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Screen Education Across the Scottish Curriculum

The term 'screen education' (also known as 'film education' or 'moving image education') refers to learning and teaching practices which develop literacy skills using screen texts. These practices involve reading screen texts as if they were printed ones, analysing them, creating them, exploring, appreciating and sharing them, and using films as stimuli for imaginative and personal creativity.

Traditionally defined as the ability to read and write, literacy is now understood to be the ability to locate, evaluate and communicate using a range of media including text, visuals, audio and video - this includes films, TV programmes, computer games, music videos, and even TikToks.

However, screen education is about more than just literacy. It is a rich context for learning that allows children to develop across the curriculum. Different activities can feed into different subjects - often crossing over - which means that screen media can be a relevant teaching source across the entire Curriculum for Excellence:

While there are currently no formal Es and Os for screen education, Screen Scotland have developed sample BGE Fourth Level Film Studies checklists covering the most important outcomes from the study of fiction and non-fiction film and one for making a film. There is also a checklist for a combined approach as, in order to make a film, you have to study one - and vice versa! This should help you to develop one suited for your own class.

The analysis, creation and appreciation of screen texts provides many broad opportunities for pupils to develop within the four capacities of the Curriculum For Excellence:

  • To become successful learners with enthusiasm, motivation, determination and openness
  • To become confident individuals with self respect, a sense of well being, ambition, secure values and beliefs
  • To become responsible citizens with respect for others, participating responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life
  • To become effective contributors with an enterprising attitude, resilience and self-reliance

The following pages in this section detail the kinds of learning and classroom activities you can encourage using moving image to meet these capacities and a range of experiences and outcomes.