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Successful Learners

Curriculum for Excellence aims to enable all young people to become successful learners with:

  • enthusiasm and motivation for learning
  • determination to reach high standards of achievement
  • openness to new thinking and ideas

By analysing, discussing, exploring and creating moving image texts, teachers can deliver on a range of abilities:

  • able to use literacy, communication and numeracy skills
  • able to use technology for learning
  • able to think creatively and independently
  • able to work independently and as part of a group
  • able to link and apply different types of learning in new situations

able to use literacy, communication and numeracy skills

Working with moving image texts can dramatically raise the self-esteem of pupils who find reading a challenge. Film and other moving image media can often be more immediately accessible – and feel less like reading.

Moving image gives children with some literacy problems the opportunity to contribute towards group and class projects. It also allows poor readers of printed works to engage with high quality demanding texts. This can also support pupils with English as a second language.

By providing a relevant context for reading – a transcript of a viewed film, for instance – pupils can become highly engaged.

Through creating characters for a class film project, pupils can immerse themselves in describing characters – not only physically, but socially and emotionally. Looking at characters in this depth and detail enables less able pupils to transfer these new skills to their writing with great effect.

A wide range of skills and problem-solving strategies are needed in all aspects of film-making. Pupils recognise the need to be systematic in both their individual roles and as part of a whole class group.

The range of technology employed by the pupils analysing and creating moving image texts – everything from televisions to computers and web-cams – develops a range of technology and ICT skills. These skills can be confidently applied and transferred across the breadth and depth of the curriculum.

Task and activities

  • Listening to films without the picture
  • Listening in groups to discuss and develop a storyboard for a scene in a film
  • Listening to others’ ideas for a film title
  • Discussing closely-examined films
  • Discussing ideas within a group when storyboarding a film
  • Discussing plot development with whole class
  • Reporting to whole class on group progression when storyboarding
  • Reading imaginative stories to peers.
  • Reading help notes when using software programmes.
  • Reading storyboards.
  • Reading scripts.
  • Reading character descriptions.
  • Performing part of written scripts.
  • Functional writing
  • Personal writing
  • Imaginative writing
  • Working out patterns and sequences in a film timeline
  • Working out number of frames per second of film to fit with audio recordings
  • Making spreadsheets to record animated scenes
  • Making spreadsheets to record number of shots per scene

able to use technology for learning

Editing software such as iMovie and Windows MovieMaker allows children to recognise that there are other ways of communicating a ‘story’ or ‘message’, and that narrative structure is similar in any medium. This can be applied to analysing a downloaded film or creating an entirely new film project.

Powerpoint and Publisher can be integrated into writing activities.

GarageBand opens doors for creating and designing music. An understanding of musicality is reinforced through the programme design. Children are made aware of the relevance of key, dynamics, pitch, rhythm, instrument quality – at their own level – and how it is relevant to the atmospheric or background sound of a moving image text.

  • Children become familiar with software (e.g. iMovie, Windows MovieMaker, GarageBand) and hardware (Mac, PC, webcam, digital camera, sound recording equipment)
  • Wordprocessing skills are developed through various writing activities
  • Email and telephone calls are used by pupils to communicate with each other, with teachers, with outsideagencies (e.g. professional filmmakers or performers)

able to think creatively and independently

When analysing and creating moving image texts, pupils should be encouraged to think outside the box. There is no such thing as a wrong answer – every contribution is valid. The direction of any moving image education activity is determined by the pupils’ unique reactions, responses and questions.

Once you start doing “what happens next?” prediction exercises, you will find that no two classes will develop the story in the same way.


  • Prediction exercises
  • Sound and image exercises
  • Asking questions
  • Making comparisons
  • Continue the story

able to work independently and as part of a group

Pupils often find writing is the most challenging imaginative task. Using moving image, children can work through challenges in groups to support each other and develop their skills. ‘Buddies’ can help each other with writing stories and scripts, and in the film making process – working in small groups sharing skills learnt.

Moving image projects can also give children the opportunity to work independently – for example in individual writing tasks and in character design, or in creatively developing costumes, make-up or sets for a film project.

Discussion and creation exercises get pupils regularly working collaboratively in groups of varying sizes. Ownership of storyboarding, filming, animating and editing can all be handed to pupils (individually or in groups). This can develop the ability to compromise and make decisions.

able to link and apply different types of learning in new situations

A range of moving image lessons – watching, analysing and creating – gives pupils the chance to practise and employ problem solving strategies, groupwork and talking and listening skills.

Moving image creation projects often involve working in groups, and these skills can be extended into other areas of the Curriculum or into other situations. Children readily accept roles within a group and co-operate to get the job done.

Many of the skills developed through moving image work are the same as those developed through enterprise activities; children can be encouraged to recognise the links between these themselves.

The success each child achieves through moving image education has an impact on all their learning and boosts their self-esteem. A pupil who normally finds it difficult to cooperate with their peers can become able to work in a group on a specific project. This can lead to taking part in group discussions and a more positive outlook on school as a whole.

Working with film and moving image media can develop an interest in drama – there is a crossover in the understanding of character and emotion in storytelling. Film analysis gives children a much clearer understanding of how emotions can be expressed through voice, movement and expression.