FAQ

FAQ

Frequent answers to your questions

How do I enrol?

You can enrol for any of our filmmaking courses online using the link here.

All bookings are processed securely using our online booking system. You can opt to register with credit/debit card, or to register using Childcare Vouchers, please Contact Us here.

You can choose to enrol on a monthly membership (charged monthly) or a termly membership, which renews each term.

Can I Book with Childcare Vouchers?

Yes. We welcome all childcare voucher schemes, including Childcare Choices.

To place a booking using Childcare Vouchers, please get in touch with us and let us know your voucher provider.

We’ll set up an account for you, at which point you’ll be able to place a booking online or over the phone. For more details on how to book using Childcare Vouchers, please see here > >

What Age Group is Best for My Child?

Our filmmaking courses welcome young filmmakers age 5-18, which operate in peer age grouped crews:
Studio 1: Ages 5-7 (School Years 1-2)
Studio 2: Ages 7-9 (School Years 3-4)
Studio 3: Ages 9-11 (School Years 5-6)
Studio 4: Ages 11-14 (School Years 7-9)
Studio 5: Ages 14-18 (School Years 10-13)

We typically recommend for all filmmakers to join the group that corresponds to their school year, which provides social benefit, alongside appropriate course content. We regularly observe to ensure that all filmmakers are working at the right level, we will only move filmmakers up or down if we believe it to be in their best interest.

What Equipment Do You Use?

Each Studio group uses different filmmaking equipment, with technical difficulty increasing through the age range.

We aim to achieve a balance of relevant technical learning, high production standards and ease-of use, so that filmmakers can make the most of their production time with us and can also build transferable skills that they can take with them for the future.

There is plenty of equipment available within each filmmaking course. It’s important to us that every student has the maximum opportunity to get hands on and be creative.

Camera Equipment:

Camera equipment ranges from iPads and HD camcorders with our younger studios, to DSLR cameras and broadcast standard/industry spec cameras with our older studios.

All the cameras shoot in Full HD or 4K and are chosen for their ease of use, combined with image quality and production standard.

Studios 4 and 5 also work with additional lenses and filters.

Grip and Other Equipment:

We use a wide variety of additional equipment, such as tripods, dollies, gimbals and sliders.

The crews also use clapperboards and other on-set equipment to learn about professional film production and how to work as part of a film crew.

Each Studio also has access to a green screen, as well as use of indoor lighting and reflectors.

With Studios 4 and 5, we also work with sound equipment, including different mics and external sound recorders.

Post-Production:

We edit using iMovie with younger studios. Our older studios use industry software including Final Cut Pro/Premiere Pro. We also occasionally use After Effects and other post-production software.

Will My Child Get a Certificate?

Yes, each filmmaker receives a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of their learning.

The Sparks Syllabus:

With our weekly classes, filmmakers work towards our filmmaking syllabus, which progresses from one level to the next.

Each year, they’ll be working towards a new level, with increasing skills and technical challenges, which are recognised with Awards. There are 3-4 Award levels per Studio. 

Arts Award Accreditation:

Some of our filmmaking courses also work partners including the Arts Award scheme to offer formal recognition of learning and artistic development.

Can I speak with an instructor?

Yes, our team is always happy to help.

You can contact us here to organise a time to chat with the Head of your local Sparks Film School, or you can contact a member of our office team by phone or email too.

If your group instructor isn’t available, then we’ll arrange a time to speak later on.

Who Teaches the Classes?

Our filmmaking courses are all taught by professionals from filmmaking and media/arts education backgrounds.

Our instructors are always well qualified. Many have formal qualifications, e.g. degrees in film production, as well as a range of professional expertise from film sets and independent film productions.

Everyone is DBS-checked and undertakes a Sparks training programme in order to qualify as a filmmaking instructor with us.

Our staff ratio is at least 1: 8. In practice, this is often 1:6 or higher.

Are you Inclusive of Children with SEND?

We welcome children with physical and sensory disabilities, as well as children who are neurodiverse.

We usually find that if your child attends a mainstream school, we can most likely support their learning in our filmmaking courses.

Our small class sizes ensure that every filmmaker taking part already receives personalised attention and support. Many of our team also have experience of working in SEND environments.

We always recommend that you speak to us beforehand, so we can put in place any strategies or adaptations that will improve their experience. 

Through Sparks Communities we also offer specific projects that are designed with additional needs in mind.

What are the Course Fees?

Fees for filmmaking courses start from approximately £11 per hour.

Fees vary at each film school location. London film schools tend to have slightly higher fees, owing to increased operational costs such as venue fees.

Course fees include all sessions, equipment, accreditation and the production of finished films/portfolios.

There are flexible payment options, including monthly or termly memberships. We also accept payments with childcare vouchers and the Childcare Choices scheme.

Widening Participation:
Through our Sparks Communities projects, we offer film and media courses for children who face accessibility barriers to participation. These are often funded projects that enable us to work with children who otherwise may not be able to take part and experience filmmaking.

We’re committed to increasing accessibility and widening participation. For more information on our Communities programme, please take a look here >>>

My Child Has Been Before – Will They Get Something New Out of Coming Again?

Yes, many children take part in our filmmaking courses on a long-running basis, which helps to develop film skills and knowledge.

Our filmmaking courses have built-in progression steps to make sure they are continually learning new things and developing their skills.

We’ll always share the particular focus of each programme beforehand, so you can see if it’s something that lines up with their interest.

Our filmmaking holiday camps usually explore a set theme. Filmmaking classes are more detailed and offer opportunities to focus on technical learning. 

I’m Already Signed Up. Where Can I Find Course Info?

Your booking confirmation email will have details of course dates, times and venues. You’ll also receive a course welcome pack (by email) approximately a week before your course is due to begin.

You can also find info by logging into your account here, or contact us with any questions you might have.

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Student testimonials

Rachel Woolcott

Parent

Great camp to develop creativity and for children to learn about film making. In this short period of time the teachers were engaging; the group developed a story for a short film, acted, set the scenes and were behind the camera, my son loved the activities.

Seb.

Young Filmmaker

I've learned so much here I don't know where to start.
I’ve learned how to shoot a film properly, how to compose a shot. I’ve learned how to edit, how to take an idea and turn it into something you can see on the screen. It’s been amazing.

Guilia Merlo

Parent

My 7 year old had the best time at Sparks summer camp, it really helped him grow his confidence too! He was initially reluctant to be in front of the camera, we were reassured by Sparks that he wouldn't need to but once he was there, he actually really enjoyed having a few lines in the final movie :) He still speaks highly of his time at Sparks several weeks later!

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