Channel 4’s schools competition offers insight to broadcasting

Channel 4 is challenging secondary school pupils from across the country to conjure up ideas for a new television show as part of a nationwide competition.

Pupils are being invited to create a new show which explores how we are Altogether Different. The only other stipulation is that the show can be set at any point in time, except in 2023.

They will need to come up with the idea for the show – which could be a drama, documentary, comedy, reality show or any other genre – create a pitch to a TV commissioning team and produce a 30-second trailer for their programme or series to convince a commissioner their idea is the best.

The competition is part of Channel 4’s 4Schools initiative which aims to encourage pupils to consider the wide range of careers available in the world of broadcasting. It features two categories – KS3 and KS4 – and schools can submit up to three entries into each one.

To help guide student groups on their creative journey, a range of aid materials are available including templates, information sheets, a detailed brief and guidance on how the commission process works.

Kevin Blacoe, Channel 4’s head of partnerships and skills, said: “Brilliant TV programme ideas can come from anyone, anywhere – creativity has no boundaries.

“The 4Schools competition will help students develop a whole range of skills – team working, harnessing creative ideas, planning, organising, presenting and of course translating all of that into a 30-second trailer.”

Hollyoaks day out: last year’s 4Schools winners, from St Edmund Arrowsmith in Wigan, met actor Jamie Lomas

The best submissions will go on to a national finals and be put before an expert judging panel with the winners being awarded a money-can’t-buy Channel 4 experience day.

Last year’s winners from St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School in Wigan visited the set of Hollyoaks and met several of the show’s stars and production team in a special behind-the-scenes tour.

The St Edmund Arrowsmith students – Francesco Foti, George Archer, Jack Stafford, Khaya Maninjwa and Noah Whitlow – came up with a futuristic comedy called One in Seven Billion.

The deadline for entries for this year’s 4Schools competition is 4pm on May 31 and competition packs can be downloaded from the 4Schools website.

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