VIDEO: Sheffield students create their own music video

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When they start school, some pupils struggle with the transition to secondary education.

Some battle anxiety and disorders, others find it hard to make friends.

Students at High Storrs school showcase a film they have put together a film about the transition from primary to secondary schools

Students at High Storrs school showcase a film they have put together a film about the transition from primary to secondary schools

But now at High Storrs School pupils are standing tall thanks to an innovative Raising Aspiration and Targeting Self Esteem (RATS) group.

The group has recently completed its biggest project - creating an uplifting music video from scratch - and has been given a brand all of its own.

Learning mentor Nicola Walker, speaking at a packed meeting of the RATS group, said: “These guys have always been the underdogs, and some of them have had a joke made of them for being in RATS.

“But they have stuck with it and now it is the cool place to be, and they have achieved that.”

RATS has gradually developed over five years.

It includes a 12-week programme for pupils in their first year of school and an after-school club for other students.

And the results have been staggering.

Pupils spoke of how their confidence had been boosted and how they felt like a ‘family’ at the launch night.

Nathan Hinchcliffe, aged 13, said: “At first when I started year seven I worried about a lot of things.

“The great thing about the group is that you can be yourself, you don’t have to put on an act and you get really comfortable with everybody.

“There’s lots of different stuff going on all the time – it has boosted my confidence.”

A silent auction was held at the launch night to help raise money for further RATS projects.

Graphic design enterprise Engine Room in Huddersfield designed the group a logo for free - and they proudly wore branded T-shirts at the event.

The members now hope to take the initiative out into the community to help spread the word.

Nicola, who has worked at the school for 11 years, added: “The idea behind the group I have had ever since my kids started school because then you realise that no one size fits all.

“People can have lots of issues and difficulties and school can be tough as well so just something which runs alongside what they have to do can be a big help.

“All the young people in RATS have worked tirelessly and I am so proud of them.”