Episode 1 Generation Gifted


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Episode 1

Series following bright teenagers from low-income backgrounds across the UK. In this episode, three Year 9 girls face mounting pressure in their first year of GCSE preparation.


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Transcript


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The expectations for us is that we go to McDonald's,

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and clean the toilets,

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do not get very far and don't do very well.

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These six teenagers are exceptionally talented.

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They have all been identified as gifted

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in at least one subject by their schools...

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Maths is like puzzle solving.

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I don't know why, but I really enjoy finding answers.

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When I'm drawing, I just feel like I'm escaping everything around me.

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..but all are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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My mam does struggle for money.

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You think it's going to be £500 for university?

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Money's there for those who can push them through the door,

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but we're not in that category.

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Kids living in poverty are half as likely

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to achieve the top GCSE grades as their better-off classmates.

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Life is not as simple as a linear graph, and it does not go straight.

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We will follow these kids over the next three crucial years,

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from age 13 until they take their final GCSE exams at 16.

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Best of luck today.

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You may begin.

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They expect me to get the top, top, top grades.

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We'll return each year

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to see the challenges they'll have to overcome,

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both at school...

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Mam, what do you think may be causing these kick-offs and things?

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..and at home.

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Did you honestly think when you got them scores,

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I was going to sit there and go...

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No, I did not. That's why I don't tell you these things.

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At a time when social mobility in the UK is in sharp decline...

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I don't want to be in poverty, but neither do a lot of people,

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and a lot of people don't have that choice.

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..we'll find out just how far these kids can really go.

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This is where their journey begins.

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Well, it's just like giving someone a head start in a race.

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It's your job to catch up.

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In your bedroom, is there anything that defines you

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more than anything else?

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Erm...

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Erm... I have books.

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Lots and lots of books.

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Erm...

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Hmm...

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This one's pretty good.

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Reasons To Stay Alive.

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I kind of finished reading it, cos it made me cry.

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When I'm reading, I feel like I'm where I want to be.

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So it's not in Port Talbot, and it's not on the planet.

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It's within those lines, those pages.

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That's where a reader really wants to be,

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because that's where they feel like they are...

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..most wanted.

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I was born in Barnet, and then...

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..and then when my parents split up, that's when we moved to Port Talbot.

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I was only, like, seven.

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I didn't really understand...

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..like, what it was, like, what splitting up meant, you know?

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I suppose when all that was going on,

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I did grow up quite fast during that time

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because of what it was and how long it went on for and stuff like that.

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Like, I realised quite quickly that the world is not a good place.

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There are... Like...bad things happen.

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Port Talbot is...small.

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Not much goes on.

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It is deprived of tools for, like, education, and...

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..like, work, and stuff like that.

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Mam, what are you doing?

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I'm cutting up a quiche. What does it look like?

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-Yeah...

-That's it. That's why I'm doing that.

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Don't drop it.

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Anne-Marie lives with her mum, stepdad and four siblings.

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Place things on the plate properly.

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-Don't put that there.

-You sound just like my mother!

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-Yeah, well, don't do that.

-Please don't.

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It's annoying.

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The family survive on benefits,

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as her parents are full-time carers for her younger brother,

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who has severe autism.

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Whoo!

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It's hot in here!

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We have a love-hate relationship, I think.

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Not like normal mother and daughter does.

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She doesn't talk to me, and I don't talk to her!

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SHE LAUGHS

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She loves to hate me.

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And...

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I don't talk to people about anything.

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We do have similarities sometimes.

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We are alike, even if she doesn't like to admit it,

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-we are so alike, and it is scary...

-Mmm!

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..that we are similar.

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This is quite scary, as well.

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-Yeah, I know.

-Yeah!

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What do you mean, Anne-Marie?

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She's interacting with me!

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We're talking!

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ROBIN LAUGHS

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-We always talk!

-Yeah!

-You just don't listen.

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That's the difference!

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I feel that I can't talk to people,

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and writing gives me a chance to express myself properly

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without having to explain to people how I feel.

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You could write about every single little thing...

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..in this world that you see,

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and every single one of those things is a new story.

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It's like, if one life is just not enough for you,

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or you feel like it's not good enough, you can always write.

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I couldn't cope in a mainstream school, basically.

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I couldn't cope.

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I had ADHD when I was younger, but they didn't know I had ADHD

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when I was younger, of course.

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It was like hyperactivity.

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But I went to college for a bit.

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I did a GNVQ in health and social care,

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and then I just got a job at Butlins Southcoast World.

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And then I moved back to London,

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and then I just floated about, like, had my children.

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So...

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I want her to do well with her life, and not screw up.

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Anne-Marie attends nearby Dyffryn Upper School.

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We need to push you that bit further.

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You need to be working on thinking and creating for yourselves.

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Don't look so scared.

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She's currently in year nine, a make-or-break year,

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when sets for GCSEs are decided.

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Some of you will love the challenge,

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some of you will probably be dreading it and want to run away.

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Although she's one of the top students in the year,

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especially in English,

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staff have recently had concerns that Anne-Marie

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has been losing confidence.

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I wish you would speak up more.

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You have such lovely thoughts,

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but I've noticed, like, in the last few weeks, you've been fairly quiet,

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and not putting the pen to paper whilst you're here.

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We both know you're talented,

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and you should be showing that off a bit more,

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because you do seem to sort of step back.

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It'd be nice to see more of the words from Anne-Marie,

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because I kind of miss them, I'll be honest.

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Anne-Marie is the sort of student that every English teacher

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wants in their class,

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but she's so uncomfortable with her own potential and abilities.

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What makes you uncomfortable?

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-Everything.

-Everything?

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Is this a common issue for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds?

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A lot of pupils who come from such backgrounds

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are the sort of pupils who absolutely have low self esteem.

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She's a very anxious person, as well.

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But at the same time, she's capable of a lot more than she thinks.

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So, who was to blame, in your opinion, Anne-Marie,

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who was to blame for the outbreak of World War I?

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What would you say?

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-I don't know.

-Anne-Marie?

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I don't know.

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Erm...

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I'm not a very confident person.

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I try and keep myself from thinking about stuff

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that I probably panic about later on.

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What kind of things do you mean?

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I don't know, my GCSEs, college, university.

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SHE CHUCKLES

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Just life, like, later on.

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I'm already panicking about it.

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And I don't know why.

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I want to go to college, and I want to become a criminal psychologist,

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and I want to be able to help people, but before I do that,

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I know that I'm going to have to sort my own problems out

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before I help anybody else with theirs, you know?

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So...

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SCHOOL BELL RINGS

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OK, then, you lot, ssh!

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You lot, year nine!

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Shakira? Listen to me, please.

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In you come.

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14-year-old Shakira has been identified

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as one of the most talented artists in year nine.

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That's amazing.

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So, when you do homework and sketches,

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try and do as much as you can like that, cos that's brilliant.

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-That's nice.

-That's what I'm getting tattooed.

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You're getting tattooed?

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-When are you getting a tattoo?

-Well, that's what I want my job to be.

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With Shakira, I think this is one of her favourite subjects,

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because she is one of the best.

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This is the type of stuff I'm looking for,

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because that is really...

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But she thinks she can't achieve things.

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It's just confidence.

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It's a much harder task to get through to someone...

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..on free school meals,

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because of their constant struggle

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or their constant battle with believing in themselves.

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Because people often think if you are on free school meals

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or if you are poor, then you cannot achieve anything.

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I want to talk to you about your homework,

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why you did it, why you chose that particular person.

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What they meant to you.

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Right.

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Lovely. OK, so why have you done...?

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-Who is it?

-My little brother.

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Why is your little brother important to you?

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He's got Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.

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Can't speak, can't walk.

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-Oh, OK.

-Can't sit up.

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-Oh, right.

-Can't talk.

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-OK.

-But he loves the TV...

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-OK.

-..and he loves to touch things.

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Ah, OK. So I can see now, it looks like, yeah, all the senses.

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Because he can't speak, what he feels like inside.

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A thought bubble is he's really creative,

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he really likes bright colours and likes playing with toys.

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It's brilliant, and you've done exactly like I said -

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find someone that you care about,

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and show me that you care about them.

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DISCORDANT NOTES ON KEYBOARD

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Shh-shh...

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SYNTHESISER MUSIC PLAYS

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FUNK RHYTHM PLAYS

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SHAKIRA LAUGHS

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REGGAE RHYTHM PLAYS

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This is my jam.

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Shush now, please.

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SHAKIRA SINGS AND PLAYS NOTES

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Mum?

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Shakira lives on the Belgrave Estate,

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one of the most deprived parts of Tamworth,

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with her mum, mum's boyfriend and four siblings.

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They live on benefits that include Disability Living Allowance.

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He'll sleep for a nice few hours now.

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That's because he's had his pediatril, his milkshake.

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Look at him smiling!

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My youngest brother, Leo, is disabled.

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He can't really do nothing.

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Can't talk. He just hums.

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But I seem to know what he's going on about,

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like when he needs changing, or he needs feeding,

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he moans and just cries a little bit.

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I do get upset, and I do cry sometimes,

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because I see what he's going through,

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and you just don't get...

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You'll see, like, these two-year-olds running around.

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My brother's still in a pushchair, and just don't do anything.

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I think about it all the time.

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-This is your bedroom?

-Yeah.

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It's very pink.

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When I get angry, I just come up and draw.

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I feel happy, and I feel like I can escape.

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Like, some people can escape in a book.

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When I'm drawing, I just feel like I'm escaping everything around me.

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That was just like a quick sketch, doodle thing.

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Do you get angry much?

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Yeah. All the time.

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I was halfway through a video on YouTube of how to draw something...

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..and I was sitting there,

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and then it comes up, "No connection."

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And because Mum wouldn't put the internet on

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because I'd had it on all day,

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I went in a mood and slammed my door.

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Look, I slammed it, and cos they were wobbly anyway, it came off.

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But the wood snapped, that's why.

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Yeah.

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She's good, isn't she?

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How long have you known that she's been so good at art?

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Since primary school.

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-You started at primary school, didn't you?

-Yeah.

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-About year three.

-Do you want her to do well?

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Yeah, which is why, when she comes home and tells me

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she's done something bad at school,

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I act on it and I take off her iPad, or I ground her.

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-And that's what I was on about earlier.

-And that's what I do.

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Because that's something... When I was growing up,

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I never...had that sort of discipline,

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which is probably why I went a bit AWOL.

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Every child needs discipline in order to focus, I think.

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If I could turn back the clock,

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I probably would have done a lot, lot better.

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I got no qualifications.

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No qualifications at all.

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I really haven't.

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Which is why I've brought my kids up differently

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to how I was brought up, you with me?

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SCHOOL BELL RINGS

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Did you put your name down for the Rome trip?

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I was going to, but Mum said she ain't got enough money

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to pay for it, cos of what's going on with Leo and that.

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-So, if your mum's not got enough...

-And I ain't got a passport, so...

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-So, why don't you come and see us about those things?

-Don't know.

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Cos that is part of my job,

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is to make sure that anybody that's in a difficult situation,

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there's money available to support.

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Assistant head teacher Mr Spears

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is in charge of monitoring the achievement of students

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from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Did your mum come to Options Evening?

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No. She was at the hospital with Leo.

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OK. So this is going to be a big step.

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We're going to enter year ten,

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and you're going to be doing those subjects

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that hopefully will set you up on whatever career path that is.

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Shakira needs to choose which subjects to take for GCSE,

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and Mr Spears wants to make sure they play to her strengths.

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So let's try and pinpoint - definitely music...

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-Mmm-hmm.

-..definitely, 100%, art.

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What A-levels do you think I did?

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Obviously English.

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Obviously English. Anything else?

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I didn't do English.

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-Didn't you?

-I did drama, art, and photography.

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And although I've ended up teaching English,

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it was the art and the drama that gave me the confidence

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to think I could go on and be a teacher.

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I know what job I want to do.

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-What's that?

-A tattoo designer.

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A tattoo designer?

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But what I want you to do is to sort of broaden your horizons,

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and think about what other careers use art.

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What we could do is look at another arts-based subject

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that's going to give you a stronger sort of variety within the arts.

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We could go drama in that block.

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I like drama, it's just...

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Just...? Go on, be honest.

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It's just performing in front of people.

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I don't like to perform.

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The big barrier that she has is confidence.

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But you find that one thing that's the talent, the skill, the interest,

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and it suddenly opens the doors.

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You should be confident, you know? You enjoy singing.

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It enables them to realise that they're good at something,

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realise that they can belong to something,

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and then that enables you to sort of broaden that horizon.

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She doesn't have to just be Shakira from Belgrave

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who lives in Tamworth and dies in Tamworth.

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I'm always thinking about what else I need to do to get that top grade.

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For me, if you get 12 out of 16, why didn't you get 16 out of 16?

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People go, "Oh, you are such a nerd." I'm like, "I'm not a nerd."

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I just call myself an intelligent young lady.

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After her parents separated five years ago, 14-year-old Jada,

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her two siblings and her mum became homeless.

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Ever since, they've been staying with Jada's nan.

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You have to be able to make the best of what you've got.

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Rather than looking at what they've got and moaning...

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OK, what have I got that I can use?

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Take care, Jada. Bye.

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You may not have silver and gold, but some things are not material.

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So I try to encourage them,

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work with what you've got and make it work for you.

0:18:320:18:36

My goals are to get good GCSEs,

0:18:390:18:43

to get into the best university, and...

0:18:430:18:47

to become a paediatrician, and that's my dream.

0:18:470:18:52

To realise her ambitions,

0:18:550:18:56

Jada knows that her next step in education will be crucial.

0:18:560:19:00

Going to grammar school would make me feel more intelligent, I guess,

0:19:020:19:06

because most people that go there are intelligent

0:19:060:19:09

and have earned their spot,

0:19:090:19:11

and it feels like I've actually earned something.

0:19:110:19:13

I recently saw one of my friends that went to the grammar school.

0:19:160:19:20

I was like, "Wow, she's changed so much."

0:19:200:19:22

She sounds more proper than the normal kids from here,

0:19:220:19:26

cos she used to sound like me and people from round here.

0:19:260:19:29

Now she just sounds, "Oh!" Like, posh, from the Queen, and...

0:19:290:19:34

So...yeah.

0:19:350:19:37

We're going to look at squatter settlements, OK?

0:19:440:19:47

So, they migrate from rural areas into the urban areas.

0:19:470:19:51

Why? Jada?

0:19:510:19:53

Better education?

0:19:530:19:55

For a better education, that's one reason.

0:19:550:19:57

-Let's keep going with that. Sukhvir?

-Better jobs.

-Better jobs.

0:19:570:20:00

Rakshma? Yeah, better standard of living, good.

0:20:000:20:03

Now, let's think about the living conditions. Jada?

0:20:030:20:06

There's no sewage system, so there's all, like, diseases.

0:20:060:20:09

Good. Really good.

0:20:090:20:11

I imagine she's going to be a roaring success

0:20:110:20:14

in whatever she does, to be quite honest with you.

0:20:140:20:16

I'd like to think straight As.

0:20:160:20:18

Some of my...

0:20:200:20:21

Some of my concerns have been,

0:20:220:20:25

and this is not to use this word in a derogatory sense,

0:20:250:20:27

but a naivete.

0:20:270:20:29

I think you need to be aware that purely your desire

0:20:300:20:35

to want to go to grammar, sixth form,

0:20:350:20:37

to want a go to university to study medicine,

0:20:370:20:40

maybe that alone isn't going to get you there.

0:20:400:20:44

I know it's going to be hard, but anybody, like,

0:20:470:20:50

if their mind's set to it, can go to grammar school.

0:20:500:20:52

-And if you've got that mind-set...

-Mmm.

0:20:540:20:56

..and you carry on the mind-set in your years,

0:20:560:20:58

-you can get there.

-Yeah, OK.

0:20:580:21:01

So, I went to grammar school.

0:21:010:21:02

I'm from Erdington, Birmingham, OK?

0:21:020:21:05

I'm mixed race, Irish and Mauritian immigrant.

0:21:050:21:10

When I got there...

0:21:100:21:11

..I personally found that the barriers

0:21:120:21:15

to me being able to do other things was that I wasn't actually perceived

0:21:150:21:18

exactly the same as the other kids.

0:21:180:21:19

I came on three buses, and I came from Erdington.

0:21:190:21:23

I didn't just come from down the road,

0:21:230:21:24

dropped off by my parents in their Range Rover.

0:21:240:21:27

Potentially, say you went to school in a posh part of Edgbaston,

0:21:270:21:31

for example,

0:21:310:21:33

you might be perceived as the girl from Handsworth.

0:21:330:21:36

That wouldn't really stop me, cos I'd say if you were in Handsworth,

0:21:360:21:39

I think you wouldn't be able to cope,

0:21:390:21:41

because you would want your fancy house, your car,

0:21:410:21:43

your this, your that.

0:21:430:21:44

You wouldn't be on a bus, walking to school, or anything like that.

0:21:440:21:47

So I'd, like...show them...

0:21:480:21:50

like, you don't have to always come from, like...

0:21:500:21:53

the top end to always go to, like, the best...

0:21:530:21:58

On social mobility...

0:22:000:22:01

SCHOOL BELL RINGS

0:22:010:22:03

..there's a lot of people who've come from really poor backgrounds,

0:22:030:22:06

and have come out.

0:22:060:22:08

Like Walt Disney - he...

0:22:080:22:10

He used to just live on dog food,

0:22:110:22:14

because he got fired from his newspaper company

0:22:140:22:17

from lack of creativity, and...

0:22:170:22:20

he's...

0:22:200:22:22

a household name now - everybody knows about him.

0:22:220:22:25

It doesn't matter what class you come from,

0:22:260:22:28

because there's a ladder, and you can climb it.

0:22:280:22:31

Today, Anne-Marie and a number of other high ability students

0:22:390:22:43

in year nine have been invited to an open day

0:22:430:22:45

at nearby Cardiff University.

0:22:450:22:48

You what? I want to live in, like, one of those student houses.

0:22:480:22:51

But then you'd have to make all new friends and everything.

0:22:510:22:54

Yeah, I'm not about that, so I'd just sit in my room all the time!

0:22:540:22:57

Can you get single rooms?

0:22:570:22:59

Nice.

0:22:590:23:00

Yeah, single room, please!

0:23:000:23:02

With year nine progressing,

0:23:020:23:04

the school wants to introduce students

0:23:040:23:06

to the idea of life after GCSEs.

0:23:060:23:09

Port Talbot has one of the lowest levels in Wales

0:23:090:23:11

of school leavers going on to higher education.

0:23:110:23:15

How do you pay for universities?

0:23:150:23:16

Like, how do you pay for them?

0:23:160:23:18

I know you get student loans,

0:23:180:23:19

but don't you have to pay them off for, like, years and years?

0:23:190:23:22

And if you don't get a job out of it...

0:23:220:23:24

I know, imagine that.

0:23:240:23:25

You just go, you pay, like,

0:23:250:23:27

thousands and thousands of pounds and you, like, you fail everything!

0:23:270:23:30

-It's like, my mum would kill me.

-Yeah.

0:23:300:23:33

-I wouldn't be able to go home.

-No.

0:23:330:23:35

I'd have to, like, live on the streets.

0:23:350:23:37

Buy a cardboard box.

0:23:370:23:39

THEY LAUGH

0:23:390:23:40

This is Hogwarts!

0:23:480:23:50

If I want to go to university, then I'm going to have to do it myself,

0:23:500:23:53

I'm going to have to work hard in school,

0:23:530:23:54

I'm going to have to save up,

0:23:540:23:56

I'm going to have to do all these things, you know?

0:23:560:23:58

Because I'm not going to get it handed to me.

0:23:580:24:00

My mum's not going to give me an envelope full of money and say,

0:24:000:24:03

"Oh, here you go, spend this, you know, on what you want."

0:24:030:24:06

-Hello.

-Hello!

-You all right?

-Yeah!

0:24:060:24:09

Erm...

0:24:090:24:10

-I want to ask about criminology.

-OK.

0:24:100:24:13

Cos that's something I'm interested in doing after I leave school,

0:24:130:24:17

so I wanted to know a bit more about it.

0:24:170:24:19

OK, well, what do you want to know?

0:24:190:24:21

-Just everything!

-Everything about criminology, in five minutes, yeah?

0:24:210:24:24

-Yeah!

-Well...

0:24:240:24:26

In your first year,

0:24:260:24:27

you look at all different kinds of aspects of crime.

0:24:270:24:31

You look at criminal justice systems,

0:24:310:24:33

so the different agencies that work with criminals.

0:24:330:24:36

If you get in touch with the criminology department,

0:24:360:24:38

you'd be able to come and visit us and see whether it's what you want.

0:24:380:24:41

Yeah.

0:24:410:24:43

I was, erm...

0:24:500:24:51

I really do want to go to university and do the whole living there thing.

0:24:510:24:58

-Oh, yeah?

-And, erm... it was really nice.

-Cool.

0:24:580:25:01

Erm... You're going to have to research it,

0:25:010:25:04

and I'm going to have to research it as well, on the costs.

0:25:040:25:07

I've looked...roughly...

0:25:070:25:10

..I don't know, 500, it could be anything over £500 for costing,

0:25:120:25:19

could be £800, it could be more.

0:25:190:25:22

I really don't know. I...

0:25:220:25:24

You think it's going to be £500 for university?

0:25:240:25:27

-No, I said it's over £500!

-It's going to be over, like, £1,000.

0:25:270:25:31

Yeah, probably.

0:25:310:25:32

-OK.

-So, the fees are up to £9,250...

-There you go.

-..per academic year.

0:25:330:25:38

-Per year?!

-Jesus!

0:25:410:25:42

What?!

0:25:420:25:44

So, If I'm... Cos I want to do... what I want to do,

0:25:440:25:48

that's, like, five years.

0:25:480:25:50

Yeah.

0:25:510:25:52

-That's a lot of money.

-It is.

0:25:530:25:55

I'd be paying that off for the rest of my life.

0:25:550:25:57

Yes, you would. You'd have to get a job to pay it back.

0:25:570:26:01

-You can't rely on me...

-Yeah.

-..all the time.

-Mum, I know!

0:26:010:26:05

I know you know, but I'm just saying,

0:26:050:26:07

you just can't rely on...like, me to help you out.

0:26:070:26:10

I mean, I can try and help you out as much as I can do, but...

0:26:100:26:14

I don't want to have help to pay it off, like.

0:26:140:26:17

Cos know that it's my responsibility.

0:26:170:26:20

Your fees would be £9,000.

0:26:200:26:23

That's how much it is for you to pay.

0:26:230:26:26

OK.

0:26:260:26:27

Do you ever feel, like, jealous of people, maybe,

0:26:360:26:38

that have got more money behind them?

0:26:380:26:41

Erm...

0:26:430:26:44

I don't think I feel jealous...

0:26:450:26:47

..because I'm working for it, and I know I've worked for it then.

0:26:480:26:52

-Smart cookie.

-I'm not, though.

0:26:550:26:57

You are, though. Don't keep putting yourself down.

0:26:570:26:59

If you want to become somebody big or great, like a Prime Minister,

0:27:010:27:05

you've got to work for it, cos it's not just... Well...

0:27:050:27:08

SHE CHUCKLES

0:27:080:27:10

I don't know how they work,

0:27:100:27:11

so I wouldn't know whether it's just handed to them.

0:27:110:27:14

But from what I have gone through personally,

0:27:140:27:17

you've just going to have to work for it whatever you do.

0:27:170:27:19

You can't just go into school...

0:27:190:27:21

..and be told that you're going to become a Prime Minister one day,

0:27:220:27:25

"Get ready," you know?

0:27:250:27:26

I...

0:27:260:27:28

If it's like that, then...

0:27:280:27:29

I think somebody needs to do something

0:27:290:27:31

about the education system.

0:27:310:27:33

OK, so, this is the gallery that we set up,

0:27:400:27:42

and this is all GCSE work.

0:27:420:27:44

If you're taking it for GCSE,

0:27:440:27:45

this is the type of thing that we want you to try and achieve.

0:27:450:27:48

Does anyone know what this one is about?

0:27:510:27:53

-I do.

-OK.

0:27:550:27:57

Margaret Thatcher, and she's stopped, like, all the milk,

0:27:570:28:00

and underneath here is milk bottle things.

0:28:000:28:03

Yeah, impressive.

0:28:030:28:05

Basically, she took away the milk from children,

0:28:050:28:08

so they called her Margaret Thatcher, the milk snatcher.

0:28:080:28:10

This is all painted on milk cartons to just add something to it,

0:28:100:28:14

and it's much more impressive.

0:28:140:28:15

I want to see her with a good career.

0:28:160:28:19

A career that she's happy in.

0:28:220:28:24

Do you know what I mean?

0:28:250:28:26

Setting a good example for her younger brothers and sisters.

0:28:260:28:28

Her siblings, yeah.

0:28:280:28:30

Well, she's told me already that she's got her heart set

0:28:300:28:32

on wanting to be a tattoo designer, or tattoo artist.

0:28:320:28:36

And to be honest with you, with her drawings that I've seen already,

0:28:360:28:39

she has got a lot of potential.

0:28:390:28:41

So, there's no reason as to why she couldn't do that, no reason at all.

0:28:410:28:46

-INTERVIEWER:

-Do you think she should go to art college,

0:28:460:28:49

-or something like that?

-Yeah. Yeah, she should.

0:28:490:28:51

But there is loads and loads and loads

0:28:510:28:54

of real good artists out there that are just doing nothing, really.

0:28:540:28:59

Because there's...not many jobs, is there, really, for an artist,

0:28:590:29:04

except for tattoos.

0:29:040:29:05

LAUGHTER

0:29:050:29:07

One of them's going to poo on my head!

0:29:070:29:09

And I've only just washed my hair.

0:29:090:29:11

THEY LAUGH

0:29:110:29:14

Do you know, like, lots of people that live on the estate?

0:29:140:29:16

Yeah. Tina, my mum, Tommy.

0:29:160:29:19

-Me.

-You.

-Rich.

0:29:190:29:22

Bryden, Keeley, Ellie.

0:29:220:29:24

Tyler, Colette, Colin.

0:29:240:29:27

-We know nearly everyone.

-Everyone.

0:29:270:29:30

Do you know anyone that's gone to, like, university or college?

0:29:300:29:32

No.

0:29:340:29:35

Do you see yourself leaving here when you get to 18?

0:29:390:29:41

-SHE CHUCKLES

-No.

0:29:430:29:45

Not really.

0:29:450:29:46

Cos I just don't.

0:29:460:29:48

Got better things to do.

0:29:480:29:49

I think about my brother and all his hospital appointments.

0:29:500:29:54

He's more important.

0:29:550:29:56

He could just, like, go at any minute, like, you know what I mean?

0:29:580:30:03

Like, he could die cos of all his problems,

0:30:060:30:12

so I just think about him all the time.

0:30:120:30:16

Here is my room.

0:30:380:30:41

Mine and my sister's room, more like.

0:30:420:30:44

Here is my clothes.

0:30:440:30:47

Well, kind of everybody's clothes.

0:30:470:30:50

Here's the bed, which takes up half of the room.

0:30:500:30:54

Destiny sleeps there and I sleep over here.

0:30:540:30:56

My sister puts her foot in my face, and it's really annoying,

0:30:580:31:01

so I said to my mum, "I can't, no more, I need my own space."

0:31:010:31:04

Children grow, children take up space...

0:31:060:31:10

and all of a sudden, the space gets smaller!

0:31:100:31:13

SHE LAUGHS

0:31:130:31:15

It's not an easy thing to talk about.

0:31:160:31:19

When it is brought up, it creates a little bit of a...

0:31:190:31:23

a debate. Can I say debate?

0:31:230:31:26

-SHE CHUCKLES

-That's putting it mildly, OK?

0:31:260:31:28

This is a housing application form.

0:31:280:31:31

Birmingham City Council.

0:31:310:31:33

Birmingham.gov.uk/findingahome

0:31:330:31:37

Although Jada's mum works,

0:31:370:31:39

the rising cost of renting privately in Birmingham

0:31:390:31:41

means that her only chance of getting a bigger house

0:31:410:31:44

is through the council's housing office.

0:31:440:31:47

I would like to know if we CAN move.

0:31:470:31:48

That's all, really.

0:31:480:31:50

I want my own room.

0:31:520:31:53

I don't want to share with my sister no more.

0:31:530:31:55

-SHE SIGHS

-Hmm...

0:31:550:31:57

So it's really, like, important.

0:31:570:32:00

OK.

0:32:040:32:05

With Destiny in there, it's more cramped.

0:32:050:32:08

When I'm revising, I put all my revision stuff on the floor.

0:32:080:32:11

When it's time for my GCSEs, I can't have Destiny, like, in there,

0:32:110:32:15

cos she's going to be in year eight, and she won't really understand,

0:32:150:32:19

like...

0:32:190:32:20

me, as I need all this space.

0:32:200:32:22

I'm aware that there is a waiting list, of course.

0:32:240:32:29

Mmm.

0:32:300:32:31

Sometimes people can be on the housing list for years.

0:32:310:32:34

The reason why...

0:32:350:32:37

I realise we stayed here this long was,

0:32:370:32:39

I wasn't too keen to be relocated

0:32:390:32:43

in certain places that I didn't want to be.

0:32:430:32:45

Mmm-hmm.

0:32:450:32:47

Yes.

0:32:510:32:52

-CHILDREN:

-# Don't you know that if you cross your fingers... #

0:32:530:32:57

Now, keep it short.

0:32:570:32:58

Don't sing. # And if you count from one to ten. #

0:32:580:33:01

We cross our fingers and we bounce.

0:33:010:33:03

-ALL:

-# Don't you know that if you cross your fingers... #

0:33:030:33:06

-We're going to do it...

-# And if you count from one to ten... #

0:33:060:33:10

-We get down!

-# You can get up off the ground again... #

0:33:100:33:14

SINGING CONTINUES

0:33:140:33:17

Shakira has been encouraged to take drama as one of her GCSEs next year.

0:33:180:33:23

This definitely is acting in tune, yeah?

0:33:230:33:27

So teachers want her to audition

0:33:270:33:29

for the after-school performing arts club.

0:33:290:33:31

..then you'd face me.

0:33:310:33:32

# Don't you know that if you cross your fingers

0:33:320:33:35

# And if you count from one to ten... #

0:33:350:33:38

Today, they're rehearsing for their end-of-year show.

0:33:380:33:41

# It doesn't matter, the whole thing's just a game. #

0:33:430:33:46

What are you doing, Shakira?

0:33:490:33:50

I don't even know.

0:33:530:33:54

Come in, Shakira. You having a moment?

0:33:560:33:59

Are you joining?

0:34:000:34:03

Well, that's a surprise!

0:34:030:34:06

-What's the matter?

-I don't know.

0:34:060:34:08

Are you coming in to join performing arts with us today?

0:34:080:34:11

-I don't want to do it.

-Why don't you want to do it?

0:34:110:34:13

I just don't.

0:34:130:34:15

So, we think you're incredibly talented,

0:34:150:34:17

you've got a lot to offer,

0:34:170:34:18

and there's a lot that you could do with us in performing arts,

0:34:180:34:20

and that's why we've invited you.

0:34:200:34:22

We're not going to force you to come.

0:34:220:34:23

If you don't want to, so be it, but I find it quite disappointing.

0:34:230:34:27

Cos how do you know that you don't like it until you've done a session?

0:34:290:34:32

Don't know.

0:34:330:34:35

What are you going to do? Your choice.

0:34:390:34:41

I really don't know.

0:34:410:34:43

Really don't know. I know what I'd like you to do.

0:34:450:34:47

I'd like you to come in the room and try. Half an hour.

0:34:470:34:50

That's what I'd like you to do.

0:34:530:34:55

-OK.

-OK?

0:34:590:35:01

You're going to do it?

0:35:010:35:03

-Shall we go into the theatre?

-Yeah.

0:35:030:35:06

I don't really have the confidence to perform in front of people.

0:35:060:35:09

I think it's better not to do it,

0:35:120:35:15

just in case someone don't like it,

0:35:150:35:17

and then they start saying bad stuff to you, and you get, like,

0:35:170:35:20

all hate comments, and stuff like that.

0:35:200:35:23

You just don't want to get put through it, really.

0:35:230:35:25

If you were going to sing today,

0:35:250:35:27

what song would you sing, and to which karaoke?

0:35:270:35:29

-Do you want to type it in?

-I don't know.

0:35:290:35:31

There's no pressure to do so, but if you felt like doing it,

0:35:310:35:34

I'd like to have it loaded ready to go.

0:35:340:35:36

-I'm Not The Only One.

-Sam Smith?

0:35:360:35:38

I might do that one.

0:35:380:35:40

I wonder if in just a moment

0:35:400:35:41

you'll do it in front of all these people here? Let's go.

0:35:410:35:44

-What if I forget it?

-What's going to happen?

0:35:440:35:46

Will the world stop turning?

0:35:460:35:48

Will the floor open up and swallow you whole?

0:35:480:35:50

What's going to happen?

0:35:510:35:53

What's going to happen if you sing a wrong note?

0:35:530:35:55

Do you know, when we learn the most is when something goes wrong.

0:35:570:36:00

We're not even saying we're working towards a performance.

0:36:000:36:02

We're working towards feeling good about the instrument you've got.

0:36:020:36:05

That's it. OK?

0:36:050:36:07

You'll walk out of here feeling so proud of yourself.

0:36:070:36:09

Right, performing arts, sit yourselves down.

0:36:160:36:18

A couple of people are going to sing for us today.

0:36:180:36:20

We know, we all know, in our own way, how scary it is

0:36:200:36:23

for the individual who's standing up and singing today,

0:36:230:36:26

so we're going to be respectful, yes?

0:36:260:36:28

Lovely. Shakira, shall we go?

0:36:280:36:30

Come on, Shakira! Come on.

0:36:320:36:35

Raise your hands if you've ever felt how Shakira is currently feeling.

0:36:350:36:39

Do you know what, Shakira, look at me.

0:36:410:36:43

Yeah. So, is today going to be the day

0:36:460:36:48

when Shakira's brave enough to show us a verse and chorus?

0:36:480:36:51

-Yes.

-Yes.

-I think she should.

0:36:510:36:52

-Please. For me.

-We're are all behind you.

0:36:530:36:56

Good girl. Right, I'm going to go and press play.

0:36:560:36:58

Give her a round of applause.

0:36:580:36:59

Love you, Kira!

0:36:590:37:00

Blow 'em dead.

0:37:000:37:02

MUSIC: I'm not the only one by Sam Smith

0:37:040:37:07

# You and me we made a vow

0:37:230:37:26

# For better or for worse

0:37:280:37:31

# I can't believe you let me down

0:37:340:37:38

# But the proof is in the way it hurts

0:37:380:37:43

# You say I'm crazy

0:37:440:37:50

# Cos you don't think I know what you've done

0:37:500:37:55

# But when you call me baby

0:37:550:38:02

# I know I'm not the only one. #

0:38:020:38:06

Give her a round of applause.

0:38:110:38:13

Right. Stay where you are, Shakira.

0:38:140:38:17

Stay where you are, all right?

0:38:170:38:18

I'll need five things she's absolutely fantastic at

0:38:180:38:21

before she leaves us.

0:38:210:38:23

-Go, Gabby.

-The projection in the chorus was really good.

0:38:240:38:27

The tone of it, the quality of the voice.

0:38:270:38:30

-What else?

-She looked like she belonged there.

0:38:300:38:32

Did the world open up and swallow you?

0:38:320:38:34

-Nearly.

-Was that the worst thing you've ever done?

0:38:340:38:37

Right. Well done, performing arts.

0:38:370:38:39

Shakira, would you come back next week and have another go?

0:38:390:38:42

Yes?

0:38:420:38:44

Told you you could do it!

0:38:450:38:47

Come on. You got me crying!

0:38:470:38:50

I personally believe that if a student realises something

0:38:520:38:56

about themselves, that moment of feeling so good about themselves,

0:38:560:39:00

that feel-good feeling that I can do

0:39:000:39:03

is the most powerful emotion to take with you into adult life.

0:39:030:39:08

THEY LAUGH

0:39:080:39:09

INTERVIEWER: How was that, Shakira?

0:39:110:39:13

Fine.

0:39:130:39:14

I am literally shaking.

0:39:140:39:16

You had me crying!

0:39:160:39:17

What are you doing with your life?

0:39:170:39:19

Singing.

0:39:190:39:22

I think the talent's there,

0:39:220:39:23

and I think if we got her singing in the summer show long-term,

0:39:230:39:26

it could just do amazing things for her as a person,

0:39:260:39:28

across the whole of the curriculum,

0:39:280:39:30

outside of school and in her music and art classes.

0:39:300:39:32

It's about making choices.

0:39:370:39:40

When you leave this school,

0:39:400:39:43

you should be able to make choices to do whatever you want to do.

0:39:430:39:48

The only way you're going to be able to make those choices

0:39:480:39:53

is by getting grades that reflect your ability.

0:39:530:39:57

With only two months remaining of year nine,

0:39:570:40:00

the focus is shifting to the end of year exams.

0:40:000:40:03

You must now achieve your target grade for the end of year nine

0:40:030:40:10

if you are to make the sustained progress

0:40:100:40:13

that you should be making - and it starts now.

0:40:130:40:18

You know, I'm not very good with tests,

0:40:290:40:31

so, you know, I'm going to panic a little bit,

0:40:310:40:34

but it should be OK.

0:40:340:40:35

INTERVIEWER: What do you mean you're not very good at tests?

0:40:360:40:39

Um...

0:40:390:40:40

I, like, panic quite a lot

0:40:400:40:43

and then I upset myself about it, and then I can't read.

0:40:430:40:49

You know, where stress comes out in a certain way,

0:40:490:40:52

so you might, like, get angry or something like that.

0:40:520:40:55

Mine comes out, like... with my sight, so I can't see,

0:40:550:40:59

and it stresses me out like that. So, yeah...

0:40:590:41:03

I won't... I try not to make a fuss about it,

0:41:040:41:06

but then I'll ask if I can go out the room,

0:41:060:41:10

and then, yeah, I just cry for a while.

0:41:100:41:13

You know, like, sometimes I won't even pick up the pen -

0:41:150:41:19

I'll just sit there because I don't know what to do.

0:41:190:41:21

-But aren't you really smart, Anne-Marie?

-Yes!

-No.

0:41:220:41:25

-Yes.

-No.

-Yes.

-No.

0:41:250:41:27

Finally, Serbia had grown in 1912 and 1913...

0:41:450:41:49

Could I borrow Anne-Marie, please?

0:41:500:41:52

The year nine exams are vital

0:41:520:41:54

in determining what level of GCSE pupils go on to study next year.

0:41:540:42:00

We're just going to have a quick chat

0:42:000:42:02

about the arrangements for the exams.

0:42:020:42:04

So, pastoral support, Miss Mason,

0:42:040:42:07

has come up with a possible solution for Anne-Marie's exam panic attacks.

0:42:070:42:12

-I've spoken to various people.

-Right.

0:42:120:42:16

I think what we have decided is, as long as it's all right with you,

0:42:160:42:19

-we're going to keep a space for you in the quiet room...

-Mm-hm.

0:42:190:42:23

..but try you in the gym with everyone else at first.

0:42:230:42:27

If you feel that's not working, or it's a bit too much for you,

0:42:270:42:31

-then we can put you back in the quiet room.

-OK.

0:42:310:42:34

-Is that all right?

-Yeah.

-That's good.

0:42:340:42:36

It's giving you the option, then.

0:42:360:42:38

-She didn't mind being in the gym...

-Yes.

0:42:380:42:40

-..as long as it's at the back, where she's not noticed...

-Yeah.

0:42:400:42:43

..and she doesn't feel like everyone's staring at her.

0:42:430:42:46

-Yes, sure.

-That way, if she feels panicky, she can just...

-Yeah.

0:42:460:42:49

-..indicate that she's panicky.

-I will be there.

0:42:490:42:51

It is going to be a stressful few days,

0:42:510:42:52

because it is quite full-on, isn't it?

0:42:520:42:54

You've got three exams or more a day,

0:42:540:42:56

three full days of exams - it's going to be stressful.

0:42:560:42:59

I'll be honest with you,

0:42:590:43:00

-I just want to push you out of your comfort zone a little bit...

-Mm.

0:43:000:43:05

..to see how you cope with the rest of the group in the gym.

0:43:050:43:09

I don't want us to go in there with the assumption

0:43:090:43:11

-you're going to need all these things, you may not.

-Yeah.

0:43:110:43:13

-I'd rather us work on the basis of whether if you do need them...

-Yeah.

0:43:130:43:17

-..not necessarily that you absolutely will.

-Mm.

0:43:170:43:19

Cos I think you're coping better than you think you are.

0:43:190:43:21

Now, kids are pressurised to do really well...

0:43:310:43:36

..with all these exams, being in the top sets.

0:43:370:43:41

But do you put pressure on yourself to do well?

0:43:410:43:44

-Me?

-Yes.

-Yeah.

0:43:440:43:47

Why?

0:43:470:43:48

Because I don't want to fail, and disappoint people.

0:43:480:43:52

Because I feel like...

0:43:530:43:55

..I have a responsibility to do well,

0:43:570:44:00

and then, like, help my family and stuff like that.

0:44:000:44:04

My family don't have a lot of money,

0:44:120:44:14

and, like, we're not going to win the Lottery any time soon,

0:44:140:44:17

so, you know...but if I can, like...

0:44:170:44:20

..do something good and go to university

0:44:210:44:24

and get a job and do all this stuff,

0:44:240:44:26

and earn that amount of money, then I can help my family.

0:44:260:44:29

I feel I have to do that because I am the eldest,

0:44:290:44:32

so I have responsibility to look after my brothers and sisters,

0:44:320:44:35

and I'd rather them be, like, comfortable and stuff like that

0:44:350:44:38

than of having to just live in a really small house, so... You know.

0:44:380:44:44

With no movement on the housing front,

0:44:500:44:52

Jada's mum has found a temporary solution

0:44:520:44:55

to give Jada more space for revision.

0:44:550:44:58

I've got a bunk bed in here.

0:44:580:45:01

I know I've got Disney Princess at the moment.

0:45:060:45:09

INTERVIEWER: Are you pleased?

0:45:090:45:10

Yeah, it's fine now.

0:45:110:45:13

I want to give the children the best opportunity they can get.

0:45:150:45:18

-VOICEOVER:

-I grew up in Handsworth. I went to the local school.

0:45:220:45:26

I wanted to be a ballerina.

0:45:270:45:28

Wow...

0:45:290:45:31

That's Destiny... Jada, Jada... These would be on the wall in the house.

0:45:310:45:35

This was something that was done years ago.

0:45:350:45:37

-That's me!

-SHE LAUGHS

0:45:370:45:39

Yeah, that was me.

0:45:390:45:42

Erm... I was so young then! I think I was 11 or 12?

0:45:420:45:45

And I had a brilliant dance teacher, Sheila Marie.

0:45:460:45:51

She suggested London Contemporary Dance School.

0:45:510:45:55

I used to be told you can't make a living off that,

0:45:550:45:59

and so you take it on board and you think, "Hmm..."

0:45:590:46:03

But I didn't really fit in anywhere else.

0:46:030:46:05

I...

0:46:120:46:14

Erm...

0:46:140:46:16

Erm... I want to give the children the best opportunity they can get.

0:46:170:46:22

And I think, in reflection,

0:46:230:46:27

I've had a lot of opportunities which I didn't take.

0:46:270:46:30

Based on either

0:46:300:46:34

lack of confidence, and, erm...

0:46:340:46:37

..erm...sometimes you just made bad choices,

0:46:390:46:42

and the consequences, you see afterwards.

0:46:420:46:45

My mum pushes me.

0:46:480:46:52

She makes sure that I go for the best.

0:46:520:46:56

If I get this grade, she says, "You can do better than that."

0:46:580:47:01

Nothing less than gold, no silver, no bronze, no, that shouldn't...

0:47:020:47:06

Because she expects the best of me.

0:47:060:47:09

I don't want to go to school.

0:47:250:47:27

Why's that?

0:47:270:47:29

Cos I have my exams.

0:47:290:47:32

And I'm not particularly looking forward to them.

0:47:320:47:34

Surprisingly.

0:47:340:47:36

I was struggling last night with my revision.

0:47:380:47:41

I got myself really worked up

0:47:410:47:44

and I couldn't really read what I was doing so, yeah,

0:47:440:47:48

I started to cry.

0:47:480:47:51

I was trying to revise and, like...

0:47:520:47:55

..it just didn't work out for me and I got really upset about it.

0:47:570:48:01

Couldn't sleep.

0:48:040:48:06

I just couldn't sleep.

0:48:060:48:08

This is where we're going to be sitting for the next six hours.

0:48:280:48:31

That's a lot of tables!

0:48:320:48:34

INDISTINCT CHATTER

0:48:340:48:37

If you want to talk about it, go and talk out there!

0:48:400:48:43

The year group begin to line up

0:48:430:48:45

in preparation for the start of their first exam.

0:48:450:48:49

It is the first time Anne-Marie will be sitting an exam in the conditions

0:48:500:48:54

in which her GCSEs will be held in two years' time.

0:48:540:48:58

You there and you there...

0:48:580:49:00

Honestly, you are going to be fine.

0:49:040:49:06

I just don't want to do it.

0:49:060:49:08

I know you don't want to do it, but you have to do it.

0:49:080:49:10

We are all scared.

0:49:120:49:14

Anne-Marie, you're really smart.

0:49:150:49:17

Like, I've seen you in class.

0:49:170:49:19

INDISTINCT CHATTER

0:49:560:49:59

No talking, please, when you get in here.

0:50:100:50:13

Everyone has to be facing the front.

0:50:130:50:15

Keep quiet and face the front, please.

0:50:160:50:19

Fabulous. If we can keep it like this for the next 45 minutes.

0:50:220:50:26

OK, you can start.

0:50:270:50:30

THEY WHISPER

0:51:020:51:05

CLOCK TICKS

0:51:190:51:21

BUZZ OF CHATTER

0:52:060:52:09

I couldn't read for the first, like, ten minutes,

0:52:100:52:13

-because my eyes were just full of water.

-Same!

0:52:130:52:16

My tears would just fall onto the writing, so I just couldn't read them.

0:52:160:52:20

In Tamworth, the school's 210-seat theatre has sold out

0:52:290:52:35

for tonight's end of year performing arts show.

0:52:350:52:38

Shakira has been persuaded to perform a solo.

0:52:400:52:43

INTERVIEWER: How are you feeling about tonight?

0:52:430:52:45

Scared.

0:52:470:52:49

Nervous.

0:52:490:52:51

Cos I could mess up at any time.

0:52:540:52:57

This really, really, really matters to me.

0:52:580:53:01

More than life itself right now.

0:53:010:53:04

Yes, it is just a school show, OK.

0:53:040:53:06

I woke up this morning and I was so excited,

0:53:060:53:09

because I'm excited to see you

0:53:090:53:11

all feel wonderful at nine o'clock, right?

0:53:110:53:14

So, now is the time, you take this thing off my hands.

0:53:140:53:17

INTERVIEWER: Give me a sense of, like, what's going through

0:53:290:53:32

your mind at the moment?

0:53:320:53:33

Erm... Where's my mum?!

0:53:330:53:36

That's what I'm thinking.

0:53:360:53:37

Have you got my mum's number?

0:53:410:53:44

-Yeah.

-Could I ring her?

-If you want to.

0:53:440:53:47

PHONE RINGS

0:53:500:53:53

-Is it really important that she sees you do well tonight?

-Mm-hm.

0:54:040:54:07

-Why is that?

-Because I want to make her proud. Yep.

0:54:070:54:12

-STUDENTS:

-# You know that if you cross your fingers

0:54:210:54:25

# And if you count from one to ten

0:54:250:54:29

# You can get up off the ground again

0:54:290:54:32

# It doesn't matter, the whole thing's just a game

0:54:320:54:37

# The whole thing's just a game! #

0:54:370:54:42

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:54:420:54:45

-BABY CALLS OUT

-Shhh!

0:55:050:55:08

PIANO INTRO, MIC FEEDBACK

0:55:100:55:13

# She's just a girl and she's on fire

0:55:190:55:23

# Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highway

0:55:230:55:29

# Oh, oh, oh, oh We've got both feet on the ground

0:55:290:55:35

# And we're burning it down

0:55:350:55:38

# Oh, oh, oh, oh

0:55:380:55:42

# We've got our head in the clouds And we're not coming down

0:55:420:55:48

# This girl is on fire

0:55:510:55:55

# This girl is on fire

0:55:550:55:59

# She's just a girl and she's on fire. #

0:56:020:56:07

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:56:100:56:13

Well done. Give me a cuddle!

0:56:300:56:33

Did you enjoy that?

0:56:330:56:36

-You were brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

-Loved it.

0:56:360:56:39

Was your mum here? Is she going to be waiting for you?

0:56:390:56:41

-Yeah.

-Go and see your mum.

0:56:410:56:44

I was quite shocked that I done it, to be honest.

0:56:440:56:47

Because I didn't really have any confidence,

0:56:470:56:49

and then I was really proud of myself afterwards.

0:56:490:56:52

INTERVIEWER: Have you had that feeling before?

0:56:520:56:55

-No.

-Is that the first time you felt like that?

-Yeah.

0:56:550:56:58

Here she is. Here she is! Girl of the night!

0:57:030:57:07

Brilliant. I had goose bumps on my arm.

0:57:070:57:09

I could be biased, I know, but I thought she was the best.

0:57:090:57:13

The more you do it, the more successful you will get.

0:57:130:57:18

-You all right?

-Hi.

-Well done, Shakira. Smashed it!

0:57:190:57:22

Are you proud of her?

0:57:220:57:24

Very, very proud.

0:57:240:57:26

-Love it.

-See you later.

0:57:260:57:28

-How did your mum react to you being on stage?

-She cried.

0:57:300:57:34

How did that make you feel?

0:57:340:57:37

I don't know. I was just thinking to myself,

0:57:370:57:39

"What the bloody hell are you crying for?!"

0:57:390:57:42

At Jada's school, the end of year exams have been marked,

0:57:470:57:50

and her mum has been invited in to go through the results.

0:57:500:57:54

So, two grades above English, two grades above maths.

0:57:540:57:57

-Yeah.

-Two grades above Spanish.

-Mm.

0:57:570:57:59

On target, science. One grade below in geography.

0:57:590:58:03

Proportionally speaking and looking at the rest of the year,

0:58:030:58:05

-this is a very impressive report.

-Right, thank you for that.

0:58:050:58:08

So, maths and English, she'd need to go up one better

0:58:080:58:11

than she's already at to get A's in maths

0:58:110:58:13

and English. I imagine Jada will want to do better with that science.

0:58:130:58:17

-JADA:

-English, I got a five minus, wow!

0:58:230:58:26

Maths, I got a five plus!

0:58:260:58:28

Mm-hm.

0:58:280:58:30

CHARMAINE LAUGHS

0:58:300:58:32

Erm, just a note I want to share with you,

0:58:320:58:34

I spoke to Mr Panjanaden, and he did point out that

0:58:340:58:37

for some grammar schools, you're looking at A's in all subjects.

0:58:370:58:41

-Mm-hm.

-Now, you've got two years.

0:58:410:58:44

What do you feel would be a booster for you?

0:58:450:58:49

In the holidays, I want to do tuition, because it will help me.

0:58:490:58:53

The only concern I have would be finances.

0:58:530:58:57

Mm...

0:58:570:59:00

Well, I'm not meant to be worrying about it, because I'm a child.

0:59:000:59:03

-Yeah, that's not my responsibility.

-That's not my responsibility.

0:59:030:59:07

It's not always about the money.

0:59:070:59:08

Money's there for those who can push them through the door.

0:59:080:59:11

All the more power to you, fine.

0:59:110:59:13

But we're not in that category,

0:59:130:59:14

so I'm going to work with the category that we're in,

0:59:140:59:17

which is determination.

0:59:170:59:18

-VOICEOVER:

-No, I'm not scared of my disadvantage.

0:59:200:59:23

Nothing will get in my way in getting to my goal.

0:59:230:59:27

But there will be setbacks.

0:59:270:59:29

You know.

0:59:290:59:31

But you've just got to get up and dust yourself off and keep on going.

0:59:310:59:35

OK, so, it's promising that you've made that much progress.

0:59:370:59:41

You know, you sat in the exam halls with everyone else, with the nerves,

0:59:410:59:45

and you got it over and done with.

0:59:450:59:47

You know, you've done that, it's a massive achievement.

0:59:470:59:50

So, obviously you're doing something right, being sat in the exam hall,

0:59:500:59:55

because you've managed to pull these results out of the bag.

0:59:550:59:58

Which is incredible.

1:00:021:00:03

Given the circumstances, to still be coming out with 92%, 80%, 73%,

1:00:051:00:10

is crazy. It's amazing. You should be really, really proud of yourself.

1:00:101:00:13

If you can replicate that at GCSE, I think we'll all be very, very happy.

1:00:131:00:18

-Yeah.

-Yeah? So, it's all very, very promising.

1:00:181:00:21

-VOICEOVER:

-I know my own strengths.

1:00:231:00:25

Maybe not all the time, I don't recognise them,

1:00:251:00:27

like, not all the time. But I know that they're there.

1:00:271:00:30

There you go. All right?

1:00:311:00:33

And I'm not going to waste them.

1:00:341:00:36

And I'm going to use them and I'm going to, like,

1:00:361:00:39

show them off to people.

1:00:391:00:41

We are all, like, these little story characters and we are writing our

1:00:481:00:52

own stories every day. So, my story's still going.

1:00:521:00:56

We just have to find out where it goes.

1:00:561:00:59

GCSE preparation begins for the Year 9 students, but the girls each face added pressures.

In Port Talbot, avid reader and top-tier student Anne-Marie knows she wants to go to university, but she suffers from anxiety around her exams. Meanwhile in Tamworth, Shakira's school recognises that she is a talented artist and tries to help her find her creative voice by pushing her out of her comfort zone.

Confidence is less of an issue for Birmingham-based aspiring paediatrician Jada - her determination to ace her Year 9 exams is pinned on her dream of winning a future place at nearby Sixth Form grammar school. But however determined she and her mum are, money may halt her dream.