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‘What impressed most was that there are so many people smiling in the film’ - Norfolk MP Norman Lamb

PUBLISHED: 15:28 21 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:28 21 July 2017

Norman Lamb with one of the special needs students in Sheringham. Pictures: David Bale

Norman Lamb with one of the special needs students in Sheringham. Pictures: David Bale

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An award-winning documentary about sixth-formers at a Norfolk special needs school gives a unique insight into their lives.

Sasha Smee made the documentary. Pictures: David Bale Sasha Smee made the documentary. Pictures: David Bale

Paston Sixth Form College student Sasha Smee spent about a week at the Woodfields school in Sheringham, as part of her course work, talking to students and capturing glimpses of their lives.

The 17-year-old, who will study TV production at Bournemouth University from September, said: “My mum works at the school and I have grown up with the students, and they’re the same age as me.

“I wanted to get it out there about who they are and what they do, and for them to become better known.

“Watching the film I felt how proud I was of them. I would not have got the award without their hard work.”

The film highlights the students’ personalities and smiling faces and spotlights the help the school offers young people with learning disabilities.

It won Paston’s best documentary award and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb visited the Holt Road school to praise the students.

He said he was very impressed with the documentary and the students’ involvement in it.

He particularly enjoyed student, Will Stanbury’s, 18, Elvis impersonation in the film.

Mr Lamb handed out certificates to the students and said: “I think it’s a fantastic film, and something to be very proud of. It’s a privilege to be here. What impressed most was that there are so many people smiling in the film.”

The school’s headteacher James Stanbrook added: “For some of the students this is the culmination of two years of work. It’s lovely now they can move on with the certificates they’ve been given. It’s a stepping stone for their careers.”

Paston teacher Matthew Stainthorpe, who helped Miss Smee with the film, said: “She was doing a B-tec in creative media and was one of out strongest students. Sasha’s idea for the documentary was so strong.

“It’s so impressive someone her age making a documentary like this. Documentaries about subjects such as special needs schools tend to be done in a certain way, but this was different. It was a celebration of the students, really. It won the Paston best documentary award, out of about 30 entries.”

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