Ormiston Park Academy students learn from broadcasting experts about the power of storytelling

STUDENTS at Ormiston Park Academy, which is sponsored by Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), took part in an exciting opportunity to learn about storytelling from experts at the BBC.

The event was hosted by popular BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ, Nick Bright, who was accompanied by two BBC employees. The broadcasting organisation also partnered with trained teachers at The National Literacy Trust, Voice 21 and the BFI-sponsored Into Film charity to deliver the storytelling workshops.

Students took part in a series of sessions that focused on learning how to connect with a wide audience through effective storytelling. The experts led discussions on various topics including how best to tell a story, how to communicate content in an interactive way and understanding the power of a narrative.

The representatives each shared their own compelling tales with the students and demonstrated how they are able to captivate an audience when sharing their own experiences. Following this, a group of students shared five short films that they had, with the support of staff, written, directed, and produced. The films looked at a powerful story from an individual on a range of topics, from racism to gender and immigration.

Each film demonstrated how the students were inspired by the experts to share their own stories and talk about real-world problems that mattered the most to them. A few of the students noted they were surprised to see how effective and engaging storytelling can have such a powerful impact on an audience.

Staff at Ormiston Park Academy are committed to ensuring that every student feels encouraged and supported in using and raising their own voices. The staff were delighted with how the workshop enabled students to showcase a different side to themselves and use their writing and communication skills to gain the confidence to share their stories with their peers.

Students were also advised on how they can carry on their storytelling journey and what a potential future career in journalism would entail. Ormiston Park Academy is planning to integrate the skills students have learnt into their wider curriculum and continue to encourage them to express themselves through a range of mediums.

A short clip of the workshops has been released as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations that are happening throughout this year. The organisation is sharing how it has been supporting young people across the country in helping them build the confidence to share their own stories.

Principal at Ormiston Park Academy Mark Roessler said:

“It has been a really great and unique opportunity for our students to build confidence in their own speaking and storytelling abilities. I was unbelievably impressed by the thoughtful and interesting short films that the students had created, and I’m sure there are more to come after such an inspiring session.

“At Ormiston Park Academy, the experiences that take place beyond the curriculum are just as important as those that take place within it. Offering opportunities like this are central to broadening students’ horizons and demonstrating to them the unlimited possibilities that their futures hold.”

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