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Three teachers who took part in our Media Literacy Project - a 12 month pilot project we ran in Wales - reveal how the strategies they learned for using film in the classroom have benefited their pupils.
Alan Thomas Williams, Ysgol Treganna, Cardiff
"The training sessions have given me a wealth of ideas that really drive literacy in the classroom. Because the same language skills and reasoning skills are needed for any communication and any storytelling, this film-based work allows the children to discover they have abilities they hadn't realised. I have been able to use media literacy to develop some of the key learning targets around writing letters, reports, media-stories and creative writing.
The greatest impact has been on the structure of the pupils' work. The purpose of sentences and paragraphs became clearer and they were more able to sustain their ideas throughout their pieces of work, with a marked improvement in the flow and quality of their writing. Young people who took part said the sessions helped them think differently about what to put into a story. It gave structure to their ideas and let them write from the imagination with the same confidence as if they were talking. Equally, the more able and talented pupils felt freer than usual to play with their language skills. Through this project I've been as enthused as the children to realise just how effective film is as a teaching tool. I now try and integrate it into all aspects of learning."
Rebecca Harris, Waun Wen Primary School, Swansea
"The ideas and resources for extending writing using film have been particularly useful. They make writing so accessible to all children and provide them with ideas to write. The training has also provided excellent ideas to use in guided reading and help with inference.
Our class is a mixed group, which includes several children with special educational needs. Working with film helped these pupils to express themselves. The nature of the project made it exciting for them and they now want to write more, which for many of them is a huge step.
We also have several pupils for whom English is their second language. Working with film has helped them with ‘seeing' and ‘experiencing' in addition to writing and reading. One young girl used to spend a lot of time crying; this is now happening less because she is more engaged in the classroom.The level of engagement when using film is fantastic. Since taking part in the project I have continued to use film regularly in class and also run a weekly film club. There are so many benefits using film within and outside the classroom, but as a teacher in year 3 watching all the children becoming excited about what they are going to watch next is priceless."
Sarah Edwards, Ysgol Bryn Castell Special School
"The workshops were very informative and gave me a whole new outlook on how to teach literacy. Our pupils often find the presence of text to be a huge barrier to their learning. The use of film has been extremely successful in engaging pupils with literacy and has helped them to perform above the expected levels of achievement in reading, writing and oracy, as they were able to explore freely and without the fear of text that some pupils had developed. I am now embedding the activities and techniques throughout Key Stage 2 and 3. I have trained some pupils to be media leaders and they, along with other pupils have used their skills to create exciting films and develop their planning ability through storyboarding and questioning. Working with film has helped young people to access skills they didn't know they had - for example I have also used a range of short films from the training sessions to develop pupils' sequencing, questioning and deduction skills. Pupils are offering much more complex responses to questions when based on film as film is something tangible, provoking their thoughts. I have also seen that pupils have become more independent in their learning when using film because they are able to access it themselves and feel like the expert in something."
Register now for our free online course ‘Teaching Literacy Through Film', in partnership with the BFI, which begins on 26 September 2016.
You can also book a free training session for your school/organisation.
A session focussed on raising literacy attainment through film in collaboration with Picturehouse Education.
DateTue 01 Mar
Time16:30 - 18:30
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Reading time 3 mins
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