Curriculum for Excellence aims to enable all young people to become confident individuals with:
- self respect
- a sense of physical, mental and emotional well-being
- secure values and beliefs
Working with screen texts and encouraging listening, talking and creating, teachers can develop key "can do" qualities in their pupils:
- relating to others and managing themselves
- pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle
- being self-aware
- developing and communicating their own beliefs and view of the world
- living as independently as they can
- assessing risk and making informed decisions
- achieving success in different areas of activity
relating to others and manage themselves
Watching and discussing films, along with working together to create their own films, positively encourages pupils to listen to others and be more confident in offering opinions. When pupils take on key roles in a creative screen project (such as director), they quickly recognise the need to be organised and try out leadership skills.
Welcoming the ideas of others and creative suggestions in a project become natural instincts after exercises that require teamwork and group discussion.
- Listening to opinions of others and offering confident views
- Accepting roles within the making of a film
- Discussing ideas within group and reporting to class
- Planning of writing
- Accepting creative ideas from others and compromising on own ideas
being self aware
Viewing films, followed by talking and listening exercises, gives lots of opportunity for personal expression. If the teacher frames discussions in the right way, pupils can feel safe talking and sharing their opinions or experiences. Key to this is the notion that every pupil’s contribution is equally valid.
Children can use peer assessment as a yardstick to measure where they are. The reading aloud of writing, regardless of age and ability, can be hugely empowering if it involves accepting praise (or constructive comment) from classmates.
Pupils with literacy problems or low self-esteem can be encouraged to take part in group projects and acknowledged for their achievements.
- Film analysis provides discussion topics relevant to children’s experiences
- Film analysis and film making develop a sense of fairness
- Peer assessment, both orally and written, encourages children to give and take positive criticism
- Role responsibility, during film making, raises self-confidence and self-esteem
developing and communicating their own beliefs
Films with ‘edgy’ stories and characters such as 'Growing', 'The Little Things' or 'About a Girl' can involve deep discussions of moral values and behaviour, and how pupils would react in similar situations. When discussing films, children should be encouraged to confidently express opinions and ask questions which help to challenge their own beliefs.
Children can find freedom of expression when writing a film, and use it to express their own views of the world around them.
- Discussion in film analysis of different cultures
- Respect is gained through film analysis for different views, customs and differences
- Film making and writing allow individual expression of strongly held beliefs
living as independently as they can
Screen education gives children the chance to work on their own initiative, take on leadership roles, make decisions and develop confidence in themselves.
assessing risk and making informed decisions
Many of the short films on Screening Shorts deal with various aspects of healthy living, and the making of lifestyle choices. Through watching and analysing the films, children can discuss attitudes and the acceptance of differences in others. 'Otherwise [Anders-Artig]' is a film about a chameleon who challenges convention from the moment of his birth. In 'The Lucky Dip', the negative image of a large scary man, perforated with piercings, is challenged by his care of a little girl; while 'Empty' is a story about a girl dealing with self-image problems.
Short films can be used to prompt discussion or reflective writing exercises on subjects such as personal responsibility, the rights of the individual, acceptable social behaviour.
achieving success in different areas of activity
The use of screen in the classroom is truly cross-curricular. It means teachers can use it to encourage a variety of activity in a range of different subject areas or within meaningful contexts.
In a lesson involving pupils creating an imaginative story for a film, they need to brainstorm the basic idea as a group then develop the story line. Creating characters, developing setting, scriptwriting and storyboarding involves everyone and depends upon total commitment by the group to listen to the opinions and ideas of everyone.
All pupils can be actively involved in different areas of filmmaking – from writing, to organising to creating scenery and props. Skills in life-drawing, writing, set-building, constructing models, make-up and more can all be developed through screen projects.