A team of brainy Year 6 children from St James’ Church Of England Academy in Bournemouth will be competing in a new TV quiz show which began on CBBC on Monday. Top Class is a new national TV quiz show similar to University Challenge, the difference being that all the contestants are 10 and 11 year olds representing teams from primary schools around the UK. The St James’ Church of England Academy team was one of only 16 teams from schools across the country who will appear on TV.
The team’s first appearance will be broadcast on 19th September on the CBBC Channel and if they make it through the heats to the final and win they will be crowned ‘Top Class’ in the final episode.
Every school in the UK was invited to enter the competition and the team from St James’s had to win their place on the show. The five year 6 students who make up the St James’ Academy team are Ramis, Gabriel, Louis, George and Emily.
All five were flown to the BBC’s studios in Glasgow for a weekend to take part in filming for the first round of the quiz.
11 year old quiz team member Gabriel said: “I’m nervous but excited because it’s a great opportunity that not many people have.”
Ramis from Bournemouth, also 11, said: “I’m happy to be going on TV, it will be a new experience.”
Hosted by Scottish comedian Susan Calman, Top Class not only tests the pupils but also their teachers. Alongside Ramis, Gabriel, Louis, George and Emily, the students’ teacher Beth Dodd also gets challenged by the quiz’s ‘Test the Teacher’ round. Running the risk of humiliation in front of their pupils (and the nation), the primary school teachers must answer a series of pop-culture questions. These questions might prove child’s play for the primary school pupils but are designed to trip up their teachers.
The new Principal of St James’ Church Of England Academy, Jeremy Payne, said, ‘It’s fantastic that the skills of our Year 6 children have been recognised in this way. This is going to be a great learning experience for them all and we couldn’t be more proud of them as representatives of our community. We’re all going to be getting together to watch their performance in the school hall, so I’m sure it will be a nail biting but exciting occasion for the whole community. Come on St James’!’
Top Class started on the CBBC Channel on 12 September at 3.55pm and is broadcast daily, the team’s first appearance is due to be on 19 September.