James Hornsby: Together We Are Family


Creating films in schools is challenging. Not only do you have to work around normal problems such as daylight and weather but you also have to take exams in progress, break times (900 kids trying to get food), and the ever present teen angst into account too.

James Hornsby School in Laindon hasn’t always had the best reputation, but in recent years it’s been turned around by a strong senior leadership team into a school that the local community, students and staff are rightly proud of.

Working with film director Andy Delaney we recce’d the school before hand to prep the staff as to what we thought was worth filming. One of the the things that impressed us was that Tutor groups were made up of students from all years allowing the students to bond with classmates both older and younger. “It helps create a family feel to the school” Deputy Head Louse Dwyer told us.

That’s when the penny dropped. Under their existing ethos of “Together we Excel” we enhanced the concept to “Together we grow…together we excel…together we are family”.

Creating a chronological timeline we captured the school waking up, arriving, studying and taking part in sports activities. Personally I’m a big supporter of allowing kids to be kids so it was great to allow the students to have fun and show off their personalities while still reflecting positive values that the school holds dear.

Due to unforeseen circumstances the shoot was split into two days nearly six months apart. From the dreary dampness of November to the burgeoning summer of May there was some clever editing done to ensure nothing looked out of place.

What’s been created is a film that not only shows off the campus facilities, but the real passion that the staff and students have for their school.

You can watch the film below. It’s flipping ace.