By Online Education Correspondent Leroy Catvideo

Prolific YouTubers Willy and Jilly Circle have created a separate channel that caters for kids all around the world to help reduce boredom during these times of lock down, and has amassed over 100,000 subscribers since they launched it just over a week ago. This new channel has overtaken their other channels on YouTube numbers-wise, with one channel focusing on paint and the other on varnish. Their approach with this new channel is to replicate school life as much as they can – with age appropriate content clearly stated on the video thumbnails – so kids don’t miss out on things during this time. But despite their success, some fellow YouTubers and even parents and teachers have come out to criticise them, saying they’re out of touch with how things actually are in modern day schools and education. So far, the Circles have refused to address this on their sites, but have allowed me to interview Willy to set the record straight.

TDJJ: “Mr Circle, can you explain in detail about the type of content on this channel, and who it’s aimed at, for those yet to have seen it?”

WC: “Our channel, Circle’z Skoolz Lifez, caters for kids of all ages who go to school, but are missing out due to the closures. We aim to fill in any gaps that they’re missing out on, which we’ve separated videos by age, and the content differs accordingly.”

TDJJ: “I’ve watched a few of the videos of the channel while researching, to see what the fuss has been about. I note the criticisms have been about a wide range of things.”

WC: “Yeah, we really don’t understand some of the stuff, like the quality of the backgrounds we’ve used sometimes. They were drawn by our 11 year old son. You can’t expect a perfect scale drawing of a classroom! A notable nit picking has been about us to using our children in the videos. I’m 55 and my wife is 22, we can’t possibly pass for 5 year olds, our videos for that age would be completely farcical. What do people want?”

TDJJ: “There’s a lot of swearing from your kids, as well as a lot of questionable behaviour aimed at high school pupils. I feel a lot of people have objected to this, that although you say the videos are educational and “age appropriate” a lot of commenters are questioning your parenting by allowing your kids doing all these things.”

WC: “We try to be a realistic as possible, get on the same level as the kids watching. It’s obvious that we must be doing something right, looking at the numbers we’re getting.”

TDJJ: “Do you feel that getting your kids to do these things will affect them in any way in the future? For example, your 12 year old daughter smoking?”

WC: “It was her idea, she said her friends have dabbled in smoking, that it’s cool and grown up. I’m sure people of all ages can remember when they were 12 and were pressured into having their first cig. They might be more expensive nowadays, but sneaking out with your friends for a quick fag is still seen as a key point in your childhood.”

TDJJ: “You highlight bullying quite a lot in your videos. Do you really believe it’s as widespread as you make out?”

WC: “We did a bit of research, we got stories from our kids and their friends. We may have taken a bit of dramatic licence here and there, but smaller kids still get their coats stolen and dicks are still drawn on their school books. Pushing down stairs and sending false love letters to popular girls that say they’re from the nerds also remain popular. It was a right laugh when we were filming some of these.”

TDJJ: “What do say in response to those who feel your videos, despite being popular with your target audience, don’t have any actual education in them?”

WC: “These people have obviously not been watching properly. Most of these videos have the first minute or so with a teacher – usually played by me – stood at the front of the classroom waffling on, then one of the kids interrupts me and craziness ensues. So in that opening minute, we try to cram in as much educational quality in that window.”

TDJJ: “So I’m guess you’re not going to close the channel? I’ve heard on the grapevine that YouTube themselves are looking into things.”

WC: “No, we feel we have a duty to help those kids out of their boredom. There’s too much sensitivity with parents and teachers now. I can’t possibly imagine their vision of schools, where kids go around sharing and not swearing at each other. Where did they go to school?”

Published by The Daily Jabjab

Hi, I'm from Stockport, Greater Manchester England. My plan on my blog is to hone my creative writing and write a post every day this year. It sounds daunting, and I'm sure things will evolve over time. Let me know what you think about my writing - any tips, useful websites and things like that would be quite lovely. Thanks for reading!

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