Using Film Adaptations in English Lessons

17 Jul 2019 in Into Film Club of the Month

5 mins
FCTOM for July 2019
FCTOM for July 2019

The Into Film Club at King Henry VIII Comprehensive School in Abergavenny, Wales, is run by Julien Jones and Clare Robinson. The club was set up nearly 10 years ago and below, Julien talks to us about how running an Into Film Club has enabled him to share his love of film with his club members.

What inspired you to start an Into Film Club?

We wanted to run an afterschool club that would appeal to a range of KS3 pupils. Film is a dynamic media form, which engages children by using moving images and sound to tell stories. The purpose of our Film Club is just to allow pupils to enjoy a range of films collectively, and we try to create the full cinema experience by using a large screen and popcorn for extra enjoyment. We also like the fact that the Into Film website allows pupils to share their enjoyment of the films they watch by writing online reviews.

There is always an atmosphere of excitement before each film is screened and a buzz of conversation when each film has ended.

Julien Jones, English and media studies teacher, King Henry VIII Comprehensive School

What is the most rewarding part of your film club?

The most rewarding part of our film club is sharing our love of film with the pupils. There is always an atmosphere of excitement before each film is screened and a buzz of conversation when each film has ended, as the pupils share their opinions about what they have seen. It is also particularly rewarding when the pupils are pushed out of their comfort zone by watching an old classic such as Some Like it Hot or Whistle Down the Wind, and thoroughly enjoying themselves as they laugh or cry in all the right places.

What advice would you give a teacher looking to start using film in the classroom?

As an English teacher, I always use film adaptions of the texts the pupils are studying, such as Of Mice and Men at KS4 or Skellig at KS3. I often use key scenes from films to illustrate key aspects of characters and their relationships by focusing on dialogue, mise-en-scene and camera shot, angle and distance. I have also used film to develop creative writing tasks by focusing on key action, imagery and sound effects. This was particularly effective when I used the trailer for The Martian as a way of preparing for a descriptive writing task about a trip to Mars.

What are your plans for the future?

Film Club has a regular spot every Tuesday afternoon in KHS library (popcorn and squash provided), and we hope to keep this going for many more years to come!

What are the most popular films you've watched at your club?

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.

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