Sky Academy Careers Lab

The National Schools Partnership, an education agency that produces free resources and runs events for schools and young people,  which works with well-known brands and companies to bring teachers fun and educational lesson plans, teacher notes, competitions and opportunities to take learning outside of the classroom is pleased to announce a brand new free full day learning experience for 16 -19 year olds: Sky Academy Careers Lab. Based at Sky’s headquarters in Osterley, West London, this innovative initiative brings careers in the media and creative industries to life, helps students build employability skills and provides a unique insight into the world of work at Sky.

Launched at the beginning of December by  Prince Charles, Sky Academy Careers Lab has already seen an amazing amount of initial interest and activity. Dates for January and February 2015 are already fully booked, however there is still some availability in March, with further dates due to be released in the New Year.

For more information on what students and teachers can expect on the day click here.



Conference 2014

Thanks to everyone for coming and thanks particularly to all our speakers and workshop leaders.


Friday evening saw those attending polish off all the wine that was fit to drink and then we watched Jamie Stone’s NFTS grad film ‘Skyborn’ which we screened as an advert for the forthcoming BFI/NFTS free online course on the FutureLearn platform Explore Filmmaking where it will appear as part of the first week’s material. This was followed by the very moving documentary Sodiq, and a Q&A with director Adeyemi Michael .

Saturday began with a provocative keynote from Julian Sefton-Green in which he revisited some of the students who were central to his and David Buckingham’s book Cultural Studies Goes to School. This work is published in the edited volume Learning and Literacy over time. Julian raised some interesting questions about whether studying media (or indeed school itself) made any positive difference to the lives of these Tottenham kids from the early 1990s.

The rest of the morning and the first half of the afternoon comprised choices of sessions and all options were well received.  Links to the material from sessions are here:

Julian McDougall’s slides

Tom Barrance’s material:

Film language ( This film covers as much film language as Tom could squeeze into 60 seconds. He gave participants on his workshop some of the rushes and they edited their own version.

Editsense ( DVD-ROM of editing practice footage


Mark Parsons’ presentation: MEA

At the end of the day, we considered the context for the changes to the curriculum for GCSE and A level and attendees were updated on what we know as of now from Ofqual and DFE. It was excellent to have representatives of WJEC, AQA and OCR present to ‘chip in’ with thoughts. Finally, we worked through the agenda of the AGM (see previous post). This included the announcement of the new PGCE in Media Studies with English from Goldsmiths in combination with the English and Media Centre, for which places are now being advertised. Anyone interested in offering placements is urged to contact us at the info address. Pete Fraser’s EMC blog about the PGCE is here.

See you next year!



Setting up a Film Club and KS3 resources

We have a great new English and literacy resource geared towards KS3 (and equivalent) students across the UK which helps teachers set up an Into Film club in an easy and fun way and gives them access to thousands of fantastic films and resources for their secondary school pupils. Supporting this resource, and helping teachers kick start their new film club, is a free DVD of the cult classic Edward Scissorhands directed by Tim Burton which teachers will receive when registering for the resource.

 The easy-to-use resource aims at boosting literacy and critical thinking skills in the classroom and by registering for the resource and setting up a film club, teachers can provide a platform for students to express their opinions and develop their self-esteem and interpersonal skills.

 Along with the free DVD of Edward Scissorhands, teachers will have access to over 4, 000 other films to use in the classroom as well as a recommended viewing list tailored to Secondary-aged pupils with films from Bend It Like Beckham to Beijing Bicycle. There are numerous other benefits to starting a film club in school or out of school and all those and more information can be found here



MEA Conference Annual General Meeting Minutes

The AGM took place at the end of Saturday’s conference.


1. Election of officers

No other nominations were received, so the current officers agreed to continue in post for the next 12 months:

Pete Fraser (Chair)

Jon Wardle (Treasurer)

Melissa Severn (Secretary)

Members are encouraged to come to executive meetings and we might be able to tempt you to stand for office in the future!


2. Accounts

The balance of the MEA account stands at: £17,184

Expenditure in 2014, including projected costs to end of year is £5,930

Which comprises:

Spirit of 13 Project £ 790

Website                     £1020

Conference               £1400

Consultation Doc    £ 500

Local events             £ 260

Insurance                 £ 280

Audit                         £ 300

CFSA                         £  200

Last conference       £  200

Other expenses       £ 980


Income is projected at £1200 including conference receipts


3. Report on work 2014

Ofqual campaign was outlined

Website Good News campaign was outlined

We reported on meetings with Into Film and other groups to see how we might work together

There has been some activity  in areas eg Essex, East London by local groups


4. Ways forward for the MEA

We discussed the need to push for more media education at KS3, particularly within the English curriculum.

5. AOB

The new PGCE in Media and English from Goldsmiths in collaboration with the English and Media Centre was announced. Anyone who is interested in the possibility of placements for trainees is urged to contact us via the info e-mail address.