Monday, 14 March 2011

Help Wanted.

In my Media Manifesto piece I said:
Primary teachers and learners need a well-resourced and publicised movie making website. It would have a wide-ranging core of quick and medium length movie-making activities with: clear guidance for students, specific curricular links, built in assessment materials and illustrative videos. 
As I was typing this it became clear that the person who needed to build such a site was sitting in front of my computer.  I know there are other people out there who make movies in school, I know too that there are professional film makers out there who do some superb work with primary schools such as Cineclub.   I have not yet met anyone who spent 25 years as a primary teacher before taking up film making with children. 
A few years ago I began to wonder whether there was a better job for me than being a teacher.  My kind of primary teaching  was being marginalised by the National Curriculum, SATs and detailed planning.   I went for an interview and filled in one of those vast online questionnaires. The result? Be a teacher.   So a teacher I stayed. It was only a horrible year as a Headteacher that forced me to consider my career again.

I've always been interested in the creative curriculum and I've always been interested in being creative.  I'm pretty good at writing, singing, drawing, storytelling, making things and having ideas.  But I've never been quite good enough to make my living doing any one of these things.  So it was something of an epiphany when I realised that being quite good at quite a few things was what I was actually good at - and that this was a really useful quality for film making.
I don't intend here to rehearse again all the reasons why making movies is such a powerful learning experience for primary aged children.  But believe me it really is - I've seen it with my own eyes.  What's more I don't believe there are still that many teachers using it as much as they could.  Freelancing for some years as Magic Lantern I was always looking for the simplest possible way of using movie making as a tool for integrating the curriculum.  I'm now sure there are no end of ways movie making can be used to develop children's learning. So I'm planning to start building that website.  I have a potential collaborator, who is really excited by movie making too, but I'm hoping there are lots of others as well. 
So if you have used film to enhance primary children's learning, or you know someone else who has, please do let me know.  I'm eager to share ideas that really work in the classroom.