By Alan Boyle

Last Updated: 18/11/2019, 11:13GMT

Want to know more about the Sky Academy Studios experience, here are some case studios to tell you more from the Teachers who came along on the trip

Natalie Hoad is the subject leader for Media Studies at Worthing High School in West Sussex.  She took 30 GCSE Media Studies and Drama students to visit Sky.   

We opted for a Fact session and made a news report about celebrity culture. The students were able to bring their own previous knowledge to it and it also fitted in well with their Media Studies and Drama courses.

A part of something important

It was a really exciting opportunity and all the students loved it. The visit gave the students opportunities that we can’t provide at school, like working in a real studio space and using high tech equipment. They loved feeling part of such a professional work environment, and the feeling that there was something important going on around them. They were fascinated to hear about new programmes and innovations that Sky is currently working on.

Something for everyone

At the beginning of the visit, the students were all allocated lanyards with their different job roles on, so they knew exactly what was expected of them and how they were going to work together. As soon as they were given their roles, they went off into their own little pods and were completely engaged with what they were doing.

The students we took were a real mix but each one got such a lot from the visit. I knew that some would really enjoy it because they’re quite outgoing, and I knew they would be happy in front of the camera. The surprise was that a lot of the quieter ones stepped up and were much more engaged than I had imagined. There was one very quiet boy who I thought might not want to take part but he actually got really involved. He was really interested in the cameras and the technical side of things and asked lots of questions about how everything works and how it all comes together.

A new view of the industry

Students tend to think that television is all about what happens in front of the camera. But this visit helped them to understand all the different aspects involved in making successful broadcasts. It made the industry seem more accessible and started a lot of them thinking about job opportunities that they hadn’t considered before. As well as learning about different roles, they also saw that news reporters don’t just sit in front of a camera but that they actually take part in the whole process of producing the news.

Teamworking and writing skills

Working in groups on a real project with a looming deadline really helped improve the student’s team-working abilities. They also developed their literacy and media writing skills as they had to work to make their news stories sound interesting and to really consider their audience. I think it gave them more self-awareness, too, as they had opportunities to reflect on themselves as presenters and to look at how they fit in to the team.

Chrysalis Research