Coventry University students help bring stories of young people with SEND to life on the big screen

Four Coventry University film production students working with cameras and lighting equipment

Coventry University film production students helped create a short film alongside young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Wednesday 27 March 2024

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The tales of young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) were brought to life on the big screen thanks to Film Production students from Coventry University.

A group of second-year Film and Media Production students worked with members of IMPACT – Warwickshire's youth forum for individuals with SEND – to create the short film Wrong Size Fits All which sheds light on the diverse experiences children and young people face within educational settings and aims to foster an understanding of their needs.

The project lasted around eight months from start to finish and the film was premiered at an exclusive event at the Delia Derbyshire building, the new landmark building of Coventry University’s College of the Arts and Society.

As well as the students and IMPACT members involved in creating the film, other guests at the premiere included education officers and families of the participants. This was followed by a question-and-answer session, providing an opportunity for feedback and discussion with a panel of the cast and crew.

The film has already had more than 20,000 views on YouTube.

The topic is very close to the heart of Film Production student Ab McCarthy who was a teaching assistant in Coventry working with schoolchildren with SEND for three years before starting their university course.

We started with 13 pages of script which needed cutting down to a five-minute film and we met with the young people from IMPACT once a month and then did the filming in January. We are so pleased with the final piece and everyone has enjoyed it and the message is really clear. The young people we have worked with have been brilliant.

It was really nice at the premiere to have the young people there, the county council, all our crew – it was nice to have everyone together.

Ab McCarthy, Coventry University film production student

The IMPACT project has provided an excellent real-life work experience opportunity for our Film Production students to practice their skills working to a client brief. They have used the professional film production equipment provided by the university, the various skills they have learned during their studies and most importantly their own initiative and creativity to produce a film everyone can be proud of.

Sanna Wicks, Course Director for Film Production at Coventry University

This production is a testament to the hard work and creativity of both IMPACT as a youth forum and for the individuals who have taken part.

A huge thank you goes to Coventry University and the second-year Film Production students for helping this to become a reality for our young people. The premiere was both enlightening and thought-provoking, highlighting the importance of inclusive education, putting children at the heart of all we do and understanding that one size does not fit all.

Cllr Kam Kaur, portfolio holder for education at Warwickshire County Council

Find out more about the Coventry University Film Production course.