The BBC’s centenary education project, BBC 100 Share Your Story, came to The Taunton Academy on 3rd November 2022. The project aims to inspire young people to achieve their career goals and realise their ambitions. Students had the chance to engage with stories of success and vulnerability, highlighting how to overcome hurdles. 

There were three presentations for Years 8, 9 and 10, where BBC journalists shared their personal and heartfelt stories about getting into the media industry and the struggles they had along the way. The storytellers were Amber Sadhu, Rachel Flint and Tyler Edwards. Rachel talked about living with Crohn’s disease and her journey with the BBC to being a senior journalist. Tyler is a journalist with BBC Wales News. He talked about the challenges he faced getting into the media, coming from an area with limited career opportunities. Amber is a sports reporter/presenter with BBC Midlands.
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The crew arrived bright and early at 7.30am to get set up on the stage and by 8am we already had students eagerly offering to help. By 9am Mr Evemy had persuaded the crew to offer a work experience placement to one of our students for the day, so Georgios S in Year 10 shadowed the BBC team. He reported he had an amazing time and asked lots of questions. Students will now have the chance to share stories as part of the BBC Young Reporter scheme.
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Saffron Lee, Acting Deputy Headteacher, said: “Our students were amazing and the producer, production manager, presenter and journalists were full of compliments about how engaged, polite, smart and sensitive they were. They listened with rapt attention and asked very well phrased questions that demonstrated just how hard they had been thinking about the issues raised in the personal stories. Amber Sadhu even remarked that a couple of the questions clearly revealed that we have budding journalists in our midst.
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“Students left the hall full of enthusiasm to share their own stories and to get involved in the Young Reporter competition. Before they left, the team were already asking me when they could come back again, they’d had such a great day at The Taunton Academy.”
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Georgios said: `’When I first heard Mr Evemy had arranged for me to speak with the people from the BBC , I was shocked but also excited to see how they work, and how much money and effort goes into what they produce. During my shadowing experience, I got to see the interview set up, lighting and the big sound control desk. In between assemblies I would ask them about their jobs, hobbies and overall, what they want to achieve in life.
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“I met Charlie the assistant producer, who directs the interview by arranging parts of the script. She also used to work for ITV, surprisingly. I also met Amber the presenter, Tyler the journalist and Tom and Joel, who manage the sound and audio editing. I learned that working in the BBC requires a lot of teamwork and co-operation as well as creativity and commitment.
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“Overall, I’d say this experience was very important to me because I got to learn about the inside of the media industry and why I would love to work there. My plans for the future have been altered slightly, as I think I would like to get some work experience from the BBC in Bristol, since that could be a big opportunity in my filmmaking career.”
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Some highlights from our feedback:
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“I’ve worked in a very similar school to this and I wanted to tell you how amazingly engaged each year group was today. It was remarkable how well they listened, how respectfully. They have really done you proud today.”  
Alistair (producer) 
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“Your students were so engaged today. They really listened and asked such brilliant questions, that showed how reflective they were being.”
Rachel (journalist)
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“Wow, that was a really good question, really makes me think. I think you might have a career as a journalist yourself.”
Amber (journalist and presenter) to a student
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“Can we come back to your school? We have another event that we can run and we’d love to bring it here.”
Charlie (assistant producer)