Channel 4’s Head of Documentaries Nick Mirsky has commissioned Twofour to produce a fourth “Educating…” documentary series following a school in Cardiff.
Willows High School is situated in the South east of Cardiff, with pupils coming from three local areas. The school is part of a strong local community, working closely with local primary schools to ensure that all its pupils are given the opportunity to succeed during their time in education. Under the leadership of its new Head Teacher the school has been on a rapid and considerable journey of improvement for the past three years.
Head Teacher Joy Ballard says, ‘We were delighted when we were asked to take part in the fourth series. Willows has been on an incredible journey over the past three years and has been transformed from one of the worst performing schools in the country to a school that we are very proud of. Our pupils are amazing; warm, friendly and funny with such incredible potential and our teachers talented, committed and always prepared to go that extra mile to ensure that our pupils achieve, no matter what their starting point. We believe that the relationships between our staff and pupils are extraordinary and want the series to show how so many of our pupils are beginning to fulfil their life potential.’
At Willows High School the pupil/teacher relationships are exceptionally strong – every pupil is known by name, and the relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. 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.
Commissioning Editor David Brindley says: We’re thrilled to be heading to Wales and Willows High for the fourth instalment of one of our best-loved series. Following on from Essex, Yorkshire and most recently the East End, under the stewardship of Mrs Ballard, this ‘Educating…’ promises to unearth more inspirational, humorous and moving stories from the corridors of this characterful Cardiff school.
The commission follows the critically acclaimed series Educating the East End and the award winning Educating Yorkshire.
Executive Producer David Clews, Twofour, said: “Willows High is one of the most improving schools in Wales, led by the inspirational head teacher Joy Ballard. You can really feel the charm and character of the place as soon as you walk through the gates and start talking to the students. We really are excited about making Educating in Wales.”
The 9 x 60′ series will be overseen by Channel 4 Commissioning Editors David Brindley and Madonna Benjamin. The executive producers for Twofour are David Clews, Andrew Mackenzie and Gyles Neville. The series producer/directors are Alex Kohler and Nicola Brown. The documentary title is to be confirmed. The series is set to air Autumn 2015.