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Starting School in a Pandemic

Producer, Participatory Filmmaker, 2020

Together Kim McCabe (the founder of Rites For Girls) and I designed and ran a 6-week social-distanced filmmaking workshop supporting girls through their transition to secondary school during a pandemic. With all the usual structure and routines of school having been thrown into the air due to the sudden UK lockdown and then an increase in online learning and lack of physical social interaction meant that the transition to Secondary school was particularly daunting. Many children were understandably reporting increased anxiety and school refusal.

The free workshop series was an opportunity for the girls to process this transition and to turn these abstract emotions into something tangible - a film, a communal document to symbolise this significant moment. Being the first year to start secondary school in a Pandemic is historical. The girls all shared authorship of the final film as co-directors, sound recordists and camera operators.

Kim brought the therapeutic aspects at the core of the charity, and I brought my filmmaking and teaching experience. I taught the girls to film, sound record, and direct their own story, (they took the camcorders home with them and documented their first days of secondary school), I also sourced equipment and edited the 10min film to meet our virtual premiere deadline for The Festival of The Girl 2020.

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