Year 6 pupils are Top Stars on TV show

Sheringham Primary pupils (from left): Martha, Sienna, Abi, Oliver and James, who have been picked t

Sheringham Primary pupils (from left): Martha, Sienna, Abi, Oliver and James, who have been picked to appear on a new TV quiz show being screened on CBBC in September. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A team of quick-witted pupils from Sheringham Primary School will be showing off their intellectual talents on national TV, when they appear on a University Challenge-style quiz show being screened in September on children's channel CBBC.

Sheringham Primary pupils (from left): Martha, Sienna, Abi, Oliver and James, who have been picked t

Sheringham Primary pupils (from left): Martha, Sienna, Abi, Oliver and James, who have been picked to appear on a new TV quiz show being screened on CBBC in September. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

The four Year 6 youngsters were picked to take part in Top Class, which will see teams of school children from all over the country compete against each other in a first-to-the-buzzer contest featuring National Curriculum-based questions on subjects including science, maths, history and literature.

After being put forward for the show by Sheringham Primary Year 6 teacher John Perrem at the suggestion of joint head teacher Rachael Carter, the team – made up of ten and eleven-year-olds Oliver, Martha, Abi, Sienna and reserve panel member James – had a video conference interview with CBBC producers via Skype.

Mr Perrem explained: 'When we chose the team, we weren't just looking for the brightest children, but also for the ones who we felt had the confidence and the desire to do it and represent the school well.'

With their interviews impressing the production team, the youngsters were invited to take part in the show - which is being hosted by comedian Susan Calman - and, a couple of weeks ago, they were flown to Scotland with their parents, Mr Perrem and Year 5 teacher Alex Snadden for filming at the BBC headquarters in Glasgow.


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After a nervous start, the youngsters gained in confidence and, according to team member Martha, got 'into the swing of it'.

'It will be strange to see ourselves on telly,' she said. 'When you are answering the questions, you forget you are being filmed and then, before you know it, it's finished.'

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Ten-year-old Sienna said being on the show was a great experience and a chance to get a 'behind the scenes' look at the making of a TV programme.

'Because you only see the edited version, you have no idea what happens,' she explained. 'You don't realise the amount of waiting, all the make-up and everything you have to do before you go on, but we were treated really nicely and I felt like some kind of VIP.'

Mr Snadden was given a chance to pit his wits against a fellow teacher in a quick-fire trivia round and, after being 'set up' by Martha, who told the show's host he was a talented singer, was also persuaded to perform to a duet with Ms Calman of the song Let it Go, from the Disney film Frozen.

Team members and their teachers, parents and school friends have been sworn to secrecy as to how they performed in the first round of the competition, but Mr Perrem has his fingers crossed that they will have a chance to return to Glasgow for the semi finals and finals, when competing teams will be put up in a hotel with their families for three days of filming.

'We are really hoping to make it further,' he said. 'It would be great to win the trophy, but we are incredibly proud of the way they have worked together as a team and the biggest thing is obviously the glory for the children and for Sheringham Primary School.'

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