Ex-Heysham head helps pupils storm official charts with self-penned song

Dave with his mum and dad Catherine and Stephen McPartlin.
Dave with his mum and dad Catherine and Stephen McPartlin.
Share this article

An ex-Heysham headteacher who is vying for his pupils to get their self-penned single to Christmas Number 1 has seen their ‘Light Up’ single shoot to number 15 in the official charts.

Dave McPartlin, who was head at St Peters’ CE School for five years, found out their new entry had stormed the charts while his pupils were giving ‘free hugs’ to pensioners at a care home.

His Flakefleet School in Fleetwood hit the headlines last week after they twice made a 500-mile round trip in a week to drum up support from celebrities in London – which included being invited into the Radio 2 studio by Chris Evans.

Mr McPartlin, who has now been affectionately nick-named Mr McPoppy – after the character in the hit Nativity films, is fondly remembered at his former Heysham School for hosting live music events and family-fun days.

“This has been an incredible journey,” said Mr McPartlin, 40.

“The support we have had from the people of Heysham, Morecambe and Lancaster has been overwhelming.

“We have done all of this with no budget, but we are on our way to achieving it thanks to sponsorship from companies across the Fylde Coast and north Lancashire – and the amazing support from former pupils and their familes.”

Staff and pupils at his school penned ‘Light Up’ after an assembly on ‘dare to dream’ when a child said that their ultimate dream would be for a number 1 single.

Mr McPartlin then filmed and edited the heart-warming video for the track, which features pupils taking out pensioners for a fun day in Blackpool, on his mobile phone.

“This is about showing children that no matter where you are from or what you have, that with hard work and dedication, you can follow your dreams,” he said.

“We are number 15 in the charts, which is just amazing, but we are calling on the north west help us get to the coveted number 1 spot this Christmas.”

The song, which is all about giving the gift of time this Christmas, will raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, a charity close to Mr McPartlin’s heart because his grandma Doreen is a sufferer of the heart-breaking disease.

His pupils were on a tour of the north east this week performing in schools and visiting his grandma’s care home, where his pupils spent time with pensioners and gave them free hugs, when they found out that they had made it into the charts.

And, this week driver Wayne Hayhurst drove from Heysham Port to Brighton bearing a banner advertising the ‘Light Up’ track and handing out leaflets along the way.

Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, has also been backing the campaign.

You can watch their video featuring pensioners from a Fleetwood care home here