About Sparks Film and Media Arts
Welcome to Sparks Film and Media Arts
Youth Film Schools for Ages 5-18
Welcome to Sparks, the UK’s leading provider of film and media activities for children and young people.
We’ve been inspiring young filmmakers since 2010. We welcome young filmmakers to film and media courses at our 27 Sparks film schools around the UK.
We inspire young people to unleash their creativity, discover their passions and develop skills that will help them to thrive both now and in the future.
Sparks film schools offer a unique programme of film making and media activities for children and teenagers, including extracurricular film making classes, half term camps, summer camps and events.
We also provide co-curricular and cross-curricular film projects for schools and community organisations.
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.
All our programmes are underpinned by Project Based Learning educational methodologies and celebrate child-led creativity.
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 began running film classes with just 9 children in Balham, South West London, on a Saturday morning. Word of our film making classes grew and before long we were soon welcoming more than 100 children to our film classes.
In 2012, we opened our second school in Highgate, North London. This was quickly followed by several more in the London area, mostly in response to requests from local parents getting in touch with us.
Today, we have a growing network of film schools in locations across the UK and help thousands of young people to make their own film productions.
We have plans to establish Sparks film schools all over and look forward to introducing more locations very soon.
The company was founded by Dan Farrell and Donna Bamford, who are supported by a fantastic team of film making practitioners, arts educators and creative professionals committed to inspiring the best from young film makers.
We’re committed to delivering high quality and engaging creative learning experiences.
The Sparks approach prioritises child-led creativity.
We believe every child has unlimited, individual potential. We seek to provide opportunities to develop their talents and confidence, and find ways to help them shine.
We 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 develop their skills, all whilst having fun and enjoying the process. It’s highly engaging and creates a strong impact on learning and development.
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 and skills development. All our activities are ‘hands-on’. Our members immerse themselves in the experience and learn by doing and taking on real responsibilities within their projects.
We work with small class sizes and high staff ratios, which help to ensure every child receives personalised attention and individually guided learning.
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 out the best in every child.
Reviews & Testimonials
“Sparks is extraordinary – brimming with exciting opportunities for kids.
My daughter has enjoyed both weekly classes and a magnificent Summer Club. She has loved every single second. This is active learning, there’s no chance to get bored…”
“Thank you Sparks for inspiring our son and allowing his talent and passion to shine.
Such a creative way to spend half term. Connecting with children just as imaginative as him.
We think he’s found his tribe!”
“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.”
Sparks Film School Locations
There are currently 27 Sparks film schools around the UK, with more launching in 2022.
“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.
Ten years on, we’re still a bit taken aback by how much Sparks has grown. We’re thrilled to work with such an incredible membership of young filmmakers, who continue to inspire us to find new challenges and new ideas to further their learning.
It’s a joy to help them discover their talents and to help grow their passions and skills. For any child who loves film, or loves telling stories, we want to show them that the sky is the limit in terms of their creativity.”
Dan & Donna, Co-Founders, Sparks Film & Media Arts
Film Making Classes
Sparks Film Making Classes for Ages 5-18 help to inspire imaginations, ignite creativity and develop both creative and technical skills.
Young film makers learn all about the process, from screenwriting and script development, through to cinematography, directing, acting for camera, video editing and more. All activities are practical and hands on, with young film makers progressing, developing their skills and building their portfolios.
Film Making Half Term Camps
Sparks film making half term camps offer the chance to get stuck into movie making and learn new skills in the holidays.
Every half term camp introduces a new theme and new challenges to explore, helping young film makers to develop their skills and creativity.
Bookings are available using Childcare Vouchers and activities run during most half terms throughout the year, including half term camps and summer camps.
Community & Educational Film Making Projects for Schools & Groups
Sparks Communities 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.