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Our day at Sky Studios thanks to Parent Zone!

Epsom College enjoyed a day at Sky Studios as part of their prize for being crowned 2017's secondary Parent Zone Digital School of the Year. Here, year 7 student  Elizabeth Lowndes tells us about their experience

In January this year, Epsom College won the prestigious national Parent Zone Digital School of the Year award, for our Digital Safety Awareness work in PSD lessons and the school curriculum.

The prize included a trip to Sky Studios to take part in the Sky Skills Academy, that aims to use the power of TV to build skills and experience in young people.

So, 30 Epsom College students, accompanied by teachers Helen Keevil and James Styles, set off to Sky Studios in Isleworth, London. I am one of the year 7’s that went on this trip. We were their first mixed-age group of students to attend the academy.

Once we arrived, we were taken on a tour around Sky studios, where our guides talked through the different sets.
There were eight studios that covered news and sport. The walls of the studios were black and there were no windows, so that there was no natural light. All the light created on set was artificial, from large lighting gantries. The sets get so hot from the lights that the camera and lighting operators wear shorts!

The tour enabled us to see the journalists and support staff working on the programmes that were being broadcast. We could also see the presenters live on TV. If you had looked carefully you might have seen us waving in the background as a camera panned around a news presenter.

The Epsom students had the opportunity to produce our own news segment. This included writing a script, which in my case was on how to fight cyberbullying.
Then we changed into the costume that would be used by a news presenter and then filmed the news, with two students, in each group, as the presenters. The recording was then edited using a touch-screen table to change backgrounds, add titles and alerts. The news segments were then edited together to make a longer news report.

It became clear that there are a great number of resources, both people and equipment, that go into producing a news programme. A single broadcasting camera costs around £250,000. However, the money generated by Sky through advertising is also significant – it costs around £100,000 for a 30 second advertising slot, if you want your advert to play during a football match, for example.

There are over 22,000,000 customers of Sky’s TV network and there are 30,000 employees world-wide.

I really enjoyed going to Sky. The staff at Sky were very welcoming and generous with their time.

The Parent Zone Digital School of the Year Awards are open to Parent Zone Digital Schools Members.

Find out more about the benefits of membership HERE.


All images: Epsom College