The value of Into Film Clubs in rural locations

29 Nov 2018 in Into Film Club of the Month

6 mins
Belleek Primary film club with leader Kevin Beattie
Belleek Primary film club with leader Kevin Beattie

Our latest Into Film Club of the Month is Belleek Primary School in Northern Ireland. The club has been running at the school for over 6 years and is led by teacher Kevin Beattie. We spoke to Kevin about Belleek Primary's long running Into Film Club, how our Resources have been instrumental in supporting their members' literacy development, and the social benefits of running a film club in a rural location.

What do you enjoy about running an Into Film Club?

I like giving children the chance to see films that they might not otherwise watch. One of the surprise successes was a Marx Brothers film from 1933, Duck Soup. Even though a lot of the dialogue and word-play jokes went over their heads, the children really enjoyed the visual jokes. One of the P6 girls chose it as her first choice of films she would want to watch again. I also like the shared experience of watching films together. I know that there were some films that we watched where children only came along because another child had seen the film before and recommended it. There were other films, like Duck Soup, that nobody had seen before but children decided to stay after school to watch it because they knew their friends were going to be there.

We've had plenty of laughter, a few tears and even the odd fright along the way, but being able to share the experiences with friends is a really valuable aspect of Into Film Club.

Kevin Beattie, Teacher and Into Film Club Leader

The whole social aspect was very important - particularly in a rural community like ours where friends are not necessarily within walking distance of each other. Many children just enjoyed the opportunity to spend some more leisure time with their friends. I liked hearing the chatter in the classroom the following morning, if the film had been a particularly popular one. Running an Into Film Club enables me to show films that the children enjoy, whilst also supporting the curriculum.

Have you used Into Film resources?

We began by using films to help us write reviews in literacy and there are some great resources on the Into Film website to support that kind of work. We have also used Into Film resources to support work in PDMU (Personal Development and Mutual Understanding), and there were excellent resources available to use during Anti Bullying week.

I found the short films that were available to stream very useful. We used a number of films with no dialogue to look at how characters are portrayed. My pupils were able to see how an audience can form opinions on a character based on their actions and facial expressions, which helped them when they came to write about the characters.

What's been the value of Into Film Club, both for you as a leader, and for your students?

We have definitely been able to use film in the classroom to support the curriculum and many of the Into Film resources have been useful in that regard. The students have been able to enjoy a wide variety of films. Sometimes they have enjoyed being able to watch an old favourite with their friends who had never heard of the film before. Sometimes they have enjoyed watching a film that none of them had seen previously. We've had plenty of laughter, a few tears and even the odd fright along the way, but being able to share the experiences with friends is a really valuable aspect of Into Film Club.

What advice would you give to new Into Film Club leaders?

I would say look at the resources that are available on the Into Film website. I have only really scratched the surface of what's available, but any resources that I have used have always been well thought-out and useful. I'd also say, try a few less well-known films. Into Film ran a scheme called Film Buff Challenge, where children had to watch films from a range of different genres and time periods. We chose a lot of films from the curated lists and it meant that there was a good variety of films for the children to watch - screening lesser known films and older classics that were new to them.

What are the top 5 films you've screened 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.

View other Articles in this column

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