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Deaf pupils summon up TV ghost drama

South London school turned into film set as teens write, star and shoot series to be screened on Sky

South London school turned into film set as teens write, star and shoot series to be screened on Sky

Teenagers at Oak Lodge School for the Deaf in Balham, south London, have created and starred in their own TV drama, which is set to hit the airwaves next week.

The school was transformed by set designers, who built lifelike bedrooms, while professional make-up and costume designers worked with the pupils to bring the story to life.

The four-part series, titled Wicked Kids, is about a boy who joins a new school and causes strange things to happen. After being rejected and ostracised by his peers, he befriends a ghost from the 1940s.

The show was launched last week and will air on October 5, with subtitles for viewers who are not deaf.

Sarah Meeks, the residential manager at the school, said: "The kids were involved in the whole thing, from coming up with storylines, creating scripts and rehearsing to filming the drama.

"They were very excited about the launch and we had the biggest parent turn-out ever.

"The great thing is that the series ends on a cliff-hanger, so if it is a success, there is a definite chance we can revisit and continue the story."

Other deaf schools in the London area, including Heathlands in St Albans, Blanche Nevile in Haringey and Frank Barnes in Camden, were at the launch.

There were a total of 170 people in attendance, with communication teams, social workers and SEN providers from around the capital offering their support.

The series will appear alongside Little Wicked, an animation for primary children based on the drawings by pupils at Frank Barnes.

The shows are part of a drive launched by The British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust to increase the amount of sign-presented programming on television.

They will be broadcast on the BSL Zone on the Community Channel across three platforms on Mondays at 8am, Wednesdays at 2pm and Sundays at 8pm on Freeview 87, Sky 539 and Virgin Media 233.

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