Channel 4's popular fly-on-the-wall documentary to feature Walthamstow secondary school

Frederick Bremer is the first school to be featured with both a female headteacher and deputy head

Documentary to capture the 'special atmosphere' at the school

Producers have praised the diverse pupils population at the school

A total of 78 cameras were used during filming

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

Over the next few months the nation's viewers will get a glimpse at what life is like for the students of Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow as Channel 4's popular fly-on-the-wall documentary series returns.

Playground drama, personal struggles, teenage heartache and staff dilemmas have kept millions glued to their TV screens throughout the two previous series in Essex and Yorkshire.

The Siddeley Road school, which is home to 900 students, was rigged with 68 cameras in classrooms, the staff room, communal areas and teachers' offices, although only three record at any one time.

The cameras came out of the school at the end of April, but key points in the school calendar since then, such has prom, have been visited by the C4 team.

Despite hundreds of applications to Channel Four after the huge success of the preceding shows, producers were convinced during a visit to Frederick Bremer on the day of the school's Christmas pantomime last year.

Producer Jo Hughes said  the Walthamstow school was chosen because of its female leadership and strong sense of community, despite some challenges.

“I hope the people of Walthamstow will become really proud of this school and the pupils," she added. 

They are normal London teenagers who don’t normally get a voice – if they do it is often bad.

“They are feisty, they’re funny and they’re warm. They represent the diverse community in Waltham Forest. 

They are savvy, they call it as they see it and they are not backwards in coming forwards.”

“There is something in the air here. As soon as you walk in there is a lovely, welcoming atmosphere.

“This time there is a female headteacher and deputy which we have never seen before.

“We never know what to expect when we start filming.”

Headteacher Jenny Smith took the decision to allow filming after long discussions with staff and consultation with former headteachers of schools already featured in the series.

“We are excited but we are really nervous, too,” she said.

“We were initially approached in September. I have an open mind and I always felt that this school deserves more exposure. 

"We had to have a lot of discussions and do a lot of soul searching before we took it any further.

“It was not a sudden decision.

“When we were selected I phoned Vic Goddard (headteacher of Passmores acedemy in Essex) and we were on the phone for 45 minutes. I didn’t get a word in edgeways with him telling me what a fantastic experience it was for his school.

“The students and parents have been involved and informed every step of the way.

“Anybody who did not want to be on camera had the option not to be.

“We explained everything to parents and we have had some go from a position of absolute opposition to absolute excitement.”

Deputy headteacher Emma Hillman believes that the show will be unlike the others.

“The pupils in Walthamstow have something so different to offer because of the diversity in London and the mix of cultures that we have in the school,” she said.

“We have got to watch some footage and you don’t get to be everywhere at once in the school so the filming has allowed us the opportunity to see some wonderful moments with staff and pupils and how hard staff work here.”

The cameras left the school this week after GCSE results day.

The school's English and Maths GCSE results exceeded national average.

This year, GCSE results remained in line with last year, with more than a fifth of pupils achieving an A* or A in Maths.

A total of 13 pupils achieved A* and A grades in at least 8 subjects.

The first episode of Educating the East End will be aired on September 4.

Comments (3)

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10:55am Mon 25 Aug 14

Davego says...

I've no idea how good or bad this prog will be however why is it that we are referred to as the "East End" when clearly we are not. I don't think we were even in London until the mid 1960's so how can we possibly be the real East End of London. Small point but looks like a way of trying to make this more interesting by using a tag a lot of people are familiar with even if it is untrue. I originate from, and live in Walthamstow and have never considered my self an "East Ender" I consider myself from East London yes....but I'm not a true East Ender. NB: I do believe there are some references to Walthamstow being in the East End but these seem to be more opinion than hard boundaries on a map. Anyway just seems incorrect to me.
I've no idea how good or bad this prog will be however why is it that we are referred to as the "East End" when clearly we are not. I don't think we were even in London until the mid 1960's so how can we possibly be the real East End of London. Small point but looks like a way of trying to make this more interesting by using a tag a lot of people are familiar with even if it is untrue. I originate from, and live in Walthamstow and have never considered my self an "East Ender" I consider myself from East London yes....but I'm not a true East Ender. NB: I do believe there are some references to Walthamstow being in the East End but these seem to be more opinion than hard boundaries on a map. Anyway just seems incorrect to me. Davego
  • Score: 18

6:02pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

X factor type rubbish like this has no place near a school. Let them lean the three R's.
X factor type rubbish like this has no place near a school. Let them lean the three R's. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 1

10:31am Tue 26 Aug 14

dininglady says...

Davego wrote:
I've no idea how good or bad this prog will be however why is it that we are referred to as the "East End" when clearly we are not. I don't think we were even in London until the mid 1960's so how can we possibly be the real East End of London. Small point but looks like a way of trying to make this more interesting by using a tag a lot of people are familiar with even if it is untrue. I originate from, and live in Walthamstow and have never considered my self an "East Ender" I consider myself from East London yes....but I'm not a true East Ender. NB: I do believe there are some references to Walthamstow being in the East End but these seem to be more opinion than hard boundaries on a map. Anyway just seems incorrect to me.
I thought exactly the same thing. Although Walthamstow has an e post code it is more north London than east end.
[quote][p][bold]Davego[/bold] wrote: I've no idea how good or bad this prog will be however why is it that we are referred to as the "East End" when clearly we are not. I don't think we were even in London until the mid 1960's so how can we possibly be the real East End of London. Small point but looks like a way of trying to make this more interesting by using a tag a lot of people are familiar with even if it is untrue. I originate from, and live in Walthamstow and have never considered my self an "East Ender" I consider myself from East London yes....but I'm not a true East Ender. NB: I do believe there are some references to Walthamstow being in the East End but these seem to be more opinion than hard boundaries on a map. Anyway just seems incorrect to me.[/p][/quote]I thought exactly the same thing. Although Walthamstow has an e post code it is more north London than east end. dininglady
  • Score: 4

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