Cyber champions

Oundle and Oakham schools are celebrating recognition for their digital achievements

At a recent presentation ceremony in Belfast, Oundle School pupil, Henry Worsley (13) was awarded first prize in the Cinemagic Young Filmmaker (under 15s) Competition. Henry received a glass trophy and £100 prize money towards his next film. 

Entries can be about anything at all from fact or fiction, comedy or drama, news programme or documentary and Henry wrote, shot and edited a ten-minute short film entitled ‘Prevailing Lies’ – a short psychological thriller about a young girl suffering from depression who starts to question her reality.

Henry commented: “Ultimately, what I wanted to craft was a film which represented loneliness and fear of being different in an interesting philosophical light. The film stars my close family and friends, and was shot on a tight budget of only £200. I entered the competition with what I thought, an unlikely chance of even being shortlisted and was extremely surprised when it was announced, in Belfast, that I had won. The film will now be shown at next year’s Cinemagic International Film Festival, but even more importantly, it spurs me on all the more to pursue a career in the film industry.”

Liam Neeson and Piers Brosnan are both patrons of Cinemagic and at the festival in Belfast, participants enjoyed workshops and masterclasses with other renowned members of the film and TV industry.

Watch Henry’s film

Oakham School is also celebrating, after being presented with a Digital School Award by Baroness Joanna Shields. The school won the award for demonstrating how effectively it works to educate students and their families about e-safety. 

Baroness Shields, the UK Minister of Internet Safety and Security, presented the Award at the Digital Families Conference, held in London. The conference saw experts discuss and debate how educators and parents can best help children to be safe online and to use technology effectively.

“It was certainly an honour to receive the award from Baroness Shields – who has spent over 25 years working with some of the world’s best-known technology companies,” says Viv Lamb, who co-ordinates PSHE at Oakham. 

She continues: “Having our approach to digital education recognised is a fantastic achievement as we invest a lot of time ensuring our students and families are well-informed and engaged with this incredibly important topic. We try and blend in the eSafety education into as many different areas as possible – rather than seeing it as a discrete stand-alone topic. Ultimately we encourage our students to be considerate of how they treat others and communicate – regardless of whether this is face-to-face, online, via email or by text message. We work together, as a whole school to give the same clear information, message and support – regardless of whether this is in-house, in tutor group or in lesson.”