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Stars shine at Churchdown Academy CAFTAS awards ceremony

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 06, 2014

  • Alishia McGurk & mum – winner of BEST DEATH SEQUENCE

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Stars of the screen flocked to Gloucester last Thursday as Churchdown School Academy’s very own CAFTAs, Churchdown Academy Film and Television Awards, were held at the New County Hotel.

The school is extremely proud once again to announce outstanding A grade results in the A Level Media coursework. Students specialise in the Horror genre and the diversity of work produced really was something to celebrate. This year groups produced trailers for Vampire movies as influenced by the Twilight Saga and Opening Sequences in the style of Sinister, The Woman in Black and Dexter.

The school were delighted to have the Chief Examiner from the OCR exam board, Pete Fraser, as special guest and to present the finale awards for Best Opening Sequence and Best Trailer. He said, “I have been to many award ceremonies like these, but what impresses me about this school, is the consistent standard of quality.”

He also commented on the professionalism and quality of Sally Thomas’s editing in putting the showcase together. Sally Thomas has been invaluable in helping the students develop their skills using complex editing software. Many of the students thanked her in their acceptance speeches.

The school was also thrilled to welcome back former media students from around the country to present awards that they may have won in previous CAFTAs.

There was also a special guest star – Sue Perkins from the Great British Bake Off, although to be fair, it didn’t take students long to figure out she was a look-a-like!

It was a highly glamorous event which the New County Hotel, with its recent £1 million refurbishment, catered for in style. The ballroom comfortably seated the 200 guests who were also dressed to impress.

Check out the Churchdown Media Hub website to see all the horror trailers

Leanna Arkell, Head of Media at the school, said, “We are so proud of our students and the passion and dedication they show to this subject. Horror really captures their imagination and lets them explore issues in a supportive and proactive environment.”

Parents thoroughly enjoyed the event and commented that it was a, “feel good night” where they could celebrate the academic successes of their children in the style of the Oscars. “Everybody felt like a star.” Parents also agreed it was so lovely to see the outcomes of their children’s work having often been party to its creation.

We were also very happy to be joined by Leigh Preston, highly acclaimed photographer, who captured the event in all its glory. The family portraits illustrate beautifully the proud relationship the school has with the parents of its students.

The final presentation of the night had a bittersweet feel with Bill Ballinger, Assistant Head Teacher and Media Teacher, being presented with the Life Time Achievement Award, having taught the subject since 1996; he retires this summer.

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