Jamie’s Dream School: now there’s a teaching faculty

Well, Jamie Oliver may have been banned from filming in any schools in LA, but that’s not something that’s happening to him over here. He’s about – as in March time – going to launch a new Channel 4 series called Jamie’s Dream School, in which he gets a bunch of famous people to teach subjects to kids who are a bit bored or something. 

Among the teachers are Daley Thompson, Simon Callow, Ellen MacArthur, David Starkey, Alastair Campbell, Robert Winston, Alvin Hall, Tinchy Stryder, Dominic West, Mary Beard, Jazzie B, Rankin, Nora Sands, Cherie Blair, Rolf Harris, Andrew Motion and David Hempleman-Adams. That actually sounds quite fun.

Anyway, here’s the trailer, with music composed especially by Orbital.




  • stu-n

    Cherie Blair and Alastair Campbell? The Daily Mail is going to love it. I bet they even bring up the ancient story about Daley Thompson whistling along to the National Anthem, to show just how much he’s promoting loony leftie disrespectful trash.
    This is going to be fun.

  • Ha. Funnily enough I was at a curriculum meeting at my younger childrens’ school where the buzz was all about broadening the curriculum (great idea, national curriculum way too narrow), and unleashing children’s creativity. All of which I approve so long as the little darlings actually learn something.
    I think this programme has probably come from a similar place, it seems to me there is a lot of buzz about preparing kids for a future we don’t know yet, which may or may not turn out to be genius. It could also turn out to be a damp squib, and ruin yet another generation of school children. I keep going to presentations at school where they’re all saying this kind of thing, which I do support cautiously, but feel a slight concern that this will become a new orthodoxy which will end up just as prescriptive as the old one… Anyway, am guessing the people at Channel 4 have been to similar kind of presentations.
    As to the people they’ve chosen for this, yup they’re certainly an interesting bunch, who probably do have something to offer. Can any of them teach? That will probably be what makes the programme interesting…
    I can’t help thinking that the likes of Andrew Motion, Simon Callow and David Starkey may just be too high fallutin for your average kid, but I could be wrong. Depends on what kind of school they go into, and the age group I guess. I predict Ellen McArthur and Daley Thompson will be a hit, because I’m guessing they might understand the ones who don’t want to learn…

  • PS of course if it turns out to be a riotous success you’ll have the nation’s youth up in arms because they can’t go there.
    And I wonder how teachers will feel about it, it is just a tad insulting to the many dedicated teachers up and down the land!

  • stu-n

    I strongly suspect Simon Callow would be brilliant. Knowledgeable and incredibly enthusiastic. Likewise Robert Winston and Mary Beard. Andrew Motion has been doing stuff with schools for years, so he should probably be fine. Cherie Blair, David Starkey and Ellen McArthur — who does not strike me as a natural communicator — might be more problemmatic.

  • MediumRob

    “I strongly suspect Simon Callow would be brilliant. Knowledgeable and incredibly enthusiastic. Likewise Robert Winston and Mary Beard. Andrew Motion has been doing stuff with schools for years, so he should probably be fine. Cherie Blair, David Starkey and Ellen McArthur — who does not strike me as a natural communicator — might be more problemmatic.”
    Starkey was an LSE lecturer for over a decade, but he might not be able to scale down to school level.

  • @Stu-N You may be right about Simon Callow, I’m sure he is very enthusiastic, but not sure if he could get to the right level for a bunch of schoolkids. It does really depend on the age. And I love watching David Starkey, but suspect he might not be able to pitch it at the right level. Ellen MacArthur probably isn’t a great communicator, but her enthusiasm for what she does, and the fact she’s done so many amazing things might help her.
    I didn’t know Andrew Motion had done stuff in schools, so I guess you’re right about that. I don’t wtf Cherie Blair is doing there though.
    I will be very interested to see what my kids think…

  • Margaret Carruthers

    i love your school especially Robert Winstone. i think he is a superb teacher, i despise Ann Widdecome for saying he is “disgusting”