Year 8s wrote and recorded a song called 'We Stand Proud' last term.
Looking forward to Ollie joining us for the new term
The Year 7s played their song in assembly.. it was a hit!
We're delivering this project until next May, so stay tuned for up to the minute news!
A Day In the life of
So we have finished the first 6 weeks (Phase 1) working at Oasis Academy Silvertown. The kids wrote, sang and produced a song which reflects their school and community. It ended with the kids showcasing their work in a whole school assembly and the Head commenting that she was surprised how professional it sounded. Yay! The 6 weeks have been fab and the time has flown by. Now onto Phase 2 and making a film to go with the song…
The kids arrive looking slightly nervous, not sure what to expect. Rob puts them at ease with an ice breaker. Lots of laughter and the kids start to relax. This week is the easy one - Rob shows them what he does at Sitting Duck (kids eyes get slightly wider when they realise they recognise some of his work) and what we do at Community Albums. The kids are thoroughly engaged in what Rob is saying and showing them which is hugely encouraging!
Rob and Ollie show the kids how to make music though the computers. The kids work really hard making different sounds, beats, vocals etc., putting them together to make a tune. So lovely to see how excited they are, asking us what we think, and taking on any recommendations for improvements. One of my favourite parts of the session is when we get to hear what the kids have produced. This is the point where the less confident kids sit with their head in their hands, too scared in case their song ‘isn’t that great’. We have yet to hear a truly awful sound, and Rob always picks out nice touches to the song and encourages the kids, and we slowly see them peel themselves out of their arms with a little grin!
Later that evening I get a message from one of the mum’s saying that her daughter hasn’t stopped talking about the lesson as she enjoyed it so much and wants an Apple Mac now so she can do some more work on her own. Couldn’t help smiling :o)
The week the kids are shown how to use the video equipment....
We ask the kids what's important to them in their school and community and brainstorm lots of ideas. "Friends and relationships" are very popular.
Rob shows them how to use the video equipment and we all wander outside into the playground to see it in action. I'm always amazed at how little kids seem to feel the cold. Ollie and I are shivering like mad whilst the kids might as well be out on a spring morning!
We split into 3 groups with instructions to make a short film. My group want to make something about friendship so we head into the playground (coat firmly on) and over to the bus - yes, the bus!... The school have a double decker bus in the playground that doubles up as a library/chill out zone. Much excitement to be going on it! The group takes various video clips of them reading books together, playing a game together, driving the bus together etc etc...
More footage in the playground, lots of energy. The kids are really enjoying the task which is infectious, and I *may* be enjoying it as much as them :)
After editing, a bit more filming, and a bit more editing, the kids all congregate round the computers to see each others work. A bit of nervous excitement is going round the class. All 3 groups have chosen a 'friendship' theme. Some bits will need a bit more work but others are really great and come across very effectively.
A huge groan goes up when we say the lesson has finished. Roll on next week, although I fear we may have peaked with today's lesson. We shall see...
So, this week we're going to introduce some artwork into the film. One of the kids suggested drawing each letter of 'Oasis Academy Silvertown', and holding them up to the camera as the letters are spoken. That's a lot of letters!
Rob and Ollie take their 2 groups out to carry on with filming and I stay to supervise the art group. Boy, can those kids talk! We discuss topics ranging from favourite films and current world events to 'would you rather....' questions, all whilst drawing and colouring in letters. Great to be among such inquisitive minds and quite lovely that they didn't want to go out to break as they were enjoying the discussions. All was really fab till the glitter came out...I'm sure I'll still have glitter on me weeks from now!
Rob and Ollie arrive back with kids eager to edit and show us what they have filmed. They're much more relaxed about showing us their work now. Really nice to see the kids grow in confidence and be excited about what they are producing.
Looking forward to filming again next week...plus we have a new volunteer joining us...
Really lovely to have Taku with us this week, especially as Ollie is unable to be there. Taku let slip that he's not bad at art so we've given him the task of supervising the remaining artwork!
After a pep talk from Rob, we have a quick chat in our groups about what exactly we need to film and how we're going to do it and head out around the school. Rob's group are excited as they need footage of Linda-May. We all wonder what they'll come up with.
Part of the song talks about 'futures and dreams' so one of the girls suggests we film her playing her violin and this is something she enjoys and would like to continue in the future. One of the boys says he'd like to make money so we head to the bus to see if we can find the monopoly game we saw there last week!
The time whizzes by and before we know it we need to head back to edit and show what we've done. Taku's art group have done a great job with their letters - really colourful and bright - and have begun to film them. Rob's group have the footage of Linda-May and my group are really pleased with what they've produced. Another good session...and no glitter in sight :)
Skipping straight onto our penultimate week (missed week 5 as little 'un not well :(). It's the first week back after the Christmas break and I wonder how the kids will be. They wander in looking a little downcast, with a few mutterings of 'hello' but it is the end of their first week back and I kinda know how they feel! We have a full house of Community Albums peeps today with Rob, Ollie (who, bless him, has lost his voice), Taku and myself. Rob has been working hard over the break putting the film together so it fits with the song and he plays what he's done so far to the group. There are some really nice bits to the film and it's beginning to take shape. The kids sing along and I just know that this song will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day! There's quite a bit of work still to do - some of the film has no footage, and other bits need re-doing. For example, the bit of the song that says 'on our trip away we all slept in tents' has an image of some yr8 students in canoes. That definitely needs to change! So after carefully going through the footage and writing down all the extra shots we need, we split into 4 groups and head out around and outside the school. I have a lovely group of girls with me and it's our job to get footage of the nearby docks, the local shop (that all the kids go into apparently), and then head on further down the docks to see some yr7s rowing. One of the girls asks if she'll need an umbrella. "Oh no, the weather forecast is really good today" I say confidently. I make my apologies after it starts raining and we dash into The Excel Centre for cover! The Boat Show is on at The Excel which is great as it keeps the girls amused as we wander through to the Regatta Centre and their classmates who are rowing. We finally reach the rowers and the girls get some great footage. There's much excitement, especially when the kids realise they might be in the school film! We head back and get various footage along the way, including the shop and some amazing shots of the docks and the aeroplanes that seem to be constantly flying over the school. All of the girls have a go and I have to say, I'm really proud of what they have achieved today! The girls think the trip out has been fab and come back so full of enthusiasm, it's infectious :) After break, all the groups come back together and we have a quick look at what people have done and then head outside again for the very last shot of the film where the kids stand on a kind of wood wall and leap up in the air. Believe me, this is harder than it sounds. Poor Taku must have said "1,2,3" so many times before they all jumped together! As we head back to the classroom we become aware that the children aren't happy about something. Rob asks them what's wrong and it transpires that they don't want to leave (Rob nearly had a heart attack when he first thought the boy said he didn't want to live!). They've enjoyed themselves so much they want to carry on! That really makes our day and we most definitely can't ask for more than that. Next week is the last one. Can't wait to see how the film turns out....
It's our last week! Those 7 weeks have whizzed by. Can't believe it!
The kids come in pretty chirpy this week. It's always a little sad that just as we feel we're getting to know the kids, the sessions end and we start with a new group but it's been great having the time we have had with them.
Rob has been editing some of the film and the kids settle down to see what it looks like. Lots of 'ooo's' and 'ahh's'! They love the ending where they all leap into the air, and lots of nice shots in the middle but feel there are too many classroom shots so we talk about how we can make it better and set one group with the task of editing the film with different footage. 2 other groups are set the task of finding some sound effects to go with the film (e.g. aeroplane noises) and another group have the task of writing some dialogue to record for a twin project that's about to take place in Oasis Cosmo City, South Africa. Some of the girls start writing what the film is about and we head outside in the utterly freezing cold to record it! Each of the 5 girls take it in turn to speak on camera, hold the microphone and record. It's easier said than done and took quite a number of takes! Great feeling when it's finished though and we all gratefully head inside for some warmth and to see what the others have achieved.
After break, Linda-May, the Head, comes to see the film and says how pleased she is with the outcome. Yay! So pleased for the kids who are really chuffed with how it has all gone. They've worked hard and genuinely been great. The kids are all saying how much they've enjoyed the sessions and how they don't want them to end! Aww.... Hope the next lot feel the same!