Louise Judge, the Assistant Principal of Ormiston Rivers gave us this account which includes quotes from students who were involved:
“I was approached by a local councillor about the possibility of our students undertaking a video project for the local area. They offered me a local ‘expert’, Doug MacEwen, that could help us with the locations and lists of organisations that we could visit. I jumped at the chance, as our geography department is predominantly made up of Irish teachers, therefore our local knowledge of the area has been limited and it was always something that I wanted to feature more heavily in our KS3 curriculum. I recruited a local volunteer to the school who was such a great help in making this project a success. Funding from the Ormiston Trust ensured this project could go ahead as all students could visit each location and undertake their filming.”
‘I really like seeing places that I hadn’t visited before in the Dengie and I loved researching the different places’. Tilly-Rae Grindley-Milner.
“The next step was to engage and challenge the students. The project was opened to all year 7’s in the form of a competition. Students had to write a 1000-word essay answering the question ‘Local historical and geographical investigations are important because….’ Students were then selected based on their response and represented the year group with this project.”
‘My IT skills are rubbish so this experience has been great. I also loved researching geography and history in my local area’. Aaliyah Simpson.
“An after school group was set up and 100% attendance was required to keep your place; students would be fired ‘Alan Sugar style’ if they missed this important element! One student even stopped the bus (as he had forgotten) and ran all the way back to school just to stay part of the group!”
‘Our teachers really pushed us, when scripts were not well researched or when the quality of our written communication was poor, they really challenged us to re-write it to a more professional standard, it was really challenging’. Molly Kirkham
“Script writing was coming along nicely and students practiced recording some footage on the Academy’s iPhone. It didn’t go too well and panic did set it (with the teachers!) We needed some expert help with the editing and recording side of the project. One of my colleague’s partners was a video editor who gave his time freely on the project. The students had two sessions with him; one to introduce himself and then a ‘how to’ session which the students raved about. It also helped that he had recently worked on a James Bond set! The other session was when the students had started to edit and he took them through the process and helped to get them on the road to editing. His company has been so helpful throughout the whole process.”
‘Teamwork and working with students that I wouldn’t normally talk to was great. I really got to improve my communication skills’. Anthony Cleary.
Our local volunteer came up with the idea to have some testimonials at the end of the video, so students started to think about interviewing local people and with a letter they wrote, the Major and Principal were roped in. We also got to travel by boat up the River Crouch visiting more places from the water.
Students finalised the video and it was played at our annual awards evening, the students were beaming, everyone involved is super proud of the final video which you can see below!”
‘I really improved my confidence skills as before this project I hated talking in public, during the video I even recorded speaking on some of the commentary’. Tom Goodship.