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Schools Case Studies

Farnborough School

Date Added: Thu, 20 Jan 2011

Related tags: Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3, Charity, Event Ideas, Project Setup, Nottingham

Gill Murray, friend of Farnborough School and wife of teacher Paul Murray, lost her fight with cancer early in 2004. When Gill was diagnosed with cancer, she discovered that the Nottingham City Hospital that treated her could not supply the form of radiotherapy that she needed, IMRT (intensive modulated radiotherapy). The advantages of this form of radiotherapy are reduced negative side effects during treatment. One of Gill's last wishes was that she could raise the £100,000 needed to buy an IMRT machine for the Nottingham City Hospital, even though she knew that she would not benefit from it herself.

As friends of Gill, the Farnborough PE Department set about thinking of ways to raise money for the Gill Murray IMRT 2004 Appeal. Many ideas were considered before they arrived at the plan of ten teams of ten indoor rowers competing in relay over 35,000m, the distance from Dover to Calais.

Two pupils, one male and one female, were selected by each tutor group to participate in the channel row, and combined with the other pupils from tutor sets in the other years. This created six teams of ten pupils. The staff then entered into a draw to make up the remaining four teams.

Each pupil and member of staff was then given a sponsorship form, with the added incentive that the tutor group that raised the most money would win themselves a day off school visiting Alton Towers. The pupil who raised the most money individually also won two tickets for Alton Towers. Each pupil tried to get as many friends and family to pay £1 to guess the time of the winning team. In return, the winners received a bottle of Champagne and a £20 gift voucher from Sainsbury's. To raise further funds, the school staff entered into a staff-only prize draw to guess how much money would be raised by the day of the row, the prize for which was a week's holiday in the Lake District staying at the cottage of one of the members of staff.

The school publicised the event through the local TV news, BBC Radio Nottingham and the local papers.

After two weeks of preparation and training with one of the school's resident Concept 2 Instructors the pupils and staff were ready to take on the Channel.

On the day of the event, Concept 2's Ben Addison arrived early and set up the ten Indoor Rowers and a big screen where past world championship videos were shown. At the end of the school day all of the pupils arrived ready for their race. Each team had a slightly different strategy, each taking into account that there were two pupils from each year group from year 7 (age 11) to year 11 (age 16). The staff teams took the event no less seriously with teams catering the length of time for their rows according to their fitness. The school hall was packed with 100 competitors and at least 150 spectators to watch the start of the event. The racing was tight for the first 20km before one of the teachers' teams began to edge into a lead and ended up winning in a time of 2:15.05.

Once the winning team finished, all the teams stopped but recorded their average split so that their predicted finishing time could be calculated.

Once all the money was collected, the PE department announced that they had greatly exceeded their target of £5,000, raising a total of £8,086.

How they did it

Six Weeks Before the Event

Four Weeks Before the Event

Two Weeks Before the Event

One Week before the Event

Day of the Event

Week after the Event

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