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Pitch a Programme: Enter Channel 4’s national competition for secondary schools

KS3 students across the UK are being invited to pitch ideas for a new Channel 4 TV programme.

KS3 students across the UK are being invited to pitch ideas for a new Channel 4 TV programme.

23 May 2022, 11:10

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Open to secondary schools in the UK this summer term (deadline for submissions – 1st July), students are invited to imagine that Channel 4 is looking for a new show which is based in a school, youth club or sports club.

The nationwide competition is part of Channel 4’s 4Schools initiative which aims to encourage students to consider the wide range of careers available to them in the world of broadcasting.

Channel 4’s Managing Director, Nations and Regions, Sinead Rocks said: “Great TV ideas draw inspiration from all ages, all walks of life and all parts of the country. Setting this challenge to schools offers students unique insight into how programmes are chosen to be made, and the work that goes on behind the scenes.”

In groups, students will need to come up with a show premise, create a pitch and produce either a short teaser trailer or an advertising poster to convince a Channel 4 programme commissioner that theirs is the best idea. The national winning team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to a Channel 4 set to see how a real TV show gets made, and there are a range of runner-up prizes.

Matt Burton, the headteacher who became a household name after appearing on Channel 4’s hit series Educating Yorkshire, said: “Creative thinking and teamwork are hugely important skills which can help to bring out the best in students, giving them additional tools they can use in the world beyond school. This challenge gets those in Years 7-9 working together and develops focus and confidence. For children in this age group, linking learning experiences to real-world scenarios has many merits.”

A set of support materials to aid learning and guide students through the commissioning process is available to students and staff on the 4Schools website, along with the rules and the competition brief.

The entry is formed of two parts – a set of PowerPoint slides presenting the idea and a video trailer or poster which could be used to promote the show to viewers. Entries must be submitted through the 4Schools website by Friday 1st July to be considered.

Inviting 4Schools into your school

Recently announced by the broadcaster, 4Schools will provide a range of assets to schools to give young people insight into career options across media industries. These include workshops, quizzes, and the opportunity for speakers from Channel 4 and independent production companies to visit schools and discuss creative careers with pupils.

4Schools is part of 4Skills, Channel 4’s nationwide training and development strategy which aims to create over 15,000 opportunities nationwide in 2022 with a particular focus on people from diverse and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who want a career in broadcasting.

Focused on 11-14 year olds (Key Stage 3), the content of 4Schools sessions is designed to support the curriculum, as well as helping schools achieve Gatsby standards by providing contact with employers and labour market information.

The initiative will demonstrate the breadth of career opportunities and show that the industry is accessible and relevant to people from all backgrounds, with a major focus on diversity and inclusion.

To support and deliver 4Schools, Channel 4 has partnered with social enterprise TheTalentPeople which also operates GetMyFirstJob.co.uk, the UK’s leading jobs site for young people.

TheTalentPeople has extensive experience in boosting inclusion in early talent recruitment, and works with schools, colleges, training providers and a host of major employers nationwide.

David Allison, CEO at TheTalentPeople, said: “Our experience shows that providing young people with first-hand experience of a wide range of careers is fundamental to inspiring them to explore what’s possible. To be able to harness the power of the Channel 4 brand and team to communicate the amazing breadth of roles within the creative sector is a fantastic opportunity.”

School leaders and teachers interested in inviting 4Schools into their own secondary school can find out more at www.4-Schools.co.uk

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