Topics:  channel 10, class of, documentary, tv series

Last-chance saloon

The cast of the Channel 10 series Class Of.
The cast of the Channel 10 series Class Of. Contributed - Network Ten

REALITY talent competitions might be the flavour of the month, but Channel 10's new documentary series shows the reality for some of the country's struggling high school students.

Class Of follows a group of Year 11 students who have fallen through the cracks of mainstream education and are giving it one last go at Sydney's Bradfield Senior College.

Class Of - Ten - Wednesdays at 9.30pm

Bradfield is a TAFE college at which students in Years 11 and 12 study for the NSW Higher School Certificate.

It follows a more liberal philosophy than many schools - no uniform, no bells, no detention.

Teachers develop one-on-one mentoring relationships with students via the college's Connect program, in which each teacher has a small group of students with whom they meet individually at least once a week to monitor their progress.

"The teachers who have a slightly different approach and the college has a history of excellence," executive producer Tim Toni said.

"The college took a punt on letting us in and we took a punt on the fact that the students would have their passion for learning reignited."

The series documents the ups and downs of an entire school year for the 15 students, who range in age from 16 to 20.

"They fall over, get up and fall over again sometimes," Toni said.

"But it's not every day you get to see the duckling turn into the swan. We've been privileged enough to do that."

Toni hopes the show is a talking point for families. "Education is a hot-button issue. Everybody does it," he said.

"Love it or loathe it, we've all been to school. But rarely have we had the opportunity to look into the classroom from the outside.

"It's strangely fascinating. Who would have thought we could sit down and be entertained by a maths class."

The show is a realistic portrait of life at the college, with the students quickly adjusting to having cameras following them.

"They were used to it from day one," Toni said.

"They're from the generation where it hasn't really happened until it's been recorded on your phone and posted on YouTube."



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