Co-ordinator of A Level Film, Media and Theatre Studies
Sarah teaches on the Film Studies and Media A Level programmes at Middlesbrough College Sixth Form.
Music loving Sarah is Teesside born and bred. After working in community radio for 5 years, Sarah decided that she wanted to start a career that made a difference to peoples lives which naturally led her to teaching.
Sarah completed her professional teacher training in London at the Central School of Speech and Drama, and begun teaching Media Studies and Film Studies GCSE and A Level at a South London school. However, home bird Sarah didn’t stay in London for too long, after a friend sent her a job advertisement for an A Level Media Studies teacher at Middlesbrough College. Sarah applied for the role and 15 years later is still enjoying life teaching at the College!
Since joining the College, Sarah has developed the Film Studies A Level that is now a popular course at MC6 and has taken on additional challenges including being the Curriculum Team Leader for the Arts and Humanities courses at MC6. Sarah is also a mentor to others – supporting staff in their teaching at the College.
Sarah said: “My favourite thing about working at Middlesbrough College is meeting lovely, interesting, and inspiring people in both staff and students. Middlesbrough College is a supportive community which encourages and support you to become a great teacher.
“Despite it seeming like a big place, the College has a great sense of community where staff are passionate about their roles and aim to give students the best possible experience and outcomes to help shape their future. It’s a big, but friendly and supportive place!
“A key highlight for me was the introduction of the A* grade at A Level, it was a Film Studies A Level student who achieved the first ever A* at Middlesbrough College! He truly deserved the recognition of his genuine talent for the subject. Results day is always the highlight of the academic year; I am very proud that students who take Film or Media A Level achieve good outcomes and it is a real joy to see on results day.
“It is always a special moment when you get visits or messages from past students who want to let you know how things are going or what they’re doing now. It’s lovely to hear how happy students are and how their time at MC6 has led them to where they are now. I have even had the pleasure of a past student doing their PGCE placement with us and now they are a colleague of mine!
“If you are thinking of studying Media Studies or Film Studies as an A Level choice, then here’s how to prepare yourself:
1. Be interested – watch, listen, re-watch, browse, read: soak up as much as you can of what is out there.
2. Be critical – don’t take everything at face value; question what is in front of you.
3. Delve into the past: watch old films and old TV shows – see how far the industry has developed and changed.
“And here’s my top 5 things to watch and listen to before studying a Film or Media A Level:
1. Line of Duty (BBC) – there are lots of other great BBC dramas out there – it really does provide a great public service!
2. BBC Radio – do you listen to the radio much? Take a dive in to the wide range of things you can listen to on the BBC – you can access it through the BBC Sounds app.
3. Foreign language drama – check out ALL4 or a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime.
4. Keep an eye on social media trends / topics – what are people doing? What are they talking about? Why? (Have any of you seen Beans on Weetabix?)
5. There’s a whole world of film beyond American blockbusters: there are some amazing and thought-provoking Independent films out there and the British can make some pretty amazing stuff too.And if you really want to be amazed – investigate the world of Short Film (how on earth do they tell an amazing story in such a short period of time?)”