Wednesfield High School was declared the winner at the grand finale of Midlands Centre’s schools challenge, during a ceremony hosted by the BBC at its Birmingham headquarters in June.
Ten schools were represented, and the prize for the winning team, which was awarded by BBC Midlands Today presenter Nick Owen, was a VIP tour of BBC Birmingham.
“BBC West Midlands was delighted to be involved in the schools challenge,” said David Jennings Head ofRegional and Local Programmes for the West Midlands, who was one of the judges. “Members of our teams gave their time willingly to visit the participating schools, and there was a terrific buzz around our Birmingham HQ when 80 youngsters joined us for the finale.”
The competition was part of a wider secondary school education programme, now in its second year, run by the RTS centre.
From March to June this year, it organised a series of workshops for year 8 and 9 students at schools across the West Midlands, offering an insight into the TV industry.
The four-hour workshops explored TV jobs and, at each one, professionals, including an employee from BBC Birmingham – which worked closely with Midlands Centre on the project – offered their take on the industry.
The workshops also sought to provide students with skills in preparation for work. There is a widespread belief that UK school leavers often lack the right skills to make them “employable”.
At the end of each workshop, students were given a certificate of achievement, listing the skills they had developed, such as confidence, communication and leadership.
Some 880 students from 10 schools took part in this year’s programme. They found the workshops “fun and stimulating”, and many said they gave them a better understanding of the television industry.
Teachers, too, were appreciative of the RTS centre’s efforts. “Your approach was just right for our students and it was great to see them motivated, buzzing with ideas and totally engaged for the entire day,” said Rosie Moss, Assistant Principal of Baxter College. “The input from the professionals really struck a chord with students."