This month brings a wonderful and fun opportunity to learn about one of our most famous charities, the NSPCC, and the important work it does to help keep children safe by raising awareness of child abuse and protecting them from harm. Although February 5th is usually their National Number Day, the NSPCC has recently postponed the main celebration until Friday 7th May due to lockdown. However, with many nurseries still open and planning activities well in advance, we take a look at things you can do this month. The day is supported by Man group and Oxford University Press and aims to raise money and awareness.

As their website says: “It’s maths, but not as you know it!”

What it is though, is a way to have some fun with numbers, and look at numeracy from a playful angle, and raise money for the charity that runs the free children’s helpline, Childline. The day is aimed at everyone from nurseries to secondary schools and beyond (after all, childhood doesn’t have to stop at 18!!) so why not get involved this year?

You can register your interest online at www.nspcc.org.uk/numberday and get some free, downloadable resources suitable for all ages and abilities, including ones which have been inspired by famous gameshows such as Blockbuster and Who Wants to be a Mathionnaire? Everyone is encouraged to “Dress Up For Digits” and dress in clothes that have numbers on them, or even cover themselves in stick/sew/pin-on numbers, so even if maths is not your favourite subject, there will be something for everyone to get involved in.

Some of the resources you can download include:

  • Things to help promote the day across your school or setting
  • Number-based activities and quizzes
  • Ideas to use in a family bubble or with small groups
  • Safeguarding training resources and online safety quizzes for all ages
  • Ideas and tips on how to help pupils fundraise for the charity
What does the NSPCC do?

The NSPCC is dedicated to protecting children from abuse and its core values are based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

These are:

  • Children must be protected from all forms of violence and exploitation
  • Everyone has a responsibility to support the care and protection of children
  • We listen to children and young people, respect their views and respond to them directly
  • Children should be encouraged and enabled to fulfil their potential
  • We challenge inequalities for children and young people
  • Every child must have someone to turn to

The charity offer advice, training and information to children and their parents/carers, and the helpline, Childline, answers 300,000 calls a year from vulnerable, anxious or abused children, giving them a first port of call to express their feelings, talk to a trained counsellor and report alleged incidences of abuse to trained adults.

Why is this important?

With the world still gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, many children have been at higher risk of abuse because risk facts associated with abuse and neglect have been exacerbated by lockdowns, financial pressures and challenges to our mental health. Many services that would traditionally support families and safeguard children have also been unable to maintain face-to-face visits, putting further strain on families in greatest need. Nurseries have a duty to safeguard children and to look out for signs of abuse and neglect, and part of that responsibility is to train everyone who works with children on safeguarding issues which the NSPCC help many organisations with every year.

The aim of Number Day is to raise money because like many charities, their income has reduced since many of its traditional fundraising avenues have been cancelled or closed this year. But small amounts can make a big difference - according to the charity, just £54 pays for a Childline supervisor for 2 hours; £200 pays for volunteers to answer calls from 50 children, and £500 runs the helpline services across the board for about an hour.

If you want to get involved this year, the website has ideas on how to have some fun with numbers in a socially-distanced, or virtual way, so there’s no excuse not to join in at some level. We’ve listed a few ideas for you here:

  1. Learn to play hopscotch – a traditional number game
  2. Have a sponsored count – see who can count out loud to the highest number in a certain time
  3. Teach your children some number rhymes or songs such as “One, two, buckle my shoe” and “Ten Green Bottles”
  4. Dress up in numbered clothes or cover yourself in number/maths symbols
  5. Run a treasure hunt with clues that use simple maths puzzles
  6. Challenge yourself to give something up for a day/week/month
  7. Hold a virtual coffee morning or an afternoon tea party
  8. Make a paper hat and decorate it with maths symbols and numbers
  9. Hold a virtual number games night and play virtual dominos, rummy or other number-based games such as Battleships and bingo
  10. Make a collage showing different ways we use numbers; think of fractions, decimals, percentages, indices, square roots, Roman numerals, 24-hour clock, hours, minutes and seconds, car number plates, timetables – the list is endless

Whatever you do, have fun planning and running your day and remember to send us your pictures to hello@parenta.com as we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.

Some numbers related to the NSPCC
  1. 131 - The number of years since the NSPCC was founded in the mid-late-1880s
  2. 1889 - The year the first ever UK law to protect children from abuse (known as the Children’s Charter), was passed
  3. 1998 – The year of the Children’s Act, under which the NSPCC can apply for care and supervision orders for children at risk
  4. 1901 – The year that King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra became Patrons of the Society
  5. 4 – The number of main types of child abuse: physical, mental, sexual and neglect
  6. 25 – The time in seconds between calls from children to Childline
  7. 4 – The minimum number of hours worked a week by Childline volunteers
  8. 7.30am – 3.30am – The time that Childline is currently open every day
  9. 2006 – The year that Childline became part of the NSPCC, having been started in 1998 by Esther Rantzen
  10. And finally, the number that every child should know - Childline - 0800 1111

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