The benefits of our Raising Literacy Through Film training sessions

09 Sep 2019 BY Jonathan Wood

5 mins
Nominees for IFCOTY and IFCMOTY at IFA 2019
Nominees for IFCOTY and IFCMOTY at IFA 2019

With International Literacy Day (8 September) having just passed, we're happy to bring you our recent Q&A with learning mentor, Into Film Club leader and Into Film ambassador, Jonathan Wood on his experience of our Raising Literacy through Film training sessions.

Jonny covers everything that you need to know, from how he first got involved with Into Film and his general approach with training sessions to the myriad of ways that he has applied what he learned in his classroom and club.

1. How did you first become involved with Into Film? 

I started a few years ago with our school film club. I branched out into filmmaking with our club and then became an Into Film ambassador. 

2. How did you hear about the Raising Literacy through Film training session and why did you decide to sign up? Was this your first time attending an Into Film training session?

Through our work with Daniel Clifford in the Ambassadors meetings. Myself and Daniel are very passionate about film and are very keen to promote the benefits of film in the curriculum. We have booked further training at our school and have pushed this out to our MAT so that our partner schools can see how film is beneficial. 

3. What are the key learnings you took away from the training session?

That film can be used for any situation. It is easily accessible for anyone. Film is a huge learning tool. Children can relate to film and it can bring out amazing ideas and work from them. 

4. What did you find to be the most interesting/valuable part of the session?

I think seeing teachers faces when they realise how easy and important film can be. We have tried for years to show the importance of film in school but it has been dismissed quite quickly. Having Into Film in to promote and educate has been fantastic. 

5. How have you used what you learnt from the training session in your classroom/film club?

We have used a few ideas in our film club. I have taken a few of the ideas back into year 1. We used the clips to help with imaginative writing. The children have then used story boarding to write and order their writing. 

6. Has your use of film in the classroom changed?

I have always tried to use film in the classroom. I have noticed that some of our other teachers have started using it as a learning tool rather than entertainment. This has been great to see throughout our school.

7. Has the use of film in the classroom positively impacted your pupils' literacy skills? If so, in which ways?

Yes. We run a review club following the screenings at our film club. We have grown the numbers of children who want to come and review. Children are now taking their own notes during the film and then taking this to write their reviews. We can see how much they have developed in their writing skills and they used to write one sentence. Now they are writing a page or more. The children can now name camera angles and explain why they were used. They can explain the used of music and sound effects to change the feeling of a scene. 

8. Have you noticed any other positive benefits on your pupils/club members?

We have noticed that some of our more shy children express themselves when talking about film. During filmmaking sessions children feel they can be someone else. They can be a character and can come out of their shell. The children learn a lot without feeling like we are trying to assess them. Seeing personal development of the children during filmmaking sessions makes it all worthwhile.

9. Would you encourage other educators to attend an Into Film Training session and why?

Yes. I would love to see this in every school. We are moving to a digital world and I think film is a great way of learning. It opens up opportunities to take learning in different ways.

If you're feeling inspired by Jonny's story, head to our Training page to see all the different online, face to face and careers in film opportunities that you can sign up for.

 Learning mentor, Into Film Club leader and Into Film Ambassador

Jonathan Wood, Learning mentor, Into Film Club leader and Into Film Ambassador at Bessacarr Primary, Doncaster.

I studied contemporary lens media at university in Lincoln and then started at Bessacarr Primary in 2013. I run the film club with Daniel Smeaton. We branched out into reviewing and film making and are expanding the use of film within our school. Our club has been nominated for film club of the year and had members up for film club member of the year.

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