Primary school hit inches towards number one

Festive cheer: Earlier this year, Flakefleet was voted happiest school in the UK.

Is the Christmas chart race still relevant? The pupils of Flakefleet Primary School are having festive fun while raising money for a good cause with their catchy Christmas single.

A little boy hugs an elderly man in a care home. Two white-haired ladies play games in an arcade. Infants and pensioners skip hand in hand by the seaside…

“Light up, light up someone’s Christmas, and they won’t feel so alone. Light up, light up someone’s Christmas, and maybe you will light up your own.”

Pupils and teachers from Flakefleet Primary School in Fleetwood have written, performed and recorded the song, which they are hoping will top the Christmas charts.

Light Up is a lower budget offering than a typical Christmas hit. The video, which was filmed on the head teacher’s phone, shows pupils taking part in a partnership with the local care home. All the money raised by the track will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.

“Christmas isn’t just about getting presents and Santa Claus. It’s about making memories and being happy,” said one student. The children’s campaign hashtag, #daretodream, has already been shared by celebrities, including comedian Stephen Fry.

But the school faces competition from some big-name stars, like Ariana Grande and Ava Max.

And there are two other leading charity entries this Christmas. Whatever You Believe is performed by refugees from around the world and young music students, while LadBaby’s We Built This City will raise money for food banks.

Christmas charity singles have a rich history. The most famous example came in 1984 when Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? raised more than £8 million to help relieve famine in Ethiopia.

Just three years ago, the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir took the top spot. The proceeds from their song, A Bridge over You, went to NHS charities.

But it has also been a vehicle for protest.

In 2009, after years of X Factor winners winning the top spot, a campaign was launched to challenge Simon Cowell’s chart domination.

The chosen song, Killing In The Name by Rage Against the Machine, a heavy rock track with numerous swear words, was an unlikely Christmas hit. But the campaign succeeded, and Killing In The Name became a Christmas number one, 17 years after its original release.

Are Christmas number ones still relevant?

Snow-Flakefleet

Not really, say some. Now that most people stream music rather than buy CDs, the charts are less diverse as the songs are played over and over, and we’ve lost interest. The tradition of waiting with excitement for the Christmas number one has effectively been killed off.

Don’t be ridiculous, respond others. The pupils and teachers at Flakefleet have put their hearts into this song and done so much good for their local care home and Alzheimer’s sufferers across the country. The Christmas chart race has helped to promote lots of good causes and festive goodwill.

You Decide

  1. What is the most important thing about Christmas?
  2. Will Flakefleet’s song make it to number one?

Activities

  1. In groups, write your own Christmas song and make a music video for it.
  2. Make a leaflet for the Alzheimer’s Society, explaining the disease and the work they do for sufferers.

Some People Say...

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

Saint Francis of Assisi

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Flakefleet Primary School has produced a Christmas song called Light Up to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. It was written and performed by students and staff. They also filmed a video for the song — using the head teacher’s camera — that shows the pupils spending time with elderly residents of the local care home.
What do we not know?
What song will be the Christmas number one. Light Up has broken into the top 20 in the UK singles charts. As it stands, US newcomer Ava Max is topping the mid-week chart with her song Sweet But Psycho, followed by Ariana Grande’s huge hit Thank U, Next and UK blogger LadBaby’s comedy charity effort.

Word Watch

Flakefleet
Over the summer, Flakefleet also featured on ITV News when pupils put on their own version of the royal wedding, complete with horse-drawn carriage.
Alzheimer’s
A brain disease that gets worse over time and cannot be cured. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion and agitation.
Ava Max
A 24-year-old singer from the US. Her new single Sweet But Psycho has reached number one in multiple countries already.
Food banks
The single rewrites the lyrics of the original song to become “we built this city on sausage rolls”.
Band Aid
Organised by musician Bob Geldof, pop stars who featured on the single include Bono, George Michael and Sting.
Famine
An extreme shortage of food that causes people to starve. The 1984-85 famine in Ethiopia was particularly severe, made worse by drought and political problems.
X Factor
The winner of the reality TV singing competition took the Christmas number one in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014.