How to structure your school video day

We speak with more and more schools who want to promote themselves using a school video. The ever-changing society consumes content in fast and digestible ways. Video content has is the most popular way to consume information. We only need to look to Tik Tok to prove this. It is no different for prospective parents, students, and even Ofsted. School videos showcase your school grounds, facilities, and school values. 

In this blog, we share school video hints, tips, and tricks to maximise your videography session and communicate the key messages to your audience. 

Before the school video shoot

For standard hints and tips about consent permissions, identifying & preparing the key areas, and communicating with all stakeholders, read our blog on How to structure your school promotional photography day. This information is still useful for your video shoot.  

The first thing to consider is the type of video you wish to have created. We provide informative, interview-style videos or walk-through video tours.

Informative, interview style

An interview style video uses specific footage to match the topic of discussion. This is a great way to really plan what you want to show and talk about. For this type of video you will need to identify the key speakers which, we would advise, include staff, children, parents, and even governors or the vicar in the community. 

Once the key speakers are identified, it’s time to start planning what they will talk about or think about what questions you would like us to ask and the key message you want to come out from this answer. Either way, we would recommend having some key points noted down or even scripted.

As a rule of thumb, we suggest that Head Teachers should have 2 minutes of speaking time, teachers should have a maximum of 1 minute speaking time, parents, governors, and community leaders should have 30-45 seconds and pupils should have 10-20 second sound bites. Whichever mix of speakers you choose we will aim to make a 4-minute video from this audio.

We will then match the audio to scenes we capture in school. This is also why it’s important to see your keynotes or script, as we need to ensure we are filming the correct messages you want to communicate. 

Our data shows that the most completed, watched videos are 4 minutes and under. And even short clips work best for social media. 

A recent Interview style school video for Staniland Academy.

School tour walkthrough style

A walk-through tour takes a lot of planning as we shoot the footage in one take, meaning we also have to have run through before capturing the footage. This allows us to know the route around the school, plus know what we are capturing to hit the brief. Generally speaking, there would be no voice over during this video, making it a great option for schools with high EAL. As we are showing the whole school, we recommend capturing all classes you teach, therefore you will be asked to carefully stage some lessons. Here is a great example of a school video walk-through tour. 

An example of a recent walkthrough video for Park Academy.

The brief and schedule for your school video

The most important thing for both approaches is to have a completed brief and timetable one week before your shoot. This gives us time to review your plan and amend it if necessary. It also enables us to capture the right things happening in your school. Not having this in time results in the shoot needing to be rescheduled.

A typical school video schedule

School videos can be a manic day with lots of activities. Therefore it is vital to have a realistic schedule that allows for setting up, capturing the right footage, and reshooting interviews. Below are 3 key tips for each video approach.

School walkthrough tour

  1. Provide a map of the school to note which subject will be viewed in each area.
  2. Make sure the lesson is running on time so we capture the main part of the lesson that will be most engaging for the viewer.
  3. We will ask students not to look at the camera when we enter.
  4. Any students without permission must be removed from the room, as we will not be able to edit them out.

Informative, interview video

  1. Where possible speakers should script what they want to say in order to help them keep their message concise and on time. This will also help with any mistakes and confidence. 
  2. Identify two good areas for the interview to be held. These need to be clean and tidy places that you want to showcase but they also need to be quiet to avoid too much background noise. We would advise at least 2 areas so the interview being filmed looks different from the others.
  3. Brief students and staff ahead of the shoot so they are aware of what we are doing and can act appropriately in front of the camera.

After your shoot

  1. Check that all children in the videos have permission. With photos we can delete an image or two, or even edit the image so the child isn’t identifiable. However, with video this is not possible and could lead to us having to delete some great footage. Although steps are taken on the day to prevent this, anything can be missed. 
  2. Ensure that you are happy with the video quality and that the brief has been met. 
  3. Download your videos and make a backup. We host the video on Vimeo for 30 days, free of charge. But we can host your video for a year for a small fee. 

You may find that you want a shorter teaser video for social media. We can use the footage captured from your interview-style video and recreate a short 1-minute promotional video for £100. 

If you’re looking to increase admission numbers, or just to communicate your key values to your local community, video is the perfect way to deliver this to your audience. At BFI Media, we have different options for your budget. You can find out more about our promotional videography for schools. Or if you are looking for a complete promotional asset creation package, you can find out more about our admissions package here