Welcome to Sparks Film and Media Arts…
Sparks Film and Media Arts is the UK’s leading provider of film and media activities for children and young people.
We provide fun and engaging film making classes and workshops, from our film schools around the UK.
We offer a unique programme of film making activities for children and teenagers.
All our programmes are underpinned by Project Based Learning educational methodologies and celebrate child-led creativity.
Weekly film making classes help young film makers to develop their skills, grow in confidence and expand their imaginations.
Our fun holiday camps promote creativity and help introduce children to the joy of making movies.
We’re Ofsted registered and committed to the highest standards in safety and wellbeing.
Sparks Film and Media Arts: Our Story…
Sparks Film and Media Arts started out in 2010. (We have a 10th and 11th birthday party on standby, for whenever Covid-19 clears the way!)
The company was founded by Dan Farrell and Donna Bamford, who still lead the company today.
In 2010 – back then, we were known as Studio Film School – we began with just 9 children in Balham, South West London, on a Saturday morning. Soon we were soon welcoming more than 100 children weekly to film classes.
In 2012, we opened our second school in Highgate, North London. This was quickly followed by several more.
Today, we have a growing network of film schools in locations across the UK. We have plans to establish Sparks film schools all over and look forward to introducing more film schools very soon.
The Sparks approach prioritises child-led creativity. We believe every child has unlimited, individual potential, we seek to provide opportunities to let it shine.
All Sparks Film and Media Arts activities are underpinned by educational methodologies including Project-Based Learning and Mantle of the Expert, which we use to facilitate learning, skills development and confidence.
We also understand that every child learns in different ways. Our inclusive approach focuses on using real projects and practical experiences. It allows every child to contribute and to gain skills, all whilst having fun and enjoying the process. It’s highly engaging and creates a strong impact on learning and development.
All our activities are ‘hands-on’. Our members immerse themselves in the experience and learn by doing and taking on responsibilities.
Our small class sizes, along with high staff ratios, help to ensure high quality learning experiences, where every child receives personalised attention.
All Sparks instructors are well-qualified and carefully trained. Everyone is DBS-checked and receives specialist training in how to deliver our programme. As a rule, we don’t use volunteers or ‘helpers’. For all our film and media courses, we strongly believe in using skilled, professional instructors, who can bring about the best in every child.
“When we started Sparks, we wanted to create a fun, engaging space for children to tell their own stories using film and media.
We both treasured the experiences we were involved in as children. Our participation in drama, dance and theatre classes was a huge part of our lives. It led to us both working professionally within the arts.
Early in our careers, we found ourselves working more and more with film and video, falling head first into all the possibilities. With new available technologies, we realised there was a real opportunity to engage with film and media in a way that was never possible before, especially for children and young people.
Our aim was to create opportunities for young people to discover filmmaking, feel inspired and to express their ideas. We wanted to offer a space for young people to explore and experiment, a place for them to develop their voices and their skills.
We focused on building the right environments, and the right experiences to encourage valuable creative learning and development.
Ten years on, we’re still a bit taken aback by how much Sparks has grown. We’re thrilled to work with a wonderful team, as well as such an incredible membership of young filmmakers, who continue to inspire us to find new challenges to further their learning.”
Dan & Donna, Co-Founders, Sparks Film & Media Arts
Sparks Communities is a Community Interest Company, which undertakes work with children and young people who face disadvantages in their lives.
We engage and support participants who may feel excluded from or underrepresented within arts activities.
There is a special emphasis on work that improves inclusivity, work that improves life chances and projects that improve youth mental health and wellbeing.
Through these activities, we fulfil social and community objectives that are important to us.
We help to build confidence and aspirations, as well as develop valuable skills for the future. We aim to give children and young people a safe space to express their voice, share their experiences and interact with the world in new and interesting ways.
Our Communities work is supported through contributions from our main operations at Sparks Film and Media Arts. We also receive support through organisational partnerships, charitable trusts and foundations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to lots our FAQs below.
Policies & Official Info: Sparks Film and Media Arts
Here you can find lots of official info, including our policies and registrations.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then please contact us.
Sparks Film & Media Arts, Floor 3, 86-90 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE
Do we accept Childcare Vouchers?
Yes. You can register here, please choose the option to register using payment by BACS or Childcare Vouchers. You will then receive an email with instructions.
Policies & Official Documents: