It started out like any normal day in St Joseph’s Primary in Aberdeen. A class of Year 4 & 5 children were avidly reading the latest edition of First News when class teacher, Mrs Lacaze, asked them to share their favourite articles.
“One pupil drew our attention to the advert for LitFilmFest,” recalls Mrs Lacaze. From that moment on, life in the classroom was about to get very exciting.
As regular readers of First News may know, LitFilmFest is a brand new KS2 festival showcasing the writing and filmmaking achievements of primary school pupils all over the UK. It takes place on Monday June 19th, giving pupils the chance to see their faces on the biggest screen in Britain – the London BFI IMAX.
Mrs Lacaze explains how the chance spotting of the First News advert led to a classroom experience like no other:
“We love a competition, so after checking out the LitFilmFest website to explore the different categories, my pupils decided that they would like to make a Frightful Film trailer. As a 5 lesson project, it fitted in perfectly with the time we had available.”
The projects are planned and designed by A Tale Unfolds – a social enterprise whose key aim is to raise literacy attainment through the use of filmmaking projects. Traditional writing objectives are combined with exciting, hands-on filmmaking tasks, and culminate in a movie that pupils can share with an audience.
““We are loving the whole project,” says Mrs Lacaze. “The children meet me in the corridor with, ‘Are we doing the filming today?’. As a school we have been using iPads for a few years now, aiming to enhance the learning already taking place. The children enjoy apps like Book Creator to present their work and iMovie to edit their films”.
Only part way through the project, the impact on pupils’ writing skills is already evident: “I have found as a teacher that the writing the children have been producing is much more focussed. Working in small bursts, they are trying so hard to capture their characters or the setting in a way like never before and with such passion.’
With pupils collaborating in small groups, assuming a variety of roles such as narrator, director, cameraperson or actor, Mrs Lacaze has also been impressed by the teamwork and communication skills that her pupils have had the chance to develop:
“The children are working in small cooperative groups each week. This brings the extra challenge of developing all the teamwork skills that are needed to create a high-standard finished product. They are desperate to make a great trailer, so put the time and effort into making their group work well together. It is a powerful motivator.”
The class haven’t completed their project yet, but already have a lot to say about their filmmaking experience in this fantastic montage of their experience.
“We all look forward to our trailer writing sessions – they are bringing the pupils writing to life and provide a real energy boost in literacy lessons, which makes me happy,” says Mrs Lacaze. “In fact, we are already planning which project we will do next term!”
With pupils and teachers across the country discovering the impact of filmmaking in their literacy lessons, why not inspire your budding filmmakers today by visiting www.litfilmfest.com and checking out this short film. The prestigious IMAX event, which takes place on Monday June 19th, invites winning schools to shoot their films professionally and see their efforts brought to life on the biggest screen in the country! The deadline for entries is Wednesday 17th May 2017.