Thrupp Primary School made contact with FLIC to support its Lights, Camera Action project for year 4 and 5 pupils. Pupils aged between 8 and 10 worked with a professional filmmaker to make their own short film in a day.
All 22 of the pupils were engaged in the project and worked hard together to make their film a success. Before the filmmaking workshop, the pupils discussed a number of film ideas and decided on a spy drama called Spy Academy. The story follows Phoenix, a clumsy spy cadet who inadvertently saves the world from being taken over by an evil genius. The children wrote a funny and clever script and mapped out the different scenes using a storyboard.
“I would recommend FLIC to all teaching professionals. I think that this project has engaged all my pupils. It has excited them. The buzz it has created is phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for more from a project.” Teacher
On the day of filming, the children worked with the filmmaker and led on the key roles including camera, sound and directing. They all had the chance of learning how to use the filmmaking equipment and in small groups, each shot a separate scene for their film.
“The pupils were thoroughly engaged with the topic. The filmmaker came in and had a wonderful working relationship with the pupils. He excited them and they were eager to impress him with their filmmaking skills.” Teacher
Being involved in the FLIC project has helped pupils to develop a range of skills including communication, ICT and teamwork and their passion for this project has improved motivation and their engagement with learning. The pupils are now looking forward to sharing their film with friends and family at a special screening event taking place before the end of the school year.
Check back here over the coming weeks to see the completed film.
To find out more about FLIC and how it could benefit your pupils, contact Daniel Smith on 0121 224 7514 or by email at email@example.com.
FLIC is delivering a summer film programme for youth offending teams across the UK in support of the Unitas Summer Arts Colleges programme.
Youth Film Challenge will support groups of young offenders (typically 10 per group) to develop a range of transferable skills by engaging in positive activities and making their own short films.
Over five days, young people will learn how to make their own short films, which will focus on a theme chosen by them. All of the activity will support the requirements of the Arts Award programme, with the added bonus of using film as a tool for recording evidence.
Supported by a professional filmmaker, the pupils will be guided through the film production process and will learn a variety of skills in different roles including director, producer, scriptwriter, actor and editor. Each activity will have learning outcomes based around developing literacy and numeracy skills.
The programme will culminate in a celebratory screening of the films and presentation of the Arts Award certificates for the young people, their friends and family.
Youth Film Challenge will:
- Provide opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy skills through a structured programme of filmmaking activities
- Help young people to develop a range of transferable skills including communication, teamwork and responsibility
- Assist YOTs with preparing activities that directly support the achievement of Arts Award accreditation
- Target under-achievers, young people not in education, training or employment and disadvantaged young people
- Increase young people’s confidence and aspirations, improving their ability to re-engage with education, training or employment
FLIC is a registered practitioner on the Summer Arts College artists’ directory and we have supported a number of YOTs across the UK including Wrexham, Bracknell and Wakefield.
We are now taking bookings for these workshops from youth offending teams across England and Wales in receipt of funding from Unitas or those that would like to book an independent programme.
You can view a selection of the films we have made with young offenders by clicking the links below.
Wrexham Youth Justice Service- Fork in the Road
Bracknell Forest Youth Offending Service- Pig
Are you looking for creative ways to engage your pupils in learning?
First Light in the Classroom (FLIC) delivers professional filmmaking workshops in schools that support whole curriculum learning, enhance cross-curricular skills and improve motivation, behaviour and attainment for pupils.
FLIC workshops provide an opportunity for pupils to learn a variety of skills in different roles including director, producer, scriptwriter, actor and editor. Everyone involved will play a key role in the creation of their own short film.
Filmmaking is an accessible medium for all young people, regardless of their age or abilities. This makes it a perfect learning tool for young people who might not normally succeed through traditional learning methods. Using creative approaches to learning, pupils are able to develop a range of cross curricular skills including communication, teamwork and planning. Furthermore, the experience of working as a film crew fosters a sense of responsibility for pupils and they can feel more confident and motivated to achieve. Evaluation of our workshops demonstrates that filmmaking has a positive impact on pupil engagement, pupil emotional and physical wellbeing and pupil family life.
FLIC workshops include:
- Training and support from a CRB checked filmmaker professional;
- Access to industry standard digital production equipment;
- Access to free filmmaking resources to help improve film and digital media skills;
- Specialist exhibition and distribution support to help get your film seen by a wide audience;
- Marketing support to celebrate the achievements of the pupils involved;
- Copies of the films created for the school and participants;
- Eligibility for the First Light Awards, the UK’s most prestigious young film and media event.
FLIC filmmaking workshops can be delivered over a timescale to suit a school’s needs from a daylong session to a whole term. The workshops also support enrichment activity and can be delivered in extracurricular sessions. Starting from £490 (plus VAT) for a daylong workshop, FLIC workshops can be made bespoke to suit a variety of budgets.
Already making your own films with pupils?
FLIC can support your existing filmmaking activity and help you develop your pupils’ skills even further. Our filmmakers can deliver a half day training session that focuses on a specific skill or film process such as developing ideas, editing and camera techniques. The rate for a half day training session is £230 (plus VAT).
Interested in CPD training for teachers?
FLIC can also deliver filmmaking training sessions for groups of teachers, from complete beginners to those with experience of making films in schools. If you are interested, get in touch for a quote.
Making a film with young people has just as much to do with the learning process as it does with the end result. The idea of making a film is an exciting prospect for most young people and regardless of the content, they will want to engage in the activity. This makes filmmaking a great tool for covert learning, where young people will develop a range of creative and technical skills as well as learning about the subject matter at the heart of the activity. Here are two examples of how filmmaking can be used to give pupils a deeper understanding of the subject matter in history and religious education.
Key stage 2 pupils learning about WWII consider what it was like for children and young people living through the world war. They start by researching primary sources such as diaries, letters and accounts from evacuees. They then draw up a list of questions about the experience to ask elderly members of their community. The pupils use flip cameras to interview elderly members of the community to create a documentary that compares the primary resource accounts with those of the interviewees. To bring some of the stories to life, the pupils re-enact some of the memories to create a drama-documentary.
Key stage 3 pupils exploring Christianity, Islam and Judaism decide to make a TV show to help them understand the similarities and differences between the religions. Using a hot seat format and setting the discussion on a TV chat show, different pupils play guests that represent the different religious beliefs. The audience ask the guests questions about their beliefs and practices and the guest are encouraged to demonstrate how theirs differs from the other religions.
The filmmaking as a tool for learning document has even more examples of how filmmaking can be used effectively in the classroom. If you would like to find out how FLIC can support the development of these lesson plans, get in touch.
The films were made by young people aged 11-17 who took part in a First Light project coordinated by My Pockets. As part of the project, they produced six 90-second comedy shorts based around sex education. My Pockets worked closely with Compass Pupil Referral Unit and the Switch Community Project to recruit participants from hard-to-reach groups such as young offenders, young people excluded from formal education, young people in care, and those from economically disadvantaged or rural areas. None of the participants had been given the opportunity to make a film before.
The young people wanted to make comedies about sex and relationships as they felt that this was a subject that dominated their lives but that was not covered accurately in the media. They decided that making a film that was too serious would put others off watching and not represent how they talked about it amongst themselves.
However, the young people were uncomfortable about acting or appearing on camera talking about sex and felt that puppets would be ideal for helping them to express themselves confidently, in addition to providing the all-important element of humour.
The young people made their own puppets, many based on representations of themselves and of friends, using sculpting, drawing and sewing.
The participants were supported by professionals to gain hands-on experience and technical knowledge of making a film, but mentors also commented that confidence increased and team-working skills were greatly developed.
“Many of the young people who benefited most from the project do not excel in academic subjects. The project allowed them to find new talents and new value in areas that they knew nothing of before” Project Co-ordinator Peter Snelling
The project also had wider and more far-reaching implications as prior to the experience several of the young people were engaging in sexual activity that was potentially harmful to themselves and to others. During the filmmaking process these individuals began talking about their behaviour and coming to realisations about the consequences of their actions. Some of the young people commented that it was easier and more natural to talk about such issues in this setting, rather than in formal sex education classes.
The young participants attended a screening of their films alongside friends and family. The realisation that their films were genuinely funny gave them a sense of achievement and pride, and at least half of the young people involved have expressed an interest in making further films. Some of the participants have even asked My Pockets to help them gain work experience in the field.
“I have really enjoyed this project more than I thought I would. It’s helped me learn new skills that I am proud of.” Participant, 15
Watch the comedy shorts below
Mike Kelt has been in the Special Effects business for 30 years, working on iconic films such as Hot Fuzz, Four Lions and more recently, Prometheus. Mike inspired students with insights into his trade, including demonstrating how certain special effects are created. The students were able to participate in a variety of activites, including controlled explosions, smoke effects, applying fake cuts and exploding bullet wounds using fake blood.
The young people were inspired by Mike Kelt’s stories about working in the industry, and learnt about the different routes in and the variety of projects that Artem have worked on including Troy, Hot Fuzz and The Borrowers. As part of the session, the students were also given useful information about where to find out more, and support should they wish to consider further education or a career in the industry at a later date.
All of the young participants said that as a result of the workshop they understood more about the British film industry and the roles within it, and felt inspired by having an industry professional talk about their career. Watch the footage from the SFX masterclass here.
The masterclass was delivered by First Light and FILMCLUB and supported by the Skillset Craft and Technical Skills Academy. It was the first of 10 masterclasses to take place at secondary schools around the UK, targeting young people under-represented in the UK film industry, such as young women, young people from BME backgrounds and those with disabilities.
The masterclasses are designed to give young people an overview of the craft and technical roles within the film industry. They are funded by the Skillset Craft and Technical Skills Academy as part of A Bigger Future 2.
If you already use film in the classroom (whether that watching, making or critical analysis of films) or would like to but don’t know where to start, Using Film in Schools- A Practical Guide will be an invaluable resource for you.
The guide is designed to help teachers and headteachers integrate filmmaking, watching and understanding film across the curriculum and supports all subjects cross all key stages. The guide is full of practical tips on how to make the most of using film in the curriculum and requires no prior knowledge or experience to get started. The document can be downloaded here.
The guide is part of Film: 21st Century Literacy, a 3-year Strategy to recognise the value of film in education. Film: 21st Century Literacy is delivered by the British Film Institute, Skillset, Film Education, First Light and FILMCLUB.
Big Screen Science, supported by The Wellcome Trust and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), was a nationwide project that enabled secondary school students to produce films focusing on a range of issue-based biomedical science topics from Xenotransplantation to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
First Light collaborated with six UK Science Centres to host Info-Labs that brought together teachers, scientists and filmmakers to explore how science and the arts could collaborate. Back in their classrooms, the teachers worked-up proposals for biomedical science films with their students. Over 300 students and teachers returned for workshops where they wrote and edited TV news items, working with professional scriptwriters.
A teacher involved in the project said:
“It made science cool….it was a brilliant way for the pupils to learn about the subject matter in a way that was creative and engaging”.
Finally six schools from across the UK were chosen to make the Big Screen Science films and allocated £7,000 budget as well as the help and advice of professional filmmakers and scientists.
Big Screen Science clearly demonstrated how filmmaking can be beneficial in teaching complex biomedical science topics. The filmmaking process itself proved hugely engaging for the pupils, teachers and even the filmmakers and scientists too. A fantastic resource book was also created to complement the films so that teachers can use the films in the classroom.
Watch the films here
Independent evaluation undertaken by the Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy has produced very positive feedback on First Light in the Classroom. The organisation found that those involved thought that the filmmaking projects produced tangible results, improving behaviour, confidence, communication and attainment for the young people taking part.
East Harptree Primary School found that
- Being involved in the FLIC project boosted the children’s self-esteem and helped them explore community history
- The children were totally engaged in the project which resulted in some improvements in behaviour among some of the children which transferred to the classroom
- One young boy who took the lead role has ADHD and behavioural problems but this project encouraged his love for performing.
“FLIC gives children additional opportunities to grow in confidence, be fully involved and demonstrate achievement.”
“The results on improvement were phenomenal, especially having them doing something every day which caused such an improvement”
Wakefield Youth Offending Team found that
- 7 of the young people involved achieved a Bronze Arts Award, (meeting YOT’s target of 70%)
- The YOT assessed the impacts of the project on each young person: Literacy improved by 12.5% and numeracy 20.5%
- Three of them have chosen to learn about filmmaking (including sound and editing), one person wants to do the Silver Arts Award and all have said that the arts is more accessible to them and many want to pursue the arts, possibly as a career option, but at least as a hobby
- Four people taking part have now returned to mainstream education.
FLIC continues to deliver successful film projects for a range of youth settings. To find out more about FLIC, see our website here.
Schools Minister David Laws has announced that the Summer Schools programme will run again in 2013.
In 2012, the Deputy Prime Minister announced £50 million would be made available for the Summer Schools programme for disadvantaged pupils. The programme was open to all secondary schools during the 2012 school summer holidays. Almost 2,000 schools signed up.
The programme was designed to help disadvantaged pupils make a successful transition from primary to secondary school. Schools were funded £500 per disadvantaged pupil for a two-week summer school and £250 for a one-week summer school.
FLIC supported a number of schools in receipt of this funding to deliver creative film workshops that helped address issues around the transition from primary to secondary school by developing pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills.
“The children really did gain so much confidence and knowledge from the experience and enjoyed the time with the filmmakers. They were able to discuss their fears of moving to secondary school with others and in seeing that others shared their fears, felt excited about their new school adventures”.
“This project has helped reluctant writers to engage in script writing tasks and to share their ideas with the rest of the group. Filmmaking has really captured their imaginations”.
Here is one of the films created during last year’s programme.
A group of year 6 pupils explore their fears and apprehensions at moving to the new high school. Our intrepid gang worry about homework, detention and getting lost not to mention the horrors of lumpy custard!
FLIC will be delivering a targeted filmmaking programme for schools in receipt of this funding during the 2013 school summer holidays. Watch this space for more information in the new year. For more information on how FLIC can support your school, contact Daniel Smith on 0121 224 7511 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.