Bristol teachers liven up lockdown with their own music video

Staff at a Bristol school can be seen cartwheeling, skateboarding and singing like pop stars in their very own lockdown music video.

Teachers and other colleagues at Bristol Metropolitan Academy have cheered each other up with the five-minute production, in which they mime along to the song Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra.

They recorded themselves at home, or at school for the few looking after key workers’ children, and the snippets have been sewn into a video and shared on social media.

Principal Cameron Shaw said: “We wanted to do something to try and keep a bit of community spirit in our staff body, and something we could then share with our students and wider community.

“Schools are proper communities and we are away from each other at a non-standard time. We are so used to being in each other’s pockets and having constant conversations, and suddenly we were thrown apart from each other.

“The idea was for staff to come together and to have something to focus on.”

Head of performing arts Michelle Vince picked her favourite song and assigned staff with certain sections to mime to, and her husband, who also works at the school, turned the footage into a music video.

‘They are prepared to put their wellbeing at risk’

Bristol Met staff have created similar parody videos in years past, and felt that the school closures called for another.

The video has been shared on YouTube and the school’s social media pages, and has been circulated to the Fishponds school’s 900 pupils.

Mr Shaw said: “We have an amazing body of staff at Bristol Met and they go above and beyond. The biggest challenge for them is having to stay away from school.

“They are prepared to put their own wellbeing at risk because they are desperate to support our students.”

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A fraction of the school’s pupil population are still attending in person as their parents are key workers, but most are now being set work to complete from home.

Some staff will be barely recognisable to them in the video, having swapped their work wear for casual sweatshirts and jeans as they bop around their homes and gardens.

Head of music Mr Miller even plays a guitar solo at one point over the backing track, while a colleague later pretends to do the same using a toy guitar.

Several staff members get their dog involved, waving their paws in time to the music, while others can be seen attempting to skateboard and cartwheel.

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Daredevil teacher Mr Redko is filmed taking part in his ‘lockdown hobbies’ of knife throwing and fire spinning, with pupils urged “do not try this at home!”

The end of the video thanks staff for helping the community during the pandemic – including those who have made protective masks for health workers, and those who helped to pack up and deliver food parcels to families in need of help over the Easter holidays.

Schools across the country have now been closed for four weeks, and there is still no confirmed time frame as to when they will reopen.

Mr Shaw said he hopes it will be before the summer holidays, but that he has had no indication if that will be likely.

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