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On Friday 24 April, twenty-seven Year 11 Media students and three Year 9 G&T media students visited the Sky News Academy in London and took part in various activities including writing, filming and editing a TV News Programme using Sky equipment, costumes and studios!

The students met at 5.15am to begin the long journey up to London. Upon arrival, students were taken to the Sky Academy Welcome Centre for lunch and had some time to relax whilst watching music channels on the 150" TV set! After celebrating Ashley Murrell's birthday with a song and cake, it was time to get to work!

Before filming their own TV News productions, the students were taken on a tour of the main Sky News building exploring the three main floors: Make, Shape and Share. On the 'Share' floor, the students had a chance to explore some of the job roles that are involved in the airing of the TV channels. On the 'Shape' floor, students visited the editing suites and were given a full explanation of production roles by one of the Floor Managers! When visiting the 'Make' floor, students were able to experience being 'on set' and Diana Pasca was privileged to read the autocue with one of the presenters from Sky News! 'Tubes' and Jim White were also spotted! And Mrs Trevarthen couldn't resist getting a photograph of her and a life-size model of Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.!

After an exciting tour, students were taken to the Sky News Academy Centre where they were given their brief - a pre-recorded message by Ashley Banjo (director of 'Diversity' Dance Squad seen on Britain's Got Talent and Sky's 'Got to Dance')! Students were given one hour to research, write, film and edit a TV News programme inspired by the lives of celebrities. Each group had a different part of the news programme: The studio, on location, eye witness and expert panel. Students each worked in role to bring their section together. Highlights included Jacob Westaway's alter-ego "J-dog" and Stan Davis's character battling out the rights of celebrities and the problems with paparazzi; Marc Trathen as the host struggling to control the heated debate between Shannon Symons and Jordan Vogwill as their views about the uses of Photoshop in the media clashed; the expert reporter skills were clearly demonstrated by Keagan Barnett, Lisa Figgitt, Diana Pasca, Brandon Rowden, Marc Trathen and Abi Burley. All the students worked extremely hard and produced a great production piece; staff and students were extremely proud of what could be achieved in one hour!

The final stage of the workshop included a tour of the Sky Sports Studio where students were able to watch the news being broadcast live! Hidden behind a screen we could see all the 'off-air' action from make-up artists to researchers! One group even spotted an NFL player trying to sneak out unnoticed following his interview. An excellent experience. Overall, the students had a brilliant day despite leaving so early and arriving home so late. The students will be able use this experience to inform their preparations for the examinations. We are delighted that the students enjoyed the trip and are extremely proud of their achievements.

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