2018 Education Safeguarding
Innovation Award Winners
2018 Education Safeguarding Innovation Videos
“I have been really impressed with the way Raphael took the brief that I gave and turned it into a reality way beyond my expectations. I couldn’t fault the final film – it was just what I wanted!”
Recently I was commissioned by Birmingham City Council to create several short films featuring the 2018 Education Safeguarding Innovation Award Winners. These awards have been crafted to share best practice among schools, in meeting the City’s priorities for supporting children and their families. The six videos representing each of the award-winning projects, were combined into one film. This was then presented to an audience of over 450 schools at the Area Safeguarding Conference held by Birmingham Education Safeguarding Team, at the Tally Ho Conference and Banqueting Centre in November.
This is a first for the team at Birmingham City Council, as last year they chose to host a dinner for the winning schools. However in an attempt to inform other schools as to what is being achieved elsewhere in the city, it was decided to make short films of the winning projects.
The brief to each school was short and the actual creative direction of the film was left up to myself. Each video had to capture the school expressing the following key points:
- How did you identify the need in your school?
- What were your project aims and objectives?
- How did you monitor its impact?
- What do you see the benefits being to pupils?
Jay, a member of the Education Safeguarding team, was assigned to accompany me. This worked really well, as I was able to use her as a focal point for the interviewees.
The Winning Projects
The projects focused on what I believe to be hot topics like adolescent mental health, CSE and listening to the voice of the child. Some demonstrated creative communication methods. Understandably, project leads were very enthusiastic about their chosen subject. But my highlight, was hearing directly from pupils involved. I thought their first-hand accounts and the personal benefits they derived from the project were quite powerful.
Child Sexual Exploitation – Hearing about the ‘CSE Champions‘ project run by Bordesley Green Girls School coupled with the contribution from the REIGN young survivors’ workshop, was sobering. The school have created a forum for open discussion and are continuing to raise awareness on what is usually a difficult subject. They have also empowered pupils to act when they recognise signs of danger. One pupil readily stated what they had learned “could have a wider impact if shared and adopted in other schools”. This video is not available online.
Mental Health and Wellbeing – At The Arthur Terry School, the two students Katerina and Evy brought some good energy in their interviews. They were great ambassadors for the ‘Buddy up / Mental Wellbeing’ project and were really animated with facial expressions and gestures. The Wellbeing cafe along with the peer on peer mentoring program has had a good impact on pupils.
The ‘QB Engage Project‘ at Queensbridge School centred around identifying things that engaged pupils and aided their progression and achievements. The lack of engagement of a few was addressed in a trip up Snowden, was resulted in pupils being taken ‘out of their context’, ‘out of their comfort zone’ and left with a sense of achievement.
Communication – This was my first experience of working in a school for children with special educational needs. Having always wanted to teach myself, I found it inspiring to see staff adapting various teaching styles, for specific pupil needs. I felt honoured to capture the impact of that on film. The lesson shown in the video is a sensory story, created by the teachers, looking for Tooting Tim. By means of visual cues, sounds and smells, the children are able to experience the activities that Tooting Tim might have engaged in. I think it’s clear to see how effective the techniques are. It left me with a deepened appreciation for individual teaching programmes and the hard work being carried out by the staff at Victoria School. I also left singing the Shark song! I challenge you not to once you’ve heard it in full!
The project at Longwill School for the Deaf, was devised to enable deaf parents to be fully informed regarding local and international events. This greatly contributes to their stance as a Unicef recognised, Rights Respecting School. Deaf parents have a right to the same information as hearing parents. Informed parents often means, informed children. The school make great strides in keeping their website up-to-date and ensuring that information is provided there in BSL (British Sign Language). Kimberley, the parent interviewed in the video, expresses her feelings on the arrangement. The GB Deaf Football team striker Jamie Clarke also features, as he was present on the day. This was my first time shooting a video that included someone signing and having that interpreted. A huge shout-out to James from Communication Plus for his invaluable assistance!
Rednal Hill Juniors – Bar an unopened box of lego, I will readily admit, I was unsure exactly what to expect from the project title “Give a Child a voice using Lego”! Karen however did a really good job explaining the philosophy behind the Lego Build to Express packs. She detailed how sessions develop and the benefits this has had on children that she has worked with. The young girl that featured, did really well! Her narration of the situation she chose to build in lego was fantastic! No fun, when someone eats your Doritos! (You will have to watch the video for the explanation!)
Safeguarding Innovation Award Winners
The seven 2018 Innovation Award Winners and their projects are shown below:
- The Arthur Terry School – “Buddy Up” Project addressing Mental Wellbeing and pupil mentoring
- Bordesley Green Girls School and Sixth Form – “CSE Champions”
- Rednal Hill Juniors School – “Giving children a voice through Lego”
- Queensbridge School – “QB Engage”
- Longwill School for the Deaf – “Full Access to information for all”
- Victoria School – ‘No Outsiders’ Sensory Stories
- Elmhurst Balley School – “Adolescent Healthy Lifestyle Project ” – No Video
Shooting the Safeguarding Innovation videos
Each video was shot on school premises. Compressing what was often a significantly large amount of information and work into a 5/6 minute video was a challenge! In anticipation of this, I had asked for each school to prepare 3 minutes worth of narrative. There was always more information then time allowed, which was understandable considering the important messages that each project was addressing.
The narration was provided by the project lead and in some cases pupils. Before beginning each shoot Jay ran through the questions and we listened to responses. At times, suggestions for clarity were made which gave a coherent development to each video. A few auxiliary questions were used which gave elicited a relaxed conversational response and felt genuine and authentic on playback It was helpful having Jay asking the questions as I was flitting between two cameras, checking my tripod and slider and making minor adjustments.
Following the interviews, I requested a walk around the school to capture some venue specific material and other visuals. This gave me some additional footage to slide underneath the audio in some places.
I vary my lighting occasionally depending on the room size and ambient light, but for the most part here, I used a 3 light setup. Shooting wide aperture in camera, gives some nice haziness to the background and brings the subject in the foreground into sharp focus. For audio, I use a Smart Lav Rhode mike which is small and discrete and great quality. The music was provided to me when I was commissioned. All video editing was done in Photoshop.
Due to parental consent being provided for some but not all of the pupils, I had to think of creative ways to protect pupil’s identities. This meant, shooting feet and legs only, or filming groups of pupils from a distance. During the Rednal Hill Juniors video, you can see just the lower part of the face of the young person interviewed, for this reason.
Thanks to Birmingham City Council for the commission and Jay’s support through filming.
Enjoy the videos below!
Do you have an exciting school project, that needs a high-quality promotional video? Or, do you have a business that would benefit from an impact story-telling documentary piece as shown above? Feel free to contact me if you would like to enquire on how video can be used to tell YOUR story!.