Filmclub provides new opportunities for learning
A new initiative to set up free film clubs and activities in state primary and secondary schools across the UK has been launched by Filmclub.
The scheme provides access to 60,000 diverse titles via an interactive website on which youngsters can also post reviews and find out more about the film industry. Teachers receive free induction sessions and on-going web and telephone support.
According to Flimclub, films are equally valid in encouraging critical understanding as books, and can have huge educational benefits.
Sabrina Broadbent, Filmclub’s Schools Support Manager, said: “Filmclub is a national organization that supports teachers to set up after school film clubs in state schools. We listen to what children say about the films that they watch and the experience of watching in a safe and happy place.
“We are interested in their ideas and responses to films, in their growing awareness that there is an extraordinary culture of world cinema out there which they wouldn’t know about if they were just to visit their local multiplex. Filmclub is about informal learning, learning by stealth, memorable learning, pleasure, curiosity, challenge and imagination.”
Julie Leahy, of St Saviours Church of England Primary School in Kent, who uses Filmclub, said: “My film club is run for the upper junior school (9-11 year-olds). It’s a great opportunity for them to use and give a real-life context to some of the skills that we teach in class. One example is literacy, as members enjoy writing reviews for the FILMCLUB website. Discussing the films is a great opportunity to develop skills such as speaking confidently, persuading others and listening.
"In maths we create tally charts and frequency tables based on opinions of the films we’ve watched and sometimes use the data to create charts and diagrams. In drama the children love to act out parts of the films and in geography we look on our globe at where some of the films were made."
The recent Cambridge review of primary education highlighted 12 aims for each pupil. Since its pilot in 2007 and its national rollout in 2008 (aiming to reach 7000 schools by 2011) children and teachers have been talking to Filmclub in a way that fully reflects the report’s aims. These are listed below.
‘I haven’t been to the cinema for one and a half years because I am in foster care. I like watching films at Filmclub because it is peaceful and we get to eat. You can also focus on the film and watch it on the big screen.’ (James, Liam and Ben, 11)
Encouraging respect and reciprocity
‘Film enables us to see the world through the lives of others and to seek out, and maybe even create, a level of tolerance and respect for the views of others – something that, at this point in our history, may well be more critical than at any other.’ (Lord Puttnam, keynote speech, Filmclub event, November 2008)
‘I was most surprised when they declared their love for The Cave of the Yellow Dog! It’s a Mongolian film, very documentary in style, subtitled, and with non-professional actors. They just totally accepted it and loved watching it. That’s a film they would never have seen without Filmclub.’ (Teacher, London, BBC Radio 4, Front Row)
If you’d like to find out about setting up a free film club at your school visit www.filmclub.org
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