Campaign video: behind the scenes

A sneak peek at what’s coming – behind the scenes on this year’s Send My Friend to School campaign film.


Each year, our campaign film is shown in thousands of schools across the UK. It introduces the facts about the global education crisis, and explains how children can raise their voices to remind world leaders of their promise of education for all.

This year, our film will be a little different, telling the story of one boy’s surprising journey into school…

Filming at Kingsbury School

A film crew spent a day at Kingsbury High School, in north-west London on a cold, but fortunately dry, November day, filming scenes for our Every Child Needs a Teacher campaign video.

Kingsbury has taken part in Send My Friend to School every year for seven years, and done some amazing, high-impact actions, so it was a great chance for staff and students to make a special contribution, and also to enjoy finding out what goes on behind the scenes when you make a film.

Missing teachers – telling the story

The film follows one young boy, ‘Adam’ on his journey to school in London, thinking about all the different careers he might enjoy when he grows up. But at school he and his classmates discover that there are no teachers to teach them and that without teachers, a school is just a building.

film camera, child in the background

Filming in the playground at Kingsbury School. Photo: Camille Shah

The crew filmed scenes with Year 8 pupils to tell the story. Hibah Katta played one of the girl characters: “It felt amazing… I got to see what happens behind the scenes and I got to see all the hard work being put into a short movie for such an important campaign. I believe that Send My Friend to School is a very beneficial and eye-opening campaign for everyone, especially students.”

Although it was a long day with lots of rehearsals and numerous takes, pupils stayed focused, listened carefully to the Film Director and really helped to make the filming go smoothly.

Said teacher Sarah Purtill, “Being part of the campaign film was a fantastic opportunity that we will all treasure. Those students lucky enough to take part loved it and really felt they were making a difference. “

A chance to reflect

As well as the excitement and hard work, the day gave the young people a chance to think seriously about the importance of teachers, and the importance of their education. Hibah told us, “I was also thinking about those children who are less fortunate than me and my school. I really hope that people seeing this film will begin to help with the campaign.”

And teacher Sarah enjoyed the children’s reflections on what they gain from teachers, “seeing what they wrote was lovely.”

Creative action

Kingsbury students also helped us illustrate this year’s creative action, by making ‘ideal teacher’ figures and covering them in messages exploring the importance of education, and what makes a great teacher.

Girls cutting out a large paper figure, while being filmed

Creating an ‘ideal teacher’ figure. photo: Camille Shah

The idea is that the messages allow all young people taking part to show their MPs how strongly they feel about every child getting an education, and encourage them to take up this issue with the Prime Minister and in Parliament.

Teacher Sarah Purtill lay down to be drawn around to create a full-size ‘ideal teacher, and encourages other teachers to give it a try. “It might be weird to be on the floor, but seeing what they write makes it all worthwhile.”

“But don’t make my mistake – wear trousers!”

The film will be available on the website by the end of February 2013. Huge thanks to everyone at Kingsbury who helped make the filming possible, particularly Camille Shah, Sarah Purtill and Helen Snow, and of course, all the students who took part. We couldn’t have done it without you!

All photos: Camille Shah