Teachers on what makes the Into Film Festival so special

03 Sep 2019

8 mins
Partnering with the Film Industry (Grinch IFF)
Partnering with the Film Industry (Grinch IFF)

Ahead of Into Film Festival taking place from 6-22 November we are very excited to showcase a series of testimonies from teachers at St Andrew's (Barnsbury) CE Primary School on all that they took from last year's Festival.

Introduced and brought together by Family Liaison Support Outreach Worker, Jacqui Smith, the testiomonies explore how teachers and their students, from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to Year 6, reacted to a wide range of Festival events and incorporated them into their lessons.

The 2018 Into Film Festival presented wonderful opportunities for our pupils, most of whom rarely visit the cinema. As the Coordinator for the Into Film Festival, it was amazing to see the diversity of films on offer - from slapstick to gothic horror, the choice was fantastic. It also provided the opportunity for the children to venture out and visit different types of venues.

The cinema visits and online resources linked well with the school curriculum and could easily be incorporated into lesson plans. The visits were great fun for the pupils and in an age where children can access media so easily, it's also great for them to have the shared experience of watching a movie together. The visits facilitated great discussions and created lasting memories.

As a school we are very grateful to the Into Film Festival for giving us this opportunity and highly recommend the Festival to all schools. This year the school attended seven screenings in total, six of which you can read about below:

EYFS: Double Bill of Stick Man and the Highway Rat at Castle Cinema, Hackney

The Castle Cinema was a very quirky and interesting venue with stunning features. It was very homely and inviting and we all sank into their comfy sofa chairs. The children really enjoyed the cinema experience and back at school we recapped the story and they shared their favourite parts. They continued to talk about the movies long afterwards, especially Stick Man as they were rooting for him to get back to his family.

Year 1: Mary and the Witch's Flower screening and talk at the British Library

The children found the film interesting and participated in the interactive Q&A. The lesson plans for that week included reviewing the film and writing a reflective piece about their cinema experience.

Year 3: The Grinch Pupil Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square

It was a great experience and the children really enjoyed dressing up. They also really enjoyed being interviewed and filmed afterwards - it was great to capture their views so quickly after the showing. Screenings like this get the children out of Islington and open their eyes to other venues and experiences that are available to children in London. They were really excited and proud, and they are still using the resources and talking about it now!.

Year 4: The House with a Clock In Its Walls at Vue Islington

Having the opportunity to watch this movie for free so close to its general release was really exciting for the class. They were really engaged in the movie although, some were a bit scared. Overall, it was a lovely experience that I'd like my class to take part in again next year. 

Year 5: The Greatest Showman at Vue Islington

It was great to have such a wide variety of films to choose from for a whole class cinema visit. The children enjoyed sharing the film with other schools too. The impact is immeasurable, as some children in my class simply do not have the opportunity or the finances to go to the cinema often with their families, so visiting the cinema with friends within their class and the teachers was a valuable experience. We watched The Greatest Showman, and all happily sang along. Some children had seen it several times and others like me had never seen it, but it was like we were all watching for the first time and we cheered wildly at the end! I run an Into Film Club as an after-school activity for my school and use the resources to show the children all different genres, so the Festival experience continues all year round!

Year 6: Steamboat Bill, Jr. at The Barbican Centre

When it was announced that Year 6 would be watching a silent movie, the children were quite skeptical. However, all the children enjoyed the film showing and laughed all the way through the movie. It was a great talking point and we were able to discuss the historical importance of the silent movie genre afterwards. They were able to watch a creative genius in action and we have introduced a new generation of children to Buster Keaton.

This year's Into Film Festival will feature around 3,000 screenings and 200 special events and offers something for 5-19 year-olds from all backgrounds and corners of the UK. Bookings are live now, so head over to the Festival site and book your free spaces today!

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