A former Heysham headteacher is helping his pupils to gain the heart of the nation and get their self-penned single to the coveted Christmas number 1 top spot.
Dave McPartlin, who was head at St Peter’s CE School for five years and brought his passion for learning and pupils’ self-belief to Heysham school kids, this week made a 500-mile round trip twice to London to doorstep Radio 2’s Chris Evans to and ask him to play his current school’s ‘Light Up’ single.
Then again on Wednesday to attempt to get a spot on prime daytime TV – where they met another host of celebrities, including Sir Alan Sugar.
Not only did Mr McPartlin’s school pupils from his present school Flakefleet Primary in Fleetwood, gain the backing of the northern-born entertainer Chris Evans – who even created a video message of support – but they have attracted the attention of celebrities from Jason Manford and Fearne Cotton to Coronation Street stars.
Mr McPartlin, who is fondly remembered by St Peter’s pupils for hosting live music events and family-fun events, said: “ I really believe in giving kids the chance to dare to dream, to push the boundaries and not be afraid of trying anything.
“They might have to knock on a hundred doors but one might just open, with resilience and determination.“
“This is about teaching our children that anything is possible no matter where you come from or what you have.”
On being welcomed by Chris Evans and given 45 minutes with him in the Radio 2 studio, Mr McPartin added: “It was amazing. I actually cried; Chris Evans was that good with the kids and promised to help if he could.
“I had the idea to let Chris personally know about the single because his story is nothing short of inspirational.
“He reached the top of his game by daring to dream and hard work – he’s now one of the highest paid and most successful entertainers in his field. He started his career working for nothing at a Manchester radio station and look at him now!
“It’s important for children to have real advocates for daring to dream.”
Last week, Mr McPartlin took pupils from Flakefleet School on their ‘battle bus’ tours of Manchester, Liverpool and London to promote their catchy song, from which proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.
With no budget, no record label or PR machine, but with companies’ sponsorship, an aeroplane will be flying across the north west and hundreds of thousands of flyers and posters will be distributed far and wide.
The heart-warming video for the track – which was shot and edited by Mr McPartlin – has already reached more than a million people.
It features kids from the school taking elderly residents from nearby Fleetwood Hall Care Home out around Blackpool for a day of fun, to light up lives – the theme of their song.
Under the hashtag #daretodream, pupils have now sold enough copies of ‘Light Up’ to make the Top 40 this Christmas to take on the likes of Ariana Grande and the winner of this year’s X Factor.
Mr McPartlin, whose school was recently named the Nation’s Official Happiest Primary School 2018, added: “I would love to see children take on the multi-million pounds top-dogs, but we need the support of the north west, Lancaster and Morecambe and the whole of the UK to unite and get behind us and be part of our inspirational journey – a moment of history in the making.”
The single will be released on Friday and pre-order downloads are at https://bit.ly/2RhcSkU, https://amzn.to/2PpXW1V and https://t.co/OMzew7B6EQ.
Their website with all details is www.lightupfornumberone.co.uk