Channel 4’s Head of Documentaries Nick Mirsky has commissioned Twofour to produce a third “Educating…” documentary following a school in East London’s Walthamstow.
The new series will focus on Frederick Bremer School. The school is based in the heart of the community, embracing its diversity and inclusivity. The school was only opened in 2008, the local landscape is rapidly changing, with new businesses emerging and a vibrant creative and artistic culture developing, building on the impact of the 2012 Olympics held nearby. The vision and drive of the new ambitious headteacher Jenny Smith and her staff has been recognised for bringing about rapid and considerable improvements in teaching and the progress of students.
Jenny Smith is also passionate about the school’s importance in promoting social cohesion and values of tolerance and understanding. The students are warm, friendly and funny. Through the eyes of fixed-rig cameras, this brand new series will observe the pivotal relationships between the students and their teachers as they work towards the all-important exams which help determine their futures as well as charting the friendships that help them cope in this quickly changing world.
Mirsky says: “Educating is an enormously important part of our documentary output at Channel 4. Like 24 hours in A&E and One Born Every Minute it shines a light on the tireless work which is carried out, unseen, day in, day out, by our public services with warmth and humour. Frederick Bremer is a school which – although in a very different part of the country – shares with Thornhill Community Academy and Passmores a population of passionate and committed teachers and charismatic students.”
Headteacher Jenny Smith says: “Both Educating Essex and Yorkshire have transformed public perceptions of secondary schools and I believe that Frederick Bremer will continue this tradition. I am incredibly proud to be the Head of a school which is so successful in supporting and nurturing every pupil to become successful and responsible citizens. It is our privilege to serve the vibrant, integrated and ambitious community of Walthamstow and I am confident that Bremer will represent how committed community schools such as ours are to ensuring that every pupil is given every opportunity to succeed. Most of all, I’m looking forward to the series celebrating how talented our young people are.”
The commission follows last year’s critically acclaimed series Educating Yorkshire, which was Channel 4’s highest rating series of the year, peaking with 4.8 million viewers. The series inspired over half a million tweets, its concluding episode was named the, “TV moment of the year” by the Radio Times and it was well received by the teaching profession.
Executive Producer David Clews, Twofour, said: “We’re so excited to be working with Jenny Smith and her team. As soon as you walk into the school you feel this inspiring atmosphere, it’s a place full of warmth, energy and compassion. Sharing the stories of the some of the students will be such a privilege.”
The 10-part series is expected on Channel 4 in late 2014.