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Published June 2011
Students at Cambridge East School have set up their own successful TV show, CamEast TV. The school embarked on the project as part of their ICTPD contract, and have taken delight in watching their students succeed and grow as they learn.
Following a term of problem solving and getting to grips with many initial challenges, students and teachers viewed the first show during a school assembly. As a result the school decided to create a fortnightly five-minute show to coincide with each whole school assembly.
From the beginning, students have been encouraged to take ownership of script development, filming, technical knowledge, producing, directing, creating, and taking responsibility for the equipment and workspace. The many roles are rotated amongst year 5 and 6 students, so that those currently involved become mentors (interns) to the next group of students. The aim is to give as many students as possible an opportunity to be involved in, and extend, their learning experiences. It has also been a unique way to develop the key competencies, as the students’ slide show highlights.
“As a teacher you are always looking at how you can stimulate and challenge your students – well this is it! You see them come alive and it is so exciting.”
Rayleen Ramsay, Teacher and Coordinator of CamEast TV
While the job of creating and putting together the programme is generally one for year 5 and 6 students, younger classes are also included in filming and interviewing where possible. They often put together segments for the programme with the assistance of older students.
The show is aired during the school’s fortnightly assemblies. Students and teachers watch proudly together and celebrate in the success of all that has happened within the school during the previous fortnight. The programme is published on the school website afterwards, enabling students to share their learning and experiences at home, and with their wider family and friends no matter where they are.
“'Learning together today, empowering citizens of tomorrow', is our school vision. Our core values are ‘respect’ and ‘excellence’. CamEast TV gives us a vehicle to share all that is happening in and around our school and creates a real sense of community and belonging while celebrating these values.”
John Bullick, Principal
During the biennial senior production the school included an official one-year celebration of CamEast TV with a launch evening. As part of this, the year 5 and 6 students were asked to reflect on how their involvement with the production of CamEast TV helped them develop key competencies.
“Managing ourselves is very important because we have Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning to create our show from scratch and this is a very short time frame. This means we have to stay on task, we must get on with the job, work quickly, efficiently, and within a time frame. We also have to think about the people we are working with and make sure we don’t distract each other.”
Conner McClunnie, year 6
“Relating to others involves talking to each other and doing a segment together. We work with a wide variety of people who we don’t always know well and we have to co-operate, stay on task (tricky sometimes when we are with our friends, but we do), consider their ideas and points of view, and then collectively create our ideas into segments. We also have to respect the people who we are reporting on and think about how we put the segments together so it doesn’t offend others and shows them and our school in the best way possible.”
Jeremy Waters, year 6
“Language, symbols, and text are used when writing up our scripts, which then get put onto a teleprompter so that people can read at an even pace while being filmed. This also includes talking to each other and working out how to make segments better.”
Sam Scott, year 5
“Participating and contributing involves pushing ourselves and filling in for others, like when one of our presenters is away sick, we have people that are able to fill in and participate. We all have to contribute to get the show done. The whole school contributes to CamEast TV. Everyone has their special way to contribute.”
Melissa Thomson, year 6
“We have to think about what we are doing and why we are doing it. We have to think, will the juniors understand this? Will they be able to see it at the back of the hall, and can they hear it properly?”
Sam Scott, year 5
The students are key to the success of the programme. Teachers say it has been hugely exciting to watch them developing the ability to respectfully and skillfully manage both their own time and the way they work with other students, supporting and critiquing one another and making decisions about what is most important. Students are continually being challenged to think and problem solve in order to manage their part in the process of developing the programme, and ensuring the end product is a success.
Looking back on their experience of CamEast TV, former year 6 students have this to say:
“During CamEast TV we learnt many new skills throughout various courses, and learnt how to use new equipment and programmes. We did one course with Innes Kennard that taught us lots about photography and videoing. Marina View School also came to help us get the show up and running. Along with that, we participated in a few other programmes with various people. They all helped us to bring more to the fortnightly shows and improve the quality of sound, photography and videoing. We had to apply our knowledge from one programme to another and see if it would work.”
“Throughout the shows we had to come up with a variety of segments to put in. Making sure the segments were fun and interesting was sometimes challenging. We used different programmes to produce the different sections and had to decide which would be the best and most efficient to use. We also loved watching what we had done and looking back on all the things we had achieved towards the show. When interviewing kids, it was great to hear all their good ideas but often hard to encourage children with what to say without telling them.”
“When making the shows we were always rushed for time, but we enjoyed the pressure because it meant we got things done. Our shows were often too long so that meant we had to do a lot of editing, which was hard because we had so many great things we wanted to keep. But in the end we had to decide what was the most important and what could be kept for the next show or left out because we couldn’t have our shows longer than five minutes.”
“Getting involved in Rowing NZ was great. We got to interview famous rowers and find out what they did for a living. They work really hard and put lots of hard work into what they do. We learnt that when interviewing we had to ask questions that would get them to talk about what they think and feel instead of just a yes and no answer, while also finding out what they do. It was really interesting to see the plan of what the rowing domain is going to look like in October 2010 for the Rowing Champs, GO NEW ZEALAND.”
“In the computer suite we had to work together, teach others, and share our knowledge. We got to know the team and after a while we knew that we could rely on people to do their job. We learnt to give constructive criticism that encouraged others around us. Also, to organise ourselves, equipment, the team and sometimes even Mrs Ramsay. When creating the segments for the shows, we had to think about our audience and what they would understand. This was challenging because our audience ranged from year 0 to 6, and we also wanted to make it interesting for adults and teachers.”
“Learning was fun but challenging. Problem solving was constant, but always satisfying when we solved the issues. Sound and volume were our biggest problem and we were always trying out new equipment, which was fun and challenging at the same time. We really enjoyed getting new equipment and really appreciated what we had. Having a problem and then getting over it gave you a great sense of success. Sometimes we had technical type problems and the teachers had no answer, so it was up to us to solve it. We had to not just fix a problem but make things more efficient and find a new way to do things if needed.”
“It was really exciting seeing the first couple of shows. When watching we could see what we needed to work on and improve. Until we worked on the show, we didn’t realise how hard it would be and how many challenges we would have. There was always room for improvement in everything we did! Overall it was really hard work and there was lots of pressure to get the job done, but the end result was so great that it was worth everything. It was really hard to hand over the show to the other students because we had had so much fun in all we’d done, and we had learnt so much. Being involved in CamEast TV was a great experience.”