Go Higher West Yorkshire Digital learning animation

The Challenge

Digital learning animation. Go Higher West Yorkshire helps students to access and prepare for Higher Education in West Yorkshire. As part of "NCOP", The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) is a project funded by the Office for Students (OfS) which aims to increase the progression of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to higher education (including a focus on young males from disadvantaged backgrounds and young people from ethnic minority groups).

NCOP consortia are made up of universities, colleges, employers and other regional stakeholders, and there are 29 individual consortia across England working to meet the overall project aim on a regional level.

They tasked us with creating a content based workshop for teachers to use within the classroom. As part of a digital learning suite to engage and inform students about the pathway options for higher level and degree level apprenticeships. As part of the campaign launch we we're also tasked with creating a short animation that would promote the organisation and its ethos

The Process

The project began with a workshop with students - it was important to gain insight from young people during the pre-production stage, so we could ensure that the final product would be as appealing and relevant as possible. We identified the barriers they thought would hold them back from pursuing Higher Education (fear of leaving school and friends, finances, and fear that Higher Education would be too academic and similar to school), and how those barriers could be overcome.

Following the student workshop, we devised a creative treatment and storyboards for the film and animation, working closely with the GHWY team to ensure that the key messages were being conveyed clearly, before moving onto the final production stage.

The films needed to be set in West Yorkshire, and follow several characters overcoming some of the barriers to Higher Education.  The aim was for the film to be as empowering and accessible as possible.

We decided the best approach for the animation would be an illustrative style to give the film a personal, handmade aesthetic to help convey an emotive narrative. We also talked through illustration style options, and determined that the general preference was for bright, positive colours, and ambiguous depictions of race and gender.

The Solution

The final animation shows the journeys of three characters overcoming the barriers to Higher Education through personal resilience and access to knowledge and support. Although barriers are an integral part of the animation, the overall tone is aspirational and empowering, and encourages viewers to research and get the information they need. Iconic West Yorkshire landmarks are featured to give the film a strong sense of place, and an emotive soundtrack is used to enhance the story.


The Response

"Unanimously we love the feel of the animation, the characters, how representative they all are, the music and the messages communicated."

NCOP Administrator, Go Higher West Yorkshire

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