Screen and Film School Manchester prepare to launch with the National Saturday Club

28 February, 2023

Screen and Film School Manchester are excited to announce that in April we will be opening our doors over sixteen successive weekends to launch our very first sessions with the National Saturday Club.

How does the National Saturday Club work?

The National Saturday Cub thinks outside of the box: their aim, as it has been for 80 years, is to give 13–16-year-olds from across the UK the opportunity to study exciting subjects at their local university, college or cultural institution, all for free.

They offer dynamic, creative learning programmes in seven subject areas, crucially for us those include Film and Media. The model aims to develop young people’s skills, nurture their talents and encourage their creativity. As a powerful, countrywide network of shared knowledge and best practice, the model represents an exceptional opportunity to build young people’s creative skills and embolden them to become the next generation of innovators and imaginative thinkers. It also serves to connect educators and industry professionals so young people are better informed about the choices that exist for further education and rewarding careers. All of this makes the perfect recipe for the National Saturday Club to make an impact with budding filmmakers.

What will a National Saturday Club session look like at Screen and Film School Manchester?

The start date is the 1st of April, and it will run for 16 weeks, with enough space for 20 applicants from the Greater Manchester area. The course is fully funded by Screen and Film School, including travel and lunch for students and aims to introduce students to a range of specialisms in the Film and Media industry. Every two weeks a new tutor will take over the lessons, teaching their own respective specialisms (cinematography, set design, costume and more). The aim is for students to finish with a portfolio that reflects all of these different concepts in the hope that they will then have the confidence to explore them further in the future.

The National Saturday Club is a new model but not a new idea. Between the late 1940s and 1970s, art schools across the country opened their doors on Saturdays to give young teenagers a taste of what it would be like to study art after leaving school. For many of today’s artists and designers, it was the start of their creative and entrepreneurial careers.

This initiative was the inspiration for the National Saturday Club. The Club’s co-founders, John and Frances Sorrell, both started their professional journeys by attending these Saturday art classes. John and Frances ran an internationally successful design business, Newell and Sorrell, before setting up The Sorrell Foundation in 1999, with the aim of inspiring creativity in young people. After 10 years of developing pioneering educational programmes, the Foundation launched the first National Art and Design Saturday Club in 2009.

Here’s the view from inside Screen and Film School Manchester, firstly from our Access, Participation and Outreach Coordinator Clara Thomas, and then from College Principal David Thompson.

“We’re really excited to work with the National Saturday Club as part of our new Access and Participation plan, this enables us to work closer with the Greater Manchester community and open the doors of the university to a plethora of emerging filmmakers local to the area.”

“We are absolutely delighted to be joining forces with The National Saturday Club, which gives 13–16-year-olds the opportunity to study subjects they love for free at their local university. It’s a transformational opportunity for young people to learn new skills, discover their talents, and find out more about higher education and the rewarding careers it offers.”



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