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The Hereford Academy

'Seek to do good to one another and to everyone’. Thessalonians 5:15

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THA Welcome Guest Speaker, Chris Grace

On Thursday 17th October we welcomed guest speaker, Chris Grace who visited us as part of the Speakers for Schools programme. Chris has had an extensive career in TV animation and was responsible for series such as Superted and Fireman Sam. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE and BAFTA for services to animation. More recently Chris was the founder of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. 


Chris spoke to two year 7 classes about opportunities to get involved in creative industries including animation and film-making, showing examples of how an award-winning short film can be produced using a phone. Chris showed some examples of animation he had produced and explained the different techniques and story structures.


A number of our students discussed how they had already tried to make their own films; Chris gave them advice about apps and programmes that could help them improve their film-making.


Chris talked about his parent’s experiences in the Second World War, explaining how his father had been captured in France after Dunkirk and been a prisoner of war. The students were captivated by these stories and asked lots of questions. Chris showed pictures and documents from the period which he explained, and also showed students the actual bag his father had left the prison with which contained all his possessions.


Chris then moved the conversation back to film-making, encouraging the students to talk to elderly relatives who had memories of the war, and to make films to keep a record of those memories.


At the end of the talk students were given the opportunity to ask questions and many were keen to look at the photos and documents in more detail.


Speakers for Schools is a UK education charity launched in 2011 to help level the playing field for state secondary schools and their students by increasing access to inspiring talks and engagements with today’s top figures and employers, as often seen in fee-paying schools. Speakers are high-profile leaders and experts donating their time and travel, keeping all engagements free of charge to our schools.



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