Shine is a UK government initiative (organised by the Department for Education) aimed at showcasing the talent of all children in schools nationwide.

It is jointly organised by Creative Partnerships, the Arts Council, the Talent and Enterprise Taskforce and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

The new youth culture trust with the Department for Education, needed a platform to invite and encourage schools from up and down the country to join the Shine Week festival, as an opportunity to bring them together in the festival week and join a national campaign to celebrate the talent in everyone.



Having previously developed the Shine online community in 2008, the organisers wanted an adapted website to go hand in hand with their even bigger and better festival the following year.

So we got to work providing a safe and secure online platform for young people across the country to show off their talents in a fun and engaging way.

The Shine Week web site needed to be a social networking site built along the lines of YouTube allowing children, teachers and creative organisations to upload content showcasing their talents. Users needed to be able to register and subsequent to verification upload video, photos, audio and written content and details of Shine Week related events.




Safety was at the centre of this project, so BrightLemon were focussed on building a high security, online community for young people for them to share their creative work with other children.


The site had a straightforward, two-step customised registration and moderation system that featured a validation process integrated with EduBase, a database of educational establishments provided by the Department for Education, ensuring a safe environment for all users.


User personalisation for young people

Due to the popularity of social media sites amongst young people, we included YouTube and Facebook type functionality so that children were able to upload films, pictures, audio and written work.

Each user had a personalised profile and the ability to connect with, rate and comment on each other user’s content.

Children also had the opportunity to write a blog and enter regular competitions, as well as being able to keep track of all the upcoming occasions with the events calendar.


Other features included: 

  • Content showcase
  • Talent wall
  • Featured projects
  • Site management
  • Bespoke content management solution
  • User management and moderation
  • Customised statistics page for administrators


1 million students and teachers participated in the Shine festival week.

The website quickly became a roaring success and an integral part of the project. It was home to over 3,000 multimedia uploads and succeeded in connecting 25% of all schools in the UK together.

Shine 2009 also received a huge amount of media attention and was featured on BBC1, Breakfast, BBC5 Live,, Channel 4 as well as other radio and print media. The BBC even covered the festival every day of the week, with a mix of national TV, regional stories and online.


Shine Online – The facts
Over the two years, the site had a total of 10,580 users from 783 organisations
Around 600 schools and youth organisations in communities across the country signed-up to Shine Week 2009
Shine 2009 was launched with more than 100 young people, street dancing on the roof of Southbank Centre in London
The Sage Gateshead centre Auditorium was filled twice in two days with over 3,000 young people joining in The Big Sing – an event coinciding with Shine Week 2009
To mark the progress of the Find Your Talent pilots, 400 young people from all over the country gathered in London to showcase their creative work
As part of Shine week, The House of Lords opened up its chamber to young people for a unique debate chaired by the Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman: the only time during the year that non-members will enter the Lords Chamber
The Shine event, ‘Talent matters’, was an inspirational conference which enabled people to discuss why talent and achievement matter

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