School opens its doors to fly on the wall cameras

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PUPILS from a Yarm school are set to become stars of a new fly on the wall documentary.

A television crew spent months working in Conyers School filming Year 7 students as they started their journey through secondary education.

Science teacher Jonathan Thorburn worked closely with the crew from CBBC’s Our School to give them an insight into what happens on a daily basis.

After impressing the show’s producer, the science teacher also became the narrator of the new series which starts on Wednesday, September 3.

Writing on a blog ahead of the launch, he said: “It was a little strange at first. Week one especially, as the crew were in using mobile cameras rather than the static ones that had been fixed into my science lab.

“Quite a squeeze then to get 30 excited boys and girls, as well as camera operators, boom mic operator, and other associated TV crew inside a regular-sized lab, but we managed, and because science is the most exciting of all the subjects, we even managed to get some learning in at the same time.

“After the initial week, and especially when the fixed cameras were being used, you just sort of forgot they were there. Not entirely of course, picking your nose was still out, but they became more like part of the furniture, and life basically continued as normal.”

The first episode follows the children as they leave their primary schools behind and move onto the secondary school, where there are 1,500 pupils, 221 of which were starting in year seven.

Mr Thorburn added: “What you see in the programme Our School is an accurate representation of secondary school life from the perspective of the people who are just starting to live it. And that, in a nutshell, was the point, I think.

“The pupils who took part in the programme went through exactly the same emotions as any other 10 or 11-year-old starting secondary school. And they learned (in front of the nation) that it really isn't that scary at all. I think knowing that they are helping others who might be feeling a little pensive at school, is a very positive, rewarding thing for the pupils in Our School.”

Our School starts at 8.25am on Wednesday, September 3 on CBBC.

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