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Our Film Club of the Month for December 2017 comes from West Denton Primary School, Newcastle upon Tyne, where teacher and club leader Jenny Torrance has been successfully running the club for four years. West Denton has recently taken part in the Film Buff Challenge and is now only four films away from achieving Gold status. Jenny's film club is particularly active, screening films regularly and one benefit that she has identified is the way in which it has been beneficial in helping its members to form new friendships. Below, Jenny talks more about her film club.
You're only a few films away from getting your gold award in the Film Buff Challenge - how have you found the experience and what has kept you driven to achieve gold?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Film Buff Challenge, as it has given us all the opportunity to watch a wide range of different films, and the children have really enjoyed it.
The main thing that is keeping me going to achieve the Gold status is having a sense of accomplishment, making sure the children enjoy more diverse films. And the fact that there is a little reward as an outcome also helps to encourage the process!
Has taking part in the Film Buff Challenge changed your film club's viewing habits at all?
It has changed my pupils' views by making them step out of their comfort zone by watching films that were made before they were born, and in some cases, before I was born! I was pleased to see the children fully engaged in these films. I have received mostly a positive reaction, as they ask which films they are going to watch in the future. We had a split opinion over the black and white films (White Mane), and the subtitles were an issue for my younger viewers.
How has being part of an Into Film Club helped members to form new friendships? Have you noticed any other benefits?
We have made friendships off-screen by having a mixed-age club. The children have had the opportunity to spend time with people they wouldn't normally, and most importantly, we have thrived as a result of being together. On-screen we have enjoyed having relatable characters in the films and enjoying the journey they go on. Into Film has given our children a voice. They are vocal in their choices of which films to view; they have listened and praised each other in group discussions, and it has always been a pleasure to share movie moments with them. In addition, it has fuelled their confidence and the ability to expand their film choice horizons by regular report and review writing, group discussions and watching unfamiliar genres and films that are suitable for their age.
What do you enjoy about running an Into Film Club?
I have enjoyed running my film club because it gives me the chance to spend time with the children in a relaxed atmosphere and it has been totally worth my time and effort by seeing their faces and experiencing their emotional journeys throughout our films. Running a film club has given me the opportunity to share my personal favourite children films with my pupils, and I have enjoyed the films they love that I hadn't seen. That's what makes Into Film such a great company; they give children of all ages - and adults - the chance to watch a variety of thought-provoking movies from their vast selection of DVDs.
What one bit of advice would you give to a leader who is about to embark on running an Into Film Club in their school/venue?
My one bit of advice for film club leaders? Enjoy every minute. And maybe have a group with less than 15 pupils in!
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The Into Film Awards are back, as we once again set out to find the best young filmmakers, reviewers, film clubs and teachers using film in the classroom.
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