We've been running an Into Film Club for two years. There are 26 regular members aged 8-10. We meet each week for an hour and watch a film in two parts which allows time at the end for discussion. The current group is particularly good at analysing the films. Through participating in film club, pupils have learned to look more deeply at why things happen and have developed their ability to communicate and back up an opinion. This is having a positive impact on their literacy skills and their performance in lessons.
At the start of term we look at the Primary Review Writing Guide, which helps with review writing. They enjoy seeing their reviews on the website and are motivated by reading those written by other members.
The club has introduced the children to a far broader range of films than they would normally have access to. Each term we start with a couple of blockbusters and then move on to less mainstream titles. We signed up for and successfully completed the Film Buff Challenge, which involved watching ten films from a curated list that included documentaries, short, black and white, British and foreign language films. I was pleasantly surprised by their reaction - they loved Duck Soup and Buster Keaton, and asked to watch a George Méliès film, which led to a discussion about how films and special effects were made over 100 years ago. Le Ballon Rouge was a great introduction to foreign language films. They also enjoyed British/French made film Paddington and British/German collaboration The Thief Lord.
The Into Film Club broadens their horizons and encourages them to think about issues such as the environment. It encourages new friendships and fosters empathy. There are pupils in the group who have special needs and are now better understood and accepted by their peers. There is a range of abilities, but in film club no-one feels intimidated to contribute - everyone's opinion is valued.
Paul's Top 5 Recommended Films
The Princess Bride(1987)
The Princess Bride takes apart the traditional damsel-in-distress story and puts it back together again. A classic for children of all ages.
Age group7+ years
Hilarious and accessible Marx Brothers comedy which also works as a political satire. The perfect choice for your club's first black-and-white film.
Age groupAll ages
The sophisticated storytelling and lavish camera work in this superb family adventure combine to create a loving postcard to the power of film.
Age group7–16 years
Extraordinary, Oscar-winning fantasy animated film from Japan following the down-the-rabbit-hole adventures of a young girl named Chihiro.
Age group7+ years