Serif in Education

Lights, camera, action!

One part of my role at Serif that I really enjoy is speaking to schools directly to learn about how they’re using Serif’s Design Suite and in particular, the benefits it affords their pupils. I recently spoke to Mike Russell, media co-ordinator at Longhill Primary School in Hull. Mike has been instrumental in launching an innovative media project at the school which sees the pupils produce a monthly TV programme.

The pupils have access to a purpose built soundproofed studio within the classroom which features its own green-screened wall and red sofas and the Hull City Learning Centre has lent the school three video cameras which record onto mini DVDs a microphone and wireless microphone system and 5 dedicated laptops with Serif software.

Under Mike’s supervision, Longhill Primary TV is then managed by a team of year 6 pupils who take on a diverse range of roles including editors, directors, camera operators and presenters. The topics addressed by the monthly TV programmes are mainly, but not exclusively, concerning school activities. Recently the school was visited by a published author and poet. The production team therefore produced a programme which featured an interview with the author about their work and their views on literacy.

Speaking to Mike about the project, what’s really interesting is that the children are not only gaining useful skills and enjoyment from the project but it’s also fulfilling a greater role. Mike explained to me, “The TV project has actually become part of intervention strategies within the school. Reluctant writers become inspired to write when tasked with writing a script for an advert to be filmed.  A boy that was regularly found to be absent now has an excellent attendance record due to his involvement in Longhill Primary TV.”

“For frustrated learners, getting involved in Longhill Primary TV can be the turning point they need. One child whose behaviour was extremely difficult was given the opportunity to become involved in the project and has gone on to become the team’s main editor. He found something that he enjoyed doing and was also given important responsibilities that he took seriously. Not only does he enjoy his work on Longhill TV, but we’ve also seen his behaviour and results have improved immensely across the entire curriculum.”

What I find truly inspiring about the Longhill Primary TV project is the way it enables pupils to study subjects in a way that stimulates their desire to learn, something that more traditional teaching methods have been unable to do. Who knows, in 15 years we could be visiting cinemas to watch films produced and directed by former pupils of Longhill Primary, an exciting prospect!