A VIDEO aimed at inspiring the students of Skipton Academy and making them feel proud of their school received its premiere at the town’s Plaza Cinema at the weekend, and has since ‘gone viral’.

More than 200 people including Skipton MP Julian Smith and town Mayor, Alan Hickman, went to Saturday’s special viewing of ‘This Is The Greatest School’.

Inspired by The Greatest Show,man, which tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a worldwide spectacle, the around 20 minute film similarly tells of triumph over adversity as the academy fights to restore its reputation and move forward after suffering a series of poor Ofsted reports.

Richard McManus, who took over as Principal in September last year, said he was delighted with the response to the video which since its premiere at the weekend has since been viewed more than 20,000 times on the internet, with thousands of more hits on the school’s Facebook page.

“I was really proud that so many people including Julian Smith MP and the mayor of Skipton were able to attend and help us celebrate what a fantastic job our students had done creating such a powerful film,” he said.

“The film was inspired by our ethos of ‘Belong, Challenge, Inspire’ and we believe that the film exemplifies those beliefs. All of our students show how proud they are to belong to the Skipton Academy and they met every challenge that a complex film shoot presented them with to create an inspirational film that charts the journey the academy is on from difficult times to a great future.”

Mr McManus said the idea for the video came from deputy principal Mark Cook who had been involved in a similar promotional video at his former school, Bingley Grammar.

Mr Cook said: “The primary aim was to inspire the students at The Skipton Academy and make them feel proud of the school that they attend. For too long The school has had a poor reputation within the local community and this is damaging to students and staff. The video aims to address this and shows what we can do, as a school, when we work together.”

Filming took place during the school’s enrichment week in June and involved auditioning for the main parts. More than a hundred pupils and members of staff took part, including students Freddie Allan, and Izzy Harris, and Mr McManus himself.

Skipton Mayor, Councillor Alan Hickman, who attended the premiere with the Mayoress, Marie Hickman, said: “I consider it a privilege to have attended the premiere showing of the Skipton Academy video. While it is an excellent production in its own right, I felt that that the story it tells is much more important. The message is that both staff and students are immensely proud of their school, but want to improve it yet further. That message rang out loud and clear. All those involved in the production of the film are to be congratulated on a job well done.”

And Julian Smith MP said: ‘It was great to be at the video’s launch and I was glad it was so well attended. The video is an excellent representation of all the hard work staff and pupils have been doing.”