A FILM crew visited a Basingstoke infant school to livestream its nativity play across the world.

There was much excitement at Oakley Infant School when a team from video production company 7 Stream Media arrived to record and livestream the Christmas show.

Families across the world in countries as far away as South Africa were able to watch their younger relatives in the performance thanks to the Basingstoke-based company offering its services for free.

The link between 7 Stream Media and Oakley Infant School began in 2012 when Sean Foley, business development director for the company, offered to film the nativity when his daughter, Ellie-Ann, attended the school.

“There was someone else doing the filming when she was in the nativity and he retired. The headteacher at the time knew what I do for a living and she asked if I would help that year,” he explained.

The company filmed and edited the show, creating DVDs for parents to keep.

Since then, 7 Stream Media has visited the school every Christmas to film the nativity, and this year was able to livestream the show for those unable to come into school and watch.

The company offered its time for free this year to give back to the community in which it works, with the school using money raised from parents’ donations to go towards a new library.

Nick Willoughby-Hart, creative director at 7 Stream Media, said: “We used a new platform we have developed for streaming which we offered for free to parents to watch live and then they could also download afterwards.

“The children were all quite overwhelmed and excited. When we were setting up, they passed us in the corridor asking lots of questions about the equipment. It was exciting for them and a great experience.”

The filming was also enjoyable for the team from 7 Stream Media, offering a break from their normal day-to-day work.

Nick said: “The work we do is often for medical and pharmaceutical companies so it’s quite serious and this offered a break from the norm. It’s become a tradition now. It’s a great experience and a lighter end to the year.

“As a business we have grown hugely over the last few years. When we first started in 2010, we were doing the school DVDs and it was just Sean and me. I was the only one working full time. As a new starter it’s tough to set up a business and the first few years are crucial so coming to Oakley School helped us too.

“It’s been great that they continue to invite us back, and this year we wanted to give something back to them now that we are a growing, thriving business. It’s great to give back to the community and put a smile on people’s faces.”

Sean added: “The school said people had watched it in California and other countries. It was amazing they could watch it and see their grandchild or another relative in the nativity.”

Niamh Hutchings, headteacher at Oakley Infant School, said it was exciting having a film crew visiting.

She added: “We were pleased that 7 Stream Media, who we have worked with in the past, were able to support the live streaming of the Christmas performances the children did.

“It was great to be able to offer an alternative so that everyone could be included when numbers had to be limited in the audiences at school. It enabled all the children to watch each other live in their classrooms and families to log in around the world.

“Of course, it was also very exciting for the children to have all the cameras in school with a real film crew.”