Celebrating young talent

Every year actors, directors and crew members gather in Los Angeles for the hottest date in the film-making calendar. Winning an Oscar is the pinnacle of any career, recognising excellence in performance, design and creativity and is often the culmination of years of hard work and commitment.

This aspiration for success is an ideal that young people in Wolverhampton have been encouraged – and supported – to pursue. The Wolverhampton Oscars (WOSCARS), organised by Wolverhampton City Council and sponsored by the University, celebrated the achievements of learners and teachers in digital film and media. Schools were invited to contribute digital media to a range of categories including film making, animation, audio recording, pop art, computer training and multi-media presentation.

Pupils aged from four to 19 and teachers from across Wolverhampton were given the red carpet treatment at the Oscars-style, black-tie and cocktail dress event held at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park. For the first time the glittering ceremony was also broadcast live on the internet – providing an extra element of excitement for the talented youngsters.

Awards were spread out throughout all Key Stage levels from Early Years and Key Stage 1 all the way through to Key Stage 5. The judging panel viewed a total of 320 entries across the 14 award categories – a record for the annual event.

The University sponsored the award category of Best Computer Game with winners receiving a Computer Gaming Master Class courtesy of the School of Art & Design. Presenting the award for Best Computer Game to the winning schools on behalf of the University were Sir Geoff Hampton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, External Affairs; Jane Nelson, Pro Vice- Chancellor, Student Recruitment; and Patricia Cooper, Associate Dean, School of Art & Design.

Sir Geoff Hampton said: “We were delighted to support the WOSCARS and were incredibly impressed by the quality of the work submitted by the pupils. The University has an important role in raising the aspirations of young people in our region and this event enabled students to showcase their talent and creativity through a range of imaginative films and other media.”

The winners of this category were: Key Stage 1 – Northwood Park Primary School; Key Stage 2 – Merridale Primary School; Key Stage 3 – St Edmunds Catholic School; Key Stage 5 – Highfields School.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, added: “It is always thrilling to see the fantastic, creative skills of children and young people recognised.

“Every year, we see immense talent at the WOSCARS. Judges have, again, had a very difficult task selecting the winners.

“ICT is a very important part of the curriculum and pupils and staff in Wolverhampton have access to a range of fantastic software which enables our children to be wonderfully creative, producing animations, artwork, stories, films and podcasts.”

To find out more about the WOSCARS visit: www.woscars.co.uk