This month the education department at Exeter Cathedral are off to the BAFTAs following their nomination, together with video production agency NRG Digital, for a film telling the story of Exeter Cathedral.
The short film was created for school groups to view before they tour the Cathedral, and enhance their learning during school trips. Lisa Gordon, Senior Education Officer at Exeter Cathedral, commissioned NRG Digital to create a film that inspires younger visitors and helps them get more out of their school visit. The film has also inspired a panel of educational experts who nominated An Introduction to Exeter Cathedral for a British Academy Children’s Award in the primary learning category.
Many historic sites and visitor attractions are exploring new ways to interact with visitors before, during and after their visit. Exeter Cathedral spotted an opportunity to engage school groups using the digital technologies that children, young people and others are increasingly accustomed to. Video is a digital medium that has dramatically changed the way we consume educational content, and no more so than amongst younger people.
Hundreds of millions of hours of video content is watched every day globally: on YouTube, on social media, and on other online channels. Not only is there high demand for video content it has also been proven to be an effective education tool. School children and students are increasingly taught using video content and other digital tools, alongside more traditional classroom methods.
This is where Exeter Cathedral’s short film fits in. Using the powerful combination of moving images, audio and graphics, school groups explore the Cathedral and learn key facts before they take their tour. The results are impressive. The education team and teachers have noticed that students are much more engaged during their visit, retain information better, and have a greater appreciation for the history of the building.
While the film has not been created to replace a visit to Exeter Cathedral, it is able to highlight details and facts in a way that is impossible to convey during a tour of a building with 30+ students in tow. One of the key aspects of this is being able to show elevated views and aerial shots; reconstructions so that visitors can get an idea of what the building was like when initially completed; and provide context in the form of graphics representing the events at that time. The film has proved so popular that it is now being shown to Cathedral visitors of all ages.
Commenting on the announcement, Robert Edmonds (Managing Director at NRG Digital), said:
“We are delighted with the nomination which honours the very best in children’s media. We are incredibly proud of the film which we feel reflects the passion we have as a company in bringing stories to life. Exeter Cathedral is an amazing building with such a fascinating history and it was a delight to work with them on this project.”
The British Academy Children’s Awards ceremony is on Sunday 20th November at the Roundhouse in London, hosted by actor, writer and comedian Doc Brown. The Exeter Cathedral team will be in good company with nominations in other categories for Horrible Histories, Star Wars and the Clangers!