Into Film Cymru and the Expressive Arts

08 Jul 2019

6 mins
Ysgol Bryn Castell, Into Film Club of the Month July 2018
Ysgol Bryn Castell, Into Film Club of the Month July 2018

We are happy to present a series of case studies from Welsh teachers that showcase how schools have been using film to explore, respond and create in the classroom - particularly in the context of recent changes to the Welsh curriculum. 

This comes on the same day (8 July) that 'See, Think, Make: Celebrate' is taking place in Cardiff, which aims to celebrate the achievements of some of our best schools and young people across Wales. Stay tuned for more on that very soon!

Explore

Louise Williams, Teacher - Cadoxton Primary School, Barry

"I am the digital lead at Cadoxton Primary School, which is a Digital pioneer and curriculum hub for digital learning. Over the past year and a half, we've been working on the new curriculum, particularly in the area of the Expressive Arts.

"Our school is already embracing much of what is already in the new curriculum. We find that our form of teaching in relation to the Expressive Arts almost always meets all three of the new Explore, Respond, and Create elements, because they are so interlinked.

"We use an enquiry-based approach to learning, and students are currently exploring the theme of carnivals and festivals, as a way to inspire their knowledge and understanding of different identities, cultures and societies. Film sparks their interest. We use snippets from different films to nurture their creativity, and this, in turn, makes them innately curious."On this occasion, we used the animated film Rio, which follows the adventures of a Spix's Macaw in Rio de Janeiro, and Coco, which follows 12-year-old Miguel, who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead.

"Both these films capture the exotic colours and music of the different festivals, which in turn encourage our students to explore other festivals around the world, like London's Notting Hill Carnival or the La Tomatina festival near Valencia in Spain.

"Film helps students to learn with an artistic eye. This very much stimulates their creativity and I'm always impressed by what they are able to produce, like the carnival masks they were recently working on.

"Learning outside the classroom, by visiting the cinema is also encouraged, as it helps students to explore social issues, like homelessness and bullying. This is where the free Into Film Festival can prove invaluable, as it offers our students vibrant experiences that connect all areas of learning.

"For example, last year's Festival included a film called Wonder, which follows the story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences, who goes to a mainstream school for the first time. This film helped students to explore and understand the different forms of bullying and appreciate the numerous disabilities in society.

"As a teacher attending the Into Film Festival, or as a Film Club Leader, you're also able to access their specific resources, so you're not having to plan your lessons from scratch. This can help you make the most of the opportunity, using pre-planned activities and discussion points to fully explore themes, and encourage students to question and challenge accepted viewpoints."

Respond 

Sarah Davies, Teacher - Ysgol Bryn Castell, Bridgend

"I first came across Into Film resources during a Media Literacy Pilot in 2013 and I couldn't be without them.

"Film has become the cornerstone of our school's literacy curriculum. Whether we're focusing on English, PSE or humanities, film works brilliantly for each and every student. We've succeeded in taking away one of the key barriers to their learning, because text and reading are no longer the starting point. It means everyone can get involved and no-one feels left out. 

"We work to a different theme each term, like ‘Magic' or ‘Superheroes'. We then use films like Harry Potter or War Horse to hook pupils' interest and tease out their responses to the work of others. It elicits some extraordinary writing from our pupils, mainly because it gives them more flair and flex. For example, they've written instructions on how to fly a broomstick, as well as their own poetry after watching four different interpretations of Macbeth's three witches.

"During my lessons on War Horse, I was struck by one pupil's ability, to get under the skin of the main character, Albert. The pupil, who is on the autistic spectrum, was asked to write Albert's diary entry, shortly after his horse, Joey, dies. What he came up with - the powerful and emotive language used - took my breath away.

"Film also transforms the way pupils respond to their own feelings. For example, I had a pupil who would not participate in any kind of group discussion. He struggled to read or write because he would worry that he'd come up with the wrong answer or make a mistake. The Pixar Film, Inside Out, changed all of that: it just flicked a switch in him. 

"The film follows five personified emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. This film helped him respond to his own feelings, and articulate them: "I felt angry yesterday because…". Since then, he has come into his own. Now in his teens, he has good behaviour, age-appropriate reading, and is progressing as he should be through the different academic levels. 

"With the introduction of film, almost all pupils have gone up at least one national curriculum sub-level. These techniques are life-changing, and pupils are begging to do more."

Create

Meurig Hughes, Teacher - Cefn Coch School, Penrhyndeudraeth

"I've been working at Cefn Coch School for ten years, teaching year 3 children (7-8 year olds). Since working with Into Film Cymru, I've also started an Into Film Club for year 6 children during playtime and after school.

"The work we're doing with film already reflects the requirements of the new curriculum. The whole thing began when we won the Pics film competition (Galeri, Caernarfon). Pupils have since created a YouTube channel and are spending a year producing one main film. 

"The pupils are evidently enthusiastic about film, and the same enthusiasm is seen in the classroom too. As well as clear developments in their literacy and ICT skills, film sparks the interest of pupils in other subjects too.

"Of course, all the pupils love watching and evaluating films, but their favourite part and the part I enjoy too is the ‘creating' element. This, in my opinion, is what spurs and develops a child's spirit and creativity. Without the creative work, I certainly think the pupils would be worse off with regards to their skills and experiences. 

"To begin with, everyone is required to be part of a team. Everyone has a role whether in front of or behind the camera, or in the costumes department for example and that process helps the pupils learn the importance of each individual's contribution to the team's success. Furthermore, it's an opportunity for them to create content that's of interest to them, to receive feedback on this content and to improve the content and share it with others.

"As they grow older, the quality of ‘creating' becomes more sophisticated. And once they gain confidence, the subjects and camera angles become quite challenging. In this respect, we've seen some incredible work from pupils over the years.

"We also benefit within the classroom. Once they've learnt how to create a film, the ability to discuss and evaluate is at a much more mature level. The influence of film can also be seen in their literature and literacy work; for example, after learning how to create a frightening atmosphere in front of the camera, they are able to recreate this in their written work. In this respect, everything blends and links up in our curricular work.

"However, even more importantly, we see everyone taking real steps towards realising their potential. For example, one very shy girl managed to come out of her shell completely once we'd discovered her directing talent behind the camera. And consequently like several others she has seen the possibilities of earning a future living in the film industry in Wales."

Dyma'r gyntaf mewn cyfres o astudiaeth achos i arddangos sut mae ysgolion wedi bod yn defnyddio ffilm i archwilio, ymateb a chreu yn yr ystafell ddosbarth.

Archwilio

Louise Williams, Athrawes - Ysgol Gynradd Tregatwg, Y Barri

"Fi yw'r arweinydd digidol yn Ysgol Gynradd Tregatwg, sy'n arloesydd digidol a hwb cwricwlwm ar gyfer dysgu digidol. Dros y deunaw mis diwethaf rydyn ni wedi bod yn gweithio ar y cwricwlwm newydd, yn arbennig ym maes y Celfyddydau Mynegiannol.

"Mae ein hysgol eisoes yn cofleidio llawer o'r hyn sydd yn y cwricwlwm newydd yn barod. Rydyn ni'n gweld bod ein dull ni o addysgu mewn perthynas â'r Celfyddydau Mynegiannol bron bob amser yn cyd-fynd â thair elfen newydd Archwilio, Ymateb a Chreu, am eu bod nhw mor gydgysylltiol. 

"Rydyn ni'n defnyddio ymagwedd at ddysgu sy'n seiliedig ar ymholi, ac mae'r disgyblion ar hyn o bryd yn archwilio thema carnifalau a gwyliau, fel ffordd i ysbrydoli eu gwybodaeth a'u dealltwriaeth o wahanol hunaniaeth, diwylliannau a chymdeithasau. Mae ffilm yn tanio eu diddordeb. Rydyn ni'n defnyddio pytiau o wahanol ffilmiau i feithrin eu creadigrwydd, ac mae hyn yn ei dro yn eu gwneud nhw'n reddfol chwilfrydig.

"Ar yr achlysur hwn, fe ddefnyddion ni ffilm animeiddiedig ‘Rio', sy'n dilyn antur aderyn Spix's Macaw yn Rio de Janeiro, a ‘Coco', sy'n dilyn Miguel, 12 oed, sy'n cael ei gludo'n ddamweiniol i Dir y Meirw. 

"Mae'r ddwy ffilm yma yn rhoi darlun inni o liwiau a cherddoriaeth egsotig y gwahanol wyliau, sydd yn eu tro yn annog ein disgyblion i archwilio gwyliau eraill o amgylch y byd, fel Carnifal Notting Hill yn Llundain, neu ŵyl La Tomatina ger Valencia yn Sbaen. 

"Mae ffilm yn helpu disgyblion i ddysgu gan ddefnyddio llygad artistig. Mae hyn wirioneddol yn ysgogi eu creadigrwydd ac mae'r hyn maen nhw'n gallu ei gynhyrchu bob amser yn gwneud argraffa arnaf i, fel mygydau'r carnifal y buon nhw'n gweithio arnyn nhw'n ddiweddar. 

"Mae dysgu y tu allan i'r ystafell ddosbarth, drwy fynd i'r sinema er enghraifft, hefyd yn cael ei annog, gan ei fod yn helpu'r disgyblion i archwilio materion cymdeithasol fel digartrefedd a bwlio. Dyma lle gall Gŵyl Into Film, sy'n ŵyl am ddim, fod yn amhrisiadwy, gan ei bod yn cynnig profiadau bywiog i'n disgyblion sy'n creu cyswllt rhwng yr holl feysydd dysgu. 

"Er enghraifft, roedd yr Ŵyl y llynedd yn cynnwys ffilm o'r enw ‘Wonder', sy'n dilyn hanes August Pullman, bachgen sydd â gwahaniaethau yn ei wyneb, wrth iddo fynd i ysgol brif ffrwd am y tro cyntaf. Mae'r ffilm hon yn helpu disgyblion i archwilio a deall y gwahanol ffurfiau o fwlio a gwerthfawrogi'r anableddau niferus sydd yn y gymdeithas. 

"Fel athro sy'n mynd i Ŵyl Into Film, neu fel Arweinydd Clwb Ffilm, fe allwch chi hefyd gael mynediad at eu hadnoddau penodol, felly does dim rhaid i chi gynllunio eich gwersi gan gychwyn o ddim. Gall hyn eich helpu i fanteisio'n llawn ar y cyfle, gan ddefnyddio gweithgareddau wedi'u cynllunio ymlaen llaw a phwyntiau trafod i archwilio themâu yn llawn, ac annog y disgyblion i gwestiynu a herio safbwyntiau sydd wedi'u derbyn."

Ymateb

Sarah Davies, Athrawes - Ysgol Bryn Castell, Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr

"Fe ddes ar draws adnoddau Into Film gyntaf yn ystod Peilot Llythrennedd y Cyfryngau yn 2013 a fyddwn i ddim eisiau bod hebddyn nhw.

"Mae ffilm bellach yn gonglfaen i gwricwlwm llythrennedd ein hysgol. P'un a ydyn ni'n canolbwyntio ar Saesneg, ABCh neu'r dyniaethau, mae ffilm yn gweithio'n wych ar gyfer pob un disgybl. Fe lwyddon ni i dynnu un o'r prif rwystrau i'w dysgu i lawr, am nad testun a darllen yw'r man cychwyn mwyach. Mae'n golygu y gall pawb chwarae eu rhan a does neb yn teimlo allan ohoni. 

"Rydyn ni'n gweithio ar thema wahanol bob tymor, fel ‘Hud a Lledrith' neu ‘Archarwyr'. Rydyn ni wedyn yn defnyddio ffilmiau fel Harry Potter neu War Horse i fachu diddordeb y disgyblion a'u hannog i ymateb i waith pobl eraill. Mae'n ennyn gwaith ysgrifenedig eithriadol gan ein disgyblion, yn bennaf am ei fod yn rhoi mwy o fywyd a hyblygrwydd iddyn nhw. Er enghraifft, maen nhw wedi ysgrifennu cyfarwyddiadau ar sut i hedfan ysgub, yn ogystal a'u barddoniaeth eu hunain ar ôl gwylio pedwar dehongliad gwahanol o dair gwrach Macbeth.

"Yn ystod fy ngwersi ar War Horse, fe gefais fy nharo gan allu un disgybl i uniaethu'n llwyr â'r prif gymeriad, Albert. Gofynnwyd i'r disgybl, sydd ar y sbectrwm awtistig, ysgrifennu darn o ddyddiadur Albert yn fuan wedi i'w geffyl, Joey, farw. Fe wnaeth yr hyn a ysgrifennodd, gyda'r iaith rymus ac emosiynol a ddefnyddiwyd, fy syfrdanu.

"Mae ffilm hefyd yn trawsnewid y ffordd mae disgyblion yn ymateb i'w teimladau eu hunain. Er enghraifft, roedd gen i ddisgybl na fyddai'n cymryd rhan mewn unrhyw fath o drafodaeth grŵp. Roedd yn cael trafferth darllen neu ysgrifennu am ei fod yn poeni y byddai ei ateb yn anghywir neu y byddai'n gwneud camgymeriad. Fe wnaeth ffilm Pixar, Inside Out, newid hynny'n llwyr: roedd fel petai swits wedi'i droi ynddo. 

"Mae'r ffilm yn dilyn pump o emosiynau wedi'u personoli: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, a Disgust. Fe wnaeth y ffilm yma ei helpu i ymateb i'w deimladau ei hun, a'u mynegi: "Ro'n i'n teimlo'n grac ddoe achos…". Ers hynny, fe ddaeth i'w hun. Ac yntau nawr yn ei arddegau, mae'n ymddwyn yn dda, mae'n darllen ar lefel sy'n briodol i'w oedran, ac mae'n gwneud cynnydd fel y dylai drwy'r gwahanol lefelau academaidd. 

"Drwy gyflwyno ffilm, mae bron i bob disgybl wedi symud i fyny un is-lefel yn y cwricwlwm cenedlaethol. Mae'r technegau hyn yn newid bywyd, ac mae'r disgyblion yn ymbil i gael gwneud mwy."

Creu 

Meurig Hughes, Athro - Ysgol Cefn Coch, Penrhyndeudraeth

"Dwi wedi bod yn gweithio yn Ysgol Cefn Coch am ddeg mlynedd ac yn dysgu disgyblion blwyddyn 3 (plant 7-8 mlwydd oed). Ers gweithio gyda Into Film Cymru, dwi hefyd wedi dechrau clwb ffilm i blant blwyddyn 6 yn ystod amser chwarae ac ar ol ysgol.

"Mae'r gwaith ry'n ni wedi'i wneud a ffilm eisoes yn adlewyrchu gofynion y cwricwlwm newydd. Cychwynodd yr holl beth wedi i ni ennill cystadleuaeth ffilm Pics (Y Galeri yng Nghaernarfon). Erbyn heddiw, mae'r disgyblion wedi dechrau sianel Youtube ac yn treulio blwyddyn yn cynhyrchu un ffilm fawr. 

"Mae brwdfrydedd y disgyblion am ffilm yn amlwg ac mae'r un brwdfrydedd yn dod i'r fei yn y dosbarth hefyd. Yn ogystâl â'r datblygiadau amlwg yn eu sgiliau llythrennedd a TGCh., mae ffilm yn llwyddo ennyn diddordeb y disgyblion mewn pynciau eraill.

"Wrth gwrs, mae pob un o'r disgyblion wrth eu boddau yn gwylio a gwerthuso ffilm, ond eu hoff ran a'r rhan dwi'n mwynhau hefyd yw'r elfen ‘creu'. Dyma, yn fy marn i, sy'n sbarduno a datblygu ysbryd a chreadigrwydd plentyn. Yn sicr, heb y gwaith creu, dwi'n meddwl y byddai'r disgyblion ar eu colled o ran eu sgiliau a phrofiadau. 

"Yn gyntaf oll, mae gofyn i bawb fod yn rhan o dîm. Mae pob un ohonynt â rôl boed o flaen y camera neu tu ôl, yn yr adran wisgoedd er enghraifft ac mae'r broses hynny yn helpu i'r disgyblion ddysgu pwysigrwydd cyfraniad pob unigolyn i lwyddiant y tîm. Ar ben hyn, mae'n gyfle iddyn nhw greu cynnwys o ddiddordeb iddyn nhw, i dderbyn adborth ar y cynnwys hyn ac i fynd ati i wella'r cynnwys a'i rannu ag eraill.

"Wrth iddynt fynd yn hŷn, mae ansawdd y ‘creu' yn mynd yn fwy soffistigedig. Ac unwaith y bydd ganddyn nhw'r hyder, mae'r pynciau ac onglau camerau yn mynd yn eithaf heriol. Yn hynny o beth, ry'n ni wedi gweld gwaith anhygoel gan ddisgyblion, dros y blynyddoedd.

"Rydyn ni'n elwa hefyd ar lawr dosbarth. Wedi iddynt ddysgu sut i greu ffilm, mae'r gallu trafod a gwerthuso ar lefel llawer mwy aeddfed. Ry'n ni hefyd yn gweld ôl ffilm yn eu gwaith llen a llythrennedd; er engrhaifft, ar ôl iddynt ddysgu sut i greu awyrgylch ofnus o flaen camera, mae modd iddynt ail-greu hynny yn eu gwaith ysgrifenedig. Yn hyn o beth mae popeth yn asio ac yn cyd-weddu ein gwaith cwricwlwaidd.

"Ond, yn bwysicach fyth, ry'n ni'n gweld pawb yn cymryd camau gwirioneddol i wireddu eu potensial. Er engrhaifft, llwyddodd un hogan swil iawn i ddod allan o'i chragen yn gyfan gwbl wedi i ni ddarganfod ei thalent cyfarwyddo tu ôl y camera. Ac oherwydd hynny, mae hi fel nifer arall wedi gweld y posibiliadau o fywoliaeth, yn y diwydiant ffilm, yng Nghymru, yn y dyfodol." 

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