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Elementary School Television (ESTV)
Education through television produced for, by, and with students.
Television as an educational tool is not a new idea but it is one that is being brought to the forefront at St.Joseph’s International Institute Elementary School. Launched in 2016, ESTV (Elementary School Television), has had a core group of motivated students producing news episodes celebrating the school’s art shows, sports days and fundraising projects. The students at SJIIES are not only learning how television can be a powerful and effective learning tool, but it is becoming an important outlet for them to develop their creativity.
Antony Grigson and Carl Rayner, co-founders of ESTV, have been impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the students involved, and the positive reception ESTV has received from the school community. Antony believes this is going to be just the start of something ‘bigger’ in the school as interest increases. “It is an opportunity for so many of our students to showcase their talents, both in front of and behind the cameras. And, it is quite possibly their first steps towards pursuing careers in the multi-media business”.
Carl adds, “We were extremely fortunate to have the support of our Elementary Parent Support Group. Their generous donation allowed us to purchase a range of professional equipment. This equipment allows the students to have access to a range of new tools to help document their lives at SJII. Just like you can use a pen to write about someone’s story, we can now tell that same story with a range of professional film and television gear.”
The objective of ESTV is for viewers to be educated and entertained on a wide range of topics. With a committed and enthusiastic young crew established, it looks certain that the ambitions of ESTV will be achieved.
The End of a Tale: A Dragon's Tail
In 2017, just over three years ago, ESTV started a most ambitious project. In what could well be a world-first for an elementary school, we began production on our very own original, animated, show - ‘A Dragon’s Tail’. How hard could making a 3D animated show… right?
Although we have been lucky to share and enjoy parts of the show over the past couple of years as it was being developed, 2020 sees the much anticipated final, full release.
A Dragon’s Tail has been a three-year labour of love, that has seen many of our ESTV team demonstrating tremendous amounts of diligence, creativity, enthusiasm, excellence, and of course, patience. “A good percentage of my days were spent in the studio, where I met so many awesome people, who are now some of my closest friends”, voice-actor Lenna says.
It all started with a lot of dreaming. What if we did ‘this’, could we do ‘that’ and to say we aimed high is an understatement. There were many brainstorming meetings over many weeks, followed by much writing; Storylines, character ideas, and even discussions about including real-life issues, such as friendship.
Over the next few years, production was a full-on process. Break times, after schools, weekends and holidays were all spent on helping this project come to fruition. Scripts were locked-down, voice recording was in full swing, 3D worlds were quickly growing, and animation and sound design were all happening. With a reasonably small team, it didn’t take long for us to realise just how long this would all take. The days rolled into months, the months moved into years, and we kept plugging away, determined to see the project through to the end.
Over the years, we were able to share a piece of the story at a time with our school community, and it was so amazing to see the reaction. We saw the smiles, heard the laughter, and witnessed the amazement that an elementary school could make something of this scope and quality. Perhaps we have even surprised ourselves with how many aspects of this massive project have turned out!
So, as A Dragon’s Tail comes to a close this year, we’d like to extend our humblest gratitude to the entire school family for their ongoing enthusiasm and support of this project, and we really hope you enjoy the show!
ESTV just blows my mind. I can't wait to see the next episode.” SJIIES StuDENT
ESTV just looks so professional. I can't wait to see more.” SJIIES TEACHER
Thanks for incorporating brilliantly ESTV into the newsletter and please pass our regards to the team: brilliant editing and some good anchorpersons in training for sure!” SJIIES PARENT