How being part of an Into Film Club can help children form bonds

26 Mar 2018 in Into Film Club of the Month

4 mins
Bunscoil An Iuir Into Film Club, Newry, Northern Ireland
Bunscoil An Iuir Into Film Club, Newry, Northern Ireland

March 2018's Into Film Club of the Month is Bunscoil An Iuir in Newry, Northern Ireland, which is run by Cora Trainor, Deidre McManus and Helen Mallon. The school has been running an Into Film club since 2012. We spoke to Deidre to find out more about their film club.

Have you seen any benefits of running an Into Film Club at your school?

We love running the film club because the children really enjoy it, in fact it's the busiest and most popular after school club here. We allow the children to bring treats to the club and this has encouraged them to share more which in turn helps them bond more with the other children and enhance their social skills. The children are very comfortable and confident in this environment as it is non-threatening and doesn't depend on academic level. All children can take part regardless of ability. Children from every rang (class) and academic ability/level take part in the Club Scannáin (Film Club), so there are great opportunities for friendships to be made across all ranga (classes). Taking part in film club has meant that the children form bonds and relationships with other children they would not normally come in contact with. This is great for their overall social and educational development, and has been great in developing a spirit of friendship amongst different year groups. It is also a good opportunity for siblings to get together.

How has running a Club Scannáin (Film Club) helped you to get to know your students better?

Running a film club is a fun activity and this has had a positive impact on our bonding with the children, as the setting of the club is a more informal, relaxed one. Students who would normally find it difficult to communicate or express themselves freely find it much easier to do so when talking about and engaging with film, this has allowed us to see another side to the students that I would never have discovered during regular lessons.

What have been the benefits for you and your club members when taking part in local Into Film activities?

Into Film activities act as a reward sometimes. The children do their homework before the film and this helps to motivate them. We try and attend as many out of school events with Into Film as possible, as they act as a reinforcement/reward for good behaviour or work. The leaders introduce the films for the week during assembly and as the children love their film club this motivates them for the week and then other children in the school also want to get involved.

Some of our film club members have benefited from filmmaking workshops using iPads. One of the three statutory Cross-Curricular skills for curricular assessment in Northern Ireland is the 5E's of using ICT. These are: Explore, Express, Exchange, Evaluate and Exhibit. 

Filmmaking lends itself to providing members with a great opportunity to allow these concepts to be explored and developed in a variety of contexts. We hope to utilise these skills to their full potential in the future. The great thing about the Into Film activities is that they are fun, and educational, so the children get the best of both worlds. They love when members of the Into Film Group come into the school and do activities with them, e.g. recently we had a team in from both Into Film and AMMA [a multimedia creative learning centre] making a film with the children.

Also, we recently attended a local screening of Coco and a review writing workshop. The children loved it, it was like a school trip for them. Upon their return, they all wrote up reviews and the club subsequently won a prize for their review writing!

Have you or other teachers at your school used film in the classroom?

We are planning to encourage the involvement of other teachers in our school by adding them as members of the club, so that they can add films to the wish list. For example, if there is a particular subject they are teaching they can then go onto the Into Film website and add relevant films to their wish list. This would mean that the film choice would help consolidate classroom learning.

Do you have any advice for new club leaders who are about to start a film club?

The support from the Into Film team has been very helpful and invaluable, so I would encourage new leaders to use this support. Get your film club up and running asap and get as many children as you can involved in it!

Can you recommend any films that have gone down well at your Into Film Club?

We would recommend the following films to other film clubs:

This Article is part of: Into Film Club of the Month

Each month we celebrate one Into Film Club's achievements and talk to the club leader about how they approach their sessions.

View other Articles in this column

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