KIDS has been working with Exhall Grange Specialist School to make some films. We asked Young People’s Practitioner, Daniella Ward, to tell us what’s been going on.
Tell us a little about Exhall Grange.
Exhall Grange is a Specialist School in Coventry, supporting children and young people with additional needs from primary through to post-16 education.
The school is focused on developing their pupils to be their very best selves. It was clear from the get-go that the staff had a true passion and commitment to this.
What projects have KIDS been working on with Exhall Grange?
We have been working with the school to create two films for our Young People’s Hub. The films are being made by a group of 12 pupils from the school’s wellbeing hub. They chose the subjects and how they wanted to make the films. We gave them media training and brought in an expert film maker to help them make their films.
“We had lots of fun, acting out sections and getting super creative with different types of shots.”
How have the kids been actively involved?
The pupils have driven this project right from the start. During our first virtual sessions together, they thought about how the films could help other children and young people. We discussed the kinds of topics that are important to them and what they wanted their purpose to be.
We could have nattered on for hours about different themes and the experiences and challenges that they are faced with. We had enough to create multiple films!
So what subjects did they choose?
The pupils split into two groups. One group decided to make a film for other young people to help them gain confidence about leaving school and getting a job.
The second group are making a film about hidden disabilities. They want the public to understand what it’s like to live with a hidden disability.
What did the media training involve?
In early March we attended Exhall Grange in person where Matt, our videographer, delivered a media training workshop to the group.
The pupils got to plan and film two practice interviews. I was in the hot seat for one of these!
The pupils got hands-on experience being an interviewer, director, scriptwriter, camera operator, lighting operators, and sound recorder.
The pupils then took part in a planning workshop, where we planned each scene for their chosen film topic.
What happened on the filming days?
It was so inspiring to see the pupils take control of their films! They had so many incredible ideas and things to say.
On the first day we visited a medical centre in Birmingham where the pupils interviewed an ex-pupil from the school about her experience of the workplace.
On the second day we listened to some powerful stories from the pupils on perceptions of hidden disabilities.
What are your highlights so far?
It was fantastic to see the growth in student’s confidence. It’s been extremely heartening to see their personalities shine through their presenting and pieces to camera.
We had lots of fun, acting out sections and getting super creative with different types of shots. One group had to act out a scene multiple times which was a lot of fun – I can’t wait to see the bloopers!
What’s planned next?
We have just finished our filming days at the school. Soon we’ll have our final meetings to edit the films together and then celebrate what’s been achieved.
It’s been a real pleasure to work with teachers that took such care and had real enthusiasm for their pupils and our project.
We hope that this is just the beginning of a great relationship – keep your eyes peeled!