"In terms of the creative output, this equipment is going to make an astonishing difference to the quality of work students can produce."
Grace Eardley, Media and Film Studies teacher
Staffordshire University has donated camera equipment to support budding filmmakers at a Cheshire high school.
Staffordshire University's Media Centre donated the industry standard kit to Congleton High School after discovering that the school's Media Department was keen to upgrade its aging cameras.
Chris Javin, a Technical Instructor specialising in Film Production at the University, explained: “We usually update some of our equipment every summer and write off redundant kit. What I've wanted to do for a while is to help out local schools who I know will really benefit from this equipment.
“By chance I got chatting to Grace, a teacher at Congleton High, and knew we were writing off cameras which were still of really good quality so it seemed like a great opportunity to help out.”
Several former students from the Cheshire school have gone on to study on Staffordshire University's Film Production courses and lecturers have good links with the school, providing guest talks and feedback on students' films.
Grace Eardley teaches Media Studies and Film Studies to GCSE and Post 16 students at Congleton High and recently visited the University.
“Staffordshire University has a really strong reputation for delivering practical film production and media courses so I wanted to get some inspiration about how things are run.
“In terms of the creative output, this equipment is going to make an astonishing difference to the quality of work students can produce because the cameras that we have been using previously are quite basic.
“Now, even from the age of 14 and 15, our students will be using professional kit and be able to create really professional looking coursework, achieve higher results and be ready for the hugely competitive world of media.”
The equipment included cameras, Marantz audio recorders and microphones and the Congleton High School students got the chance to get 'hands-on' with the kit for the first time this week.
Year 10 student Joseph Fuller, studying GCSE Media Studies, said: “It's better to have this high quality equipment compared to the small cameras we’ve been using. Hopefully using better cameras will mean that we can get better grades.”
Classmate, Sophie Dodson, added: “I think it's exciting and will allow us to do the best that we can with our coursework. We had limited supplies before so this will make a big difference.”
Chris Javin gave the class a training session on how to use the new cameras and has high hopes for the students' work: “It's great to see assets that would usually have been forgotten go to people who will really benefit from them. I’m looking forward to going back and seeing some of the films that the students produce!”
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