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TV Preview: Educating Yorkshire at Christmas


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The staff and students of Thornhill Community Academy will be back on the nation’s screens this evening, as Educating Yorkshire returns for a Christmas special. The programme will be catching up with some of the best-loved characters from the television hit series.

Educating YorkshireA year has passed since filming took place, and a lot has been happening in the meantime. New challenges have materialised, love is in the air, and the controversial trouble-makers have turned over a new leaf.

Headteacher Jonny Mitchell, who was transformed into a celebrity overnight, reflects on the follow-up episode: “We’d been reassured there wouldn’t be a follow-up”. He was adamant that the cameras wouldn’t intrude again, but then news broke that Educating Yorkshire was one of Channel 4’s biggest hits of the Autumn, with 3 million viewers tuning in to the final episode. The nation was calling for more of the same.

Many of the Year 11s that we saw throughout the series have now moved on to either college or work. Musharaf, the boy  who spent his school career suffering from a stammer, is now studying in Huddersfield, working towards a career in teaching. It’s clear to see that Thornhill Community Academy really did change his life, by giving him confidence and transforming him into a young man.

Whilst some students have moved on, the academy is still very much carrying on as normal. Mr Mitchell has noted that “the tide has turned,” with fewer exclusions and smarter-looking pupils who are “doing what they should be doing [learning].

“The buzz that first half-term [when the series aired] was incredible. The kids were feeling a foot taller, their chests were puffed out: we’re really proud.”

The school as a whole has benefitted since the series aired, with three times as many families attending the annual open evening. Asked if there will be any more episodes after this evening, there was no doubt in Mr Mitchell’s mind.

“It would be to us like a difficult second album, or a bad sequel to Jaws. I don’t think we’d get anything out of it. We will not do another one; not on my watch.”

The staff and students of Thornhill Community Academy will be watching along this evening too.

English teacher Lindsey Uren tweeted that she’s “missed Thursday night viewing so much!!” and Musharaf will be watching tonight’s episode “at home with family”.

Educating Yorkshire at Christmas will be broadcast this evening (19th December 2013) on Channel 4 at 9pm.

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