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Friday, 16 March, 2001, 00:45 GMT
Schools' 'web nose' challenge
Emma Freud and the Minister for Technology and Learning, Micheal Wills
The competition was launched at the BETT conference
Dozens of schools have taken up the challenge of "Web Nose Day" by designing a special website in aid of Comic Relief.

Pupils were encouraged to produce six web pages for their entry using animated graphics, photographs and templates.


We'll be looking not just for technical skills but for real creativity

Jonathan Smith Comic Relief's education manager
It is hoped the awards will inspire schools and colleges in their use of web publishing, developing creativity, originality and new content.

There will be computer prizes for the best sites at primary, secondary and college level.

The competition is a joint initiative between the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) and Comic Relief, supported by the Guardian newspaper and the BBC's Webwise campaign.

"We'll be looking not just for technical skills but for real creativity," Comic Relief's education manager, Jonathan Smith, said.

"We want schools to look at the big issues like poverty in the UK and Africa, as well as having fun," he said.

Pants!

The first entry came from Southwold Primary in Nottingham, where teachers will have to wear their pants outside their trousers for the duration of Red Nose Day.

The theme is very clearly pants - reception and Year 1 pupils have created an online hunt the pants game, where users click on drawings by the children to find the garments.

Year 2 children ask users to match a pair of pants to a nursery rhyme and Year 3 pupils challenge them to design a pair of pants for a celebrity.

Grove Road Primary School in Tring, Hertfordshire, has developed a simple "fill in the gaps" tool that allows very young children to build web pages.

'Beard-o-meter'

One school in Northern Ireland has a "beard-o-meter" on its Web Nose Day site.

If pupils at Temple Patrick Primary in County Antrim manage to raise their target of 2,000, one of the teachers will have his beard dyed blonde and his head shaved.

The website designed by pupils at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen, Scotland features an online quiz - Whack a nose - where users are challenged to stick a red nose on a featured celebrity.

Poverty and injustice

The aim of Comic Relief is to tackle poverty and promote social justice in the UK and in Africa.

Since the charity was launched in 1985, it has raised over 174m, with one third of that going to UK-based projects and two thirds to schemes in Africa.

Schools have traditionally given much support to Comic Relief, the charity said, with more than 60% taking part in fundraising.

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See also:

06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Comic Relief stars keep their pants on
10 Jan 01 | Education
Boosts for online learning
21 Sep 00 | Education
City-wide school computers scheme
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