Local Students Get Media Career Advice From BBC Stars

Students at a South Yorkshire secondary school have been given an in-depth look at potential careers within the media.

Outwood Academy Shafton, based in Barnsley, was the setting for the careers workshop on 5th March. All year 8 and year 9 students were invited to the workshop, alongside year 10 and year 11 BTEC Media Studies students.

The workshop was part of the BBC Bitesize school tour, which aims to deliver careers advice and inspiration to 50,000 secondary school pupils in up to 120 schools.

The Engine Lane based academy hosted an expert panel, with the event compèred by presenter Jonny Nelson. Jonny is an experienced broadcaster who has presented Saturday Mash-up on CBBC, and The Football Show on Sky Sports, among other things.

Making up the panel was Zach Cundall, Director of Ocean Spark Studios, Lucy Cassidy, a researcher for BBC Learning’s music department, and stunt actor and co-ordinator, Andy Merchant.

Cara Ackroyd, Principal of Outwood Academy Shafton, said: “We were thrilled to welcome the BBC Bitesize school tour to Outwood Academy Shafton. The event was a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn more about the different roles available for those who are interested in pursuing a career in the media.

“At Outwood Academy Shafton we believe in putting students first. Hosting events like the BBC Bitesize school tour can only help and enthuse students for learning as it enables them to get a better vision of where they want to go, by highlighting the wide variety of potential roles available, and how to get there.”

The students were given a special insight into the importance of hard work and finding your own path by the panel.

As part of the discussion, games designer Zach Cundall spoke about creating his own business from scratch, and the pathways which took him into his current role, which involves him developing game assets for large games publishers. Zach’s recent work saw him working with Ubisoft, who create the Assassin’s Creed series among others.

Stunt co-ordinator and specialist, Andy Merchant, then discussed his career path with Jonny and the rest of the panel, with students able to ask questions.

His outstanding career has seen him perform stunts in over 150 Hollywood movies, including performing stunts in four of the Harry Potter movies, three James Bond movies, and Batman blockbuster, The Dark Knight

Concluding the session, researcher Lucy Cassidy took questions from the students and discussed her pathway to her current role. A routethat has seen Lucy creating learning resources for primary school students in the world of music, to working with big name stars like Little Mix and George Ezra.

Mrs Ackroyd added: “We believe that a good education means supporting all students through all aspects of their lives, and working with them to ensure they are highly employable individuals and respectable members of the community.

“Events like the BBC Bitesize school tour help support this vision as they show our students that no matter your background, you can succeed.”