academy delivered the Big Give’s Philanthropy in Schools programme in October 2015 as part of its ‘Making a Positive Contribution Day’. All students were involved in different activities throughout the day to develop their soft skills and help them understand the benefits of helping other people and their communities. The Big Give was delighted to have all Year 8 students take part in the programme as part of such an engaging day for the whole school.

Some Year 10 students supported the groups of younger students which offered an excellent opportunity for them to develop their leadership skills, and a few volunteers volunteered to take photographs during the day to create a thank you presentation for the Sponsor.*

*Philanthropy in Schools works with Sponsors who provide the donation funds for students. We are very grateful to these generous Sponsors for making the programme possible.

Click on the images below to read more about how Ormiston Chadwick Academy ran the Philanthropy in Schools programme.

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Would you like to run the programme in your School?

If you are interested in running the programme in your School or sponsoring a programme, please get in touch with Laura Walmsley, the Philanthropy in Schools co-ordinator, at schools@thebiggive.org.uk.