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Read Mumsnetters’ feedback on the Sky Academy event in London. Non-attendees: chance to win a £200 voucher NOW CLOSED

(39 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Oct-15 16:12:07

This thread is for the Mumsnetters who attended the Sky Academy event on 26th October at Sky Skills Studio where they worked within the studio to create a new report with their DC’s and DC’s friend. Each attendee at the Sky Academy Skills Studio played a vital part in creating the mock news report, from director, camera man to editor working with the latest broadcast technology in the interactive experience.

Lucy Carver, from Sky Academy: "Sky Academy is a set of initiatives that use the power of TV, creativity and sport to help young people unlock their potential. Since launching in November 2013, Sky Academy has helped over 250,000 young people across the country, with a goal of helping one million by 2020."

Sky Academy is comprised of five different initiatives aimed at boosting confidence in young people:

- Sky Sports Living for Sport is made up of multi-week and one-day sports projects with schools throughout the UK and Ireland. Founded on the belief that sport has the power to transform young people’s lives, the initiative aims to help young people build practical skills and self-confidence.
- Sky Academy Skills Studios is an interactive learning experience giving eight to 18-year-olds the chance to use the latest broadcast technology to make a TV report on subjects they are studying at school. It combines a behind-the-scenes tour at Sky’s offices with a hands-on experience of its purpose-built studios where the students write, produce and direct their own short news bulletin.
- Sky Academy Careers Lab is a full-day careers experience giving 16 to 19 year-olds the chance to take part in practical workplace challenges and learn about careers in media, business and technology.
- Sky Academy Starting Out opens up Sky to young people, offering experience and employment opportunities to help them prepare for the world of work.
- Sky Academy Scholarships is a bursary scheme that supports some of the most exciting emerging talent in the worlds of sport and the arts. As well as financial backing, the scholarships provide assistance and mentoring from Sky’s staff and other experts.

Non-attendees: Please tell us how you encourage your DCs to be more confident and you could win a £200 John Lewis voucher

Attendees, please answer the questions below:
- Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?
- What was your overall impression of the day?
- What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?
- What were your highlights of the day?
- Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?
- If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?
- How did the experience make you feel about Sky?

If you have any other thoughts please don’t hesitate to add them too!

All attendees who add their feedback will be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnetter will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher!

Thanks,
MNHQ

Chelsea26 Mon 26-Oct-15 16:32:20

Non-attendee here... Sky academy sounds great but my kids are a bit young at the moment being only 4 and 3.

I encourage them to be confident already as I think that will stand them in good stead later on. For example they order for themselves in restaurants and if they have a question I encourage them to ask it directly rather than using me as middleman.

mummyeme Mon 26-Oct-15 20:19:23

I'm an attendee.
Who did you attend with?
I attended with my 11 year old daughter.
What was your overall impression of the day?
My daughter and I thought the day was incredible, positive, thoroughly interesting and engaging throughout. The sky academy staff were fabulous and looked after everyone really well.
What did your dd/ds think of the day?
"Epic!"
"My favourite bit was making the film. We got to use the cameras on our own and all had our own roles. Seeing it all put together at the end was awesome!"
What were your highlights of the day?
Being shown around the studios, and seeing behind the scenes were my highlights along with seeing all of the children in our group working as a team. Everyone was thrilled to see the end news report which everyone produced together.
Did you see any examples where your child built their confidence?
Yes, especially when the children worked together in making their news report. My dd gained confidence as a reporter in her group. Academy staff made the day a really warm experience where my dd felt comfortable to put her ideas forward.
Would you recommend Sky academy if it came up in conversation?
Yes, definitely. It was a wonderful experience for dd (11), I'd also recommend it for older children who could get so much from it. I enjoyed seeing the studios and behind the scenes as well as my role of "director". The day was pacey and engaging, we could have spent even longer on our news report. Children interested in sport would get a lot from seeing studios and the sky sports gallery.
Would you recommend it for dcs school?
Definitely, she wants to go back already. Dd has just started secondary school and I could see this being a really valuable and inspiring experience for her age and older children.
How does this experience make you feel about sky?
I'm glad that huge organisations are investing in children and inspiring them to feel that the world of broadcasting is accessible and a real future prospect. I hope more organisations follow suit.
Thankyou for this opportunity mumsnet!

Wiifitmama Mon 26-Oct-15 20:21:17

Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?
I attended with my 11 year old son.

What was your overall impression of the day?
I thought it was really excellent. Very well organised and the staff were especially good at welcoming us and answering all our questions.

What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?
My son loved it! He thought the best part was the time spent making the news reports in the studios.

What were your highlights of the day?
My highlight of the day was watching the full edited news report that the 4 groups made. It was so funny! And it really was impressive how much they achieved in such a short time.

Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?
My son is very shy in group situations and doesn't speak much. So its hard for me to comment on this. He was happy to take part in it all, but I am not sure about it being confidence building for him.

If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?
Absolutely! I already have! I organise group activities in museums and other educational settings for home educated children and this was one of the best we have ever attended.

Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?
We don't have a school, but as mentioned I organise for home education groups and would definitely organise a trip to Sky Academy in future.

How did the experience make you feel about Sky?
Surprisingly, it actually improved my opinion of Sky. And made me wonder why other large companies like BT don't do something similar.

hahahehe Mon 26-Oct-15 21:11:39

Attendee here finally home after hideous traffic so lots of time to discuss our day.
- Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?
my two two children - girl aged 9 and a boy aged 10

- What was your overall impression of the day?
I thought the day was very well structured, well ran and managed. It gave us all a good insight into the world of sky without overwhelming or boring the children. The content was age specific and our guide Jafar was fab. He was fun, engaging, interesting and incredibly patient with all the questions. He answered each and every one with care and detail. All of the staff we encoutered were friendly and helpful and made the children feel welcome and we gained a fascinating look behind the scenes of SKY and even i was amazed at what is involved.

- What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?
both of my children say that the filming was the best part. They enjoyed being part of the decision making process and loved seeing their ideas in the end result. They also took on roles which they would not normally put thems selves forward for.

- What were your highlights of the day?
my highlight was seeing the children engaging in activities that they would not normally have the opportunity to do. I was also fascinated at what goes into getting the programmes to screen - a lot more involved than I thought!

- Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?
my son is not a natual reader but wanted to have a go at being reporter which, in a large school situation, he would shy away from but here he was able and encouraged to have a go. After the final showing a team member came up and told him he though he was a natural repoter and what an incredible job he had done. This made my son proud of his acheivements as he has been worried that he had not done a good enough job. little comments like this make a big difference to kids like mine who lack confidence.

- If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?
i would definately recommend this to everyone as it is truly fascinating what jobs and roles are available other than presenters of which you see mostly.

- Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?
yes i think this would be excellent for a school visit as it shows kids that there are roles availble in big organisations for all skill sets.

- How did the experience make you feel about Sky? I though the experience was brilliant. The kids were made to feel welcome and encouraged to ask questions to make the most of the visit. All done in a fun, lively environment with fab staff.

We all really enjoyed the visit and would like to thank all involved. It definately gave my kids an insight to the working world of SKY and future careers (and for me too!)

EasterRobin Tue 27-Oct-15 06:47:32

Non-attendee here. Sky Academy sounds excellent. I hope it is still running when my DD is old enough to go.

I try to build DD's confidence by praising the process as much as the end result. So I will praise her for trying really hard and for improving, as these are important, regardless of how well she did.

Fannini Tue 27-Oct-15 08:49:14

Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?

I attended with my DS 11 and DD 8.

- What was your overall impression of the day?
It was a really fantastic day - we all learned so much about how TV programmes are made, what goes on behind the scenes and some of the jobs in the studio. All the staff were so positive and welcoming and really made the children feel confident and happy about being there and getting involved. It was very well run and everything happened on time.

- What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?
DD "it was the best place I've ever been! I thought the day was absolutely fantastic and now I want to work in a TV company like Sky! The best bit was making the video"
DS " I thought the day was really fun, it was inspirational and it gave me a really good idea of how TV is produced. The best bit of the day was the tour at the beginning of behind the scenes and shooting the video itself"

- What were your highlights of the day?

I thought it was all really interesting, informative and engaging. I thought the staff were brilliant - answering all the children's questions and the video at the end was great - so funny and so nice to see all the children taking part and producing something really impressive at the end. The highlight was seeing the DCs really engaging with it all and clearly having a great time whilst learning so much - more than they realise I suspect!

- Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?

Yes, it was good to see my normally quite quiet son having the confidence to speak up and get involved with the group activity and sticking his hand up to ask questions on the tour. He obviously felt really comfortable and able to share his ideas and take up the role of producer that he had been given.

- If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?

Absolutely! I would totally recommend the day - in fact I've already been asked about how to attend by one friend! I just think it's an amazing opportunity to see behind the scenes, to experience the world of television (which they love as viewers) from another perspective and see all the roles that go into producing the programmes they like to watch. I think it's given them a great confidence boost and will help them think outside the box when presenting their work in future or when they are making their own films on the iPad! It was extremely educational in a totally hands on and fun way. The whole atmosphere was inclusive and positive and the DCs got so much out of it I would not hesitate to recommend.

- Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?

I would totally recommend it to their school for all the reasons outlined above. It is my understanding that for schools this is meant as a springboard for the children to go and apply/consolidate what they have learned in the studio to a project at school. It was good to hear about some of the other Acadamy experiences that Sky run for slightly older children. I would like to find out more about those and how the DCs may be able to take part in future.

- How did the experience make you feel about Sky?

Honestly, this made me feel much more positive about Sky. I have tended to think about it as an uncaring capitalist empire, but seeing how much hard work the employees put in and how professional they all are and how much they seem to enjoy working there sheds a completely new light on the organisation. The fact that the Academy was free to attend also helped to put what Sky do in a new perspective for me. It's become more obvious that it's not all about making money - they seem to genuinely care about putting out great quality programming and also helping and supporting young people through the resources they have available. It's making the world of television accessible, allowing young people to see what goes on in the world of work generally, TV in particular. It was especially good for them to see what types of jobs are available in addition to the most obvious presenting roles. It is very inspiring and as someone upthread has said I think they are leading the way in this - more organisations should do the same. This initiative is putting something back into the community, and engaging with their viewers / customers in a very different way. I am very impressed.

NettleTea Tue 27-Oct-15 11:46:45

Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?
I attended with my 9 year old son and his older sister

What was your overall impression of the day?
We all really enjoyed the day - it covered a whole range of activities without being too long, and balanced nicely the informative and practical tasks. The group leaders were good at relating to the children without being patronising or 'talking down' to them, which was to be commended given the varying ages of those attending. I was really impressed with how smoothly the day ran.

What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?
DS - really enjoyed the tour and looking around the different areas, especially the different ways that computers were used.
DD - my daughter also really enjoyed the tour and found the behind the scenes very interesting

What were your highlights of the day?
I liked watching the news broadcast, it was very funny, and also great to see how the different sections fitted together to make a complete programme.

Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?
Yes - my daughter can be very anxious with groups of other children, but the way that we were split into small groups meant that she felt able to interact without being overwhelmed. She initially chose a role which would not involve her having to speak to anyone, but later asked to read the voice-over. My son also was given the job of producer and it was good to see him able to make some key decisions when there was some questions about which choice was to be taken.

If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, definately. It gives a really good insight into the varied career options in modern television production, and is interesting even for those who have no interest in considering it as a vocation. Making the news broadcast is a fun activity that allows all the children to be involved and really demonstrates how everyone is needed in order to pull it all together.

Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?
I would certainly recommend it to my son's school. My daughter is home educated, but I would also be willing to organise a trip for a group of home educated children as this event showed how adults could be involved too, whilst still giving control to the children. My daughter is definately interested in investigating their work experience/apprenticeship opportunities

How did the experience make you feel about Sky?
I have come away with a very positive view of Sky as a company to work for - there was a very obvious environmental effort throughout the building (which was lovely!) - with many recycling and healthy eating drives in evidence. They appear to be committed to providing education and opportunities for young people, and I guess that the kickback is that they also get to pick some upcoming potential to take on board. It was very interesting to see the huge number of different roles needed from studio to gallery, and then out to the public.

CheeseEMouse Tue 27-Oct-15 20:35:07

Non-attendee. I have a toddler daughter and I try and encourage her confidence by really praising good behaviours and trying to minimise negative language. (So trying not to say "no, stop doing x", but instead saying "can we try doing y"). I am also encouraging her to speak to people when we are out and about as she can get quite shy with strangers.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 28-Oct-15 15:46:29

I am an attendee and firstof all, many thanks to MN and to Sy for this opportunity - it was fantastic!

Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?

I attended with my 12yo DD and her 12yo friend.

What was your overall impression of the day?

Very very positive. Really impressed with the whole set up, the staff, and the quality of the activities. We were treated like royalty all day - from the initial welcome, through lunch, the tour, the studio time to the farewells.

What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?

They both thoroughly enjoyed it! They both now want to be reporters for Sky!

What were your highlights of the day?

The highlight was seeing the children working together on their film and the brilliant quality film they produced. I have watched it about 10 times since we got back!

Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?

My DD has had a pretty rough twelve months with some bullying at school which has really knocked her confidence. I was so refreshing to see her get stuck in with all these children that she'd never met before but who had no preconceptions about her so she could just be herself.

Her friend is quite shy and was dead set against being in front of the camera before we got there. Well you would never guess on seeing the finished report! He performed so well, seemingly at home in front of the camera. Brilliant to see.

If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes! An enjoyable, educational, confidence building day laid on for you by a company with a clear committment to the programme - what's not to like?

Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?

I definitley would. Sky handled this group so well and treated every single child as an individual. I'm sure schools could get loads out of a day like this. Sky also gives them pointers on how to take the activities and skills back to school and use them in the curriculum

How did the experience make you feel about Sky?

It certainly made me feel a lot more positive about them. I am a massive football fan and often mutter about what TV money has done to the game. But I was so so impressed by how the company is ploughing time, committment and resources into reaching out to so many children.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 28-Oct-15 15:47:01

Sorry about the typos - over-excited blush

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 28-Oct-15 19:06:59

Non attendee

This sounds great!
My DC are too young being only 3 & 1 but I do try to encourage confidence at this early age as I think confidence is a massive factor in all aspects of life.
I praise positive & good behaviour, even if the outcome isn't quite what we were aiming for - ie. good try, keep going, you can do it, keep trying...

DS can be very quiet around others so I'm encouraging him to speak up, get involved, try to take part in things.
And there's loads of praise for when he does.

Bdaonion Wed 28-Oct-15 21:25:56

Attendee...and thank you to Mumsnet and Sky for such a fantastic opportunity. It started the half-term week off with a bang!

Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?
I attended with my DD (9) and her friend (10).

What was your overall impression of the day?
I thought it was absolutely fabulous. The Sky Academy staff treated us like VIPs and were fully engaged with the children and parents alike. The information provided on the tour was pitched at the right level, and the team all had a positive attitude and warm manner. The timing of the day was just about right to keep the children focussed and interested.

What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?
They did not stop talking about their day on the way home. Their favourite part was putting together the news segment and projecting different scenes onto the green screen (a request has been made to Santa for one at home). Their only “grumble” was that they wished they could have stayed in the studio longer.

What were your highlights of the day?
For the children it was seeing the final production where everyone’s ideas came together. It was fantastic to see what could achieved in such a short space of time working together as a team.

I enjoyed the tour the most and was fascinated by the different roles that work together to bring a programme to the air. I have often joked to my eldest (now adult) DD that her ideal job would be watching TV all day, and I was happy to report to her that such an opportunity exists! I quite fancy a job in compliance myself.

Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?
Absolutely! Both the DCs have speech and language issues and dyslexia, and are usually reticent to speak up around their peers. They were inspired to share their ideas and volunteer for a camera facing role. The team members, other children and parents were supportive and encouraging, and this has certainly given them the confidence to push themselves forward in the future. Our team mentor Isaac was brilliant with them, and happy to make changes to accommodate their difficulties. They were very proud of what they managed to accomplish in less than an hour and the video has been viewed by many family and friends.

If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?
Most definitely. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience behind the scenes of TV production and have a go at producing something yourself. It has given me a real appreciation of how much goes into bringing a programme to our screens and I look at live TV with fresh eyes. My DD and her friend have benefitted greatly from the experience and have ambitions to showcase their talents in the future. It has helped them to appreciate that they are capable of more than they originally believed.

Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?
I certainly would. I am a Governor at my DD’s school and have already passed the information on to the appropriate person.

How did the experience make you feel about Sky?
I came away with a very positive view of Sky. Rather than being a faceless corporation, they seemed genuinely committed to supporting young people with careers in sport and media, and giving back to the community. All the staff we encountered during our day were friendly and helpful, and the vibe in the building was upbeat.

FeelingSmurfy Thu 29-Oct-15 16:12:36

Listening to them when they talk, even when it's nonsense stuff it often means a lot to them

Encouraging them to try new things with no pressure, when I am in control (e.g. not out with someone else) so that they can stop straight away if necessary and know that I will still be proud of them for trying. I have found they are more willing to try things because they know I will be proud and they know they can stop straight away if they don't like it (thinking something possibly scary like horse riding, not football etc and they are just bored)

Teladi Thu 29-Oct-15 17:20:22

non-attendee

I struggle with this with my DD as she is only in nursery but already experiences anxiety when there are class performances to the parents and such like. At the moment I just encourage her to use her words, try not to talk for her and let her do the things she enjoys.

Alwayssunny Thu 29-Oct-15 21:29:54

Wow this sounds amazing and something my two would love.

I try to help them build their confidence by giving them opportunities to try activities that they won't always find easy and might not be their natural first choice.

Seeing themselves complete things they never dreamed of doing is a huge boost and removes fear for the future.

Elliecherry Fri 30-Oct-15 08:20:10

Non attendee:
We praise our dd 's a good amount. We also try and give them lots of experiences and opportunities. We give our oldest a chance to chat with others a lot and share her own news.

SkyAcademyReporter Fri 30-Oct-15 08:21:17

Attendee here.

Who did you attend the Sky Academy event day with?

My (v excited) 9yo son and his friend.

What was your overall impression of the day?

Brilliantly organised and thought-out to maximise this age-groups engagement in the world behind making TV. We felt very well looked after by Sky

What did your DC(s)/ DC’s friend think of the day? What was their favourite bit?

"Epic"

Exciting, thought-provoking and challenging.

They loved the teamwork when they were working together as a news crew and being on the set of SkySports News Live !

What were your highlights of the day?

Planning, directing, filming and, ultimately, editing, our own news report.

Being able to create a report in less than 1 hour, with top of the range equipment, was really a privilege

Did you see any examples on the day where your DC(s)/ DC’s friend built their confidence, if so please share?

Reporting “on live TV”, standing in front of a camera, was a huge confidence boost for all of the children. The Sky team and other attendees were really hugely supportive of ALL the children which was really heart-warming to see.

If it came up in conversation, would you recommend friends and/or family to attend a Sky Academy Skills Studios day if they had had children of a similar age? If so, why? If not, why not?

Absolutely.

Not only does it give fabulous insight into the mechanics of our media culture, the children were all inspired to create their own content. Getting a backstage view of what goes into making TV was a really amazing insight for these children to get at such a young age.

A very inspirational experience - my son even produced his own news report the day after on Loopster on the iPad.

Would you recommend Sky Academy Skills Studios to your DC(s) school?

Again, I'd recommend it as a great experience for a wider group. The teamwork elements are inspiring.

How did the experience make you feel about Sky?

Sky is highly commercial, and this is no exception: but that is no bad thing.

Get kids involved, early, interested and engaged. This is a great initiative ti support their Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

============

Thank you so much to Mumsnet and Sky - an AMAZING day.

CMOTDibbler Fri 30-Oct-15 09:56:34

Wish we could have gone!

I try and build confidence by providing ds with opportunities to try lots of different things - and model having a go myself too whether I'm successful or not

CopperPan Fri 30-Oct-15 10:07:00

Non attendee. The event sounds like it was really interesting, it would have been useful for my DCs.

I try to offer my DCs the opportunity to try lots of different things, we all know that people have strengths in different areas so when they've got downhearted at struggling with some things they have always been able to find something else that they are good at. Also I try to set an example by lifelong learning, so they know that getting skills in something isn't something that comes overnight but through lots of hard work and commitment.

BathshebaDarkstone Fri 30-Oct-15 20:34:20

I try to encourage them to do as much for themselves as they can, and to speak for themselves.

Sixgeese Sun 01-Nov-15 13:44:46

Non Attendee

DD1 is very shy, I try and get her to speak for herself and do thing like buying things in shops by herself (while I am waiting at the door)

We also try and send them to out of school clubs and activities to encourage independence.

Theimpossiblegirl Sun 01-Nov-15 15:42:33

Non-attendee

I was not a confident child, got a bit better in my teens thanks to a good group of friends and now as an adult, am usually pretty confident, although I still have my moments of self-doubt.

I have tried to address this with my kids through a positive approach, not criticising them, building them up not putting them down, helping them to achieve, encouraging them to have a go (but being resilient if they don't succeed) and generally trying to boost their self-esteem.

annandale Sun 01-Nov-15 15:59:44

Non-attender.

I encourage my ds to follow his passions rather than his strengths -luckily there is some overlap - as it's easier to gather knowledge and skills if you are interested, and having more knowledge is likely to give you more confidence.

purplepandas Sun 01-Nov-15 22:14:21

Non-attendee. Small things like encouraging independence, paryicularly for things they find difficult. DD has confidence issues so this might well be something small like answering the register.

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