East End school becomes third to let the cameras in


A London comprehensive is following in the footsteps of Passmores Academy and Thornhill Community Academy by opening its doors to the television cameras.

Passmores Academy in Harlow and Thornhill Community Academy in West Yorkshire became household names when they were put under the spotlight in Educating Essex and Educating Yorkshire.

Now a London comprehensive is following in their footsteps and has opened its doors to the television cameras, with the first episode being screened tonight (Thursday, September 4).

Educating the East End documents life at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, east London – featuring everything from inspirational teaching to life-changing friendships and events.

Headteacher Jenny Smith agreed to invite the cameras into the 900-student school in order to show “what our pupils are like”.

The eight-part Channel 4 series highlights how she and the school’s 100 staff inspire pupils – two thirds boys and one third girls – to aim higher and achieve their full potential.

Ms Smith, who consulted the heads of Passmores Academy and Thornhill Community Academy before filming, added: “I wanted to highlight all the impressive, ambitious and funny young people we have working in this school. An opportunity to put that on the map wasn’t really one we could turn down.”

Most of the filming at the 11 to 16 school was done in seven weeks and was far less disruptive than teachers and pupils expected it to be.

“After one or two days of getting used to the cameras around the school, when everyone was on their best behaviour and conscious of them, everyone just relaxed and it was business as usual,” explained Ms Smith, who has been headteacher since 2012.

“You never completely forget they’re there. When you’re wearing a mic all day every day you are conscious of it.

“But this job is so busy that you don’t have time to be conscious of the fact that someone might be watching you. You’re in the job and you’re doing the job.”

Educating the East End starts on Channel 4 tonight (Thursday, September 4) at 9pm.

CAPTIONS: (From the top) English teacher Joe Bispham with three of his students; Frederick Bremer School headteacher Jenny Smith; Mr Bispham again with one of this students



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