The British Film Institute: ‘Putting film in English’

| December 1, 2007 | 2 Comments 

I was honoured to be asked to give a Keynote presentation at The British Film Institute today.

The conference, entitled ‘Putting film in English’, was also organised by the London Association for the Teaching of English (LATE).

The Revised Primary Framework and the draft orders for new programmes of study at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 offer teachers of English and literacy license to explore and incorporate a wider range of texts into the curriculum. At the same time, the cultures children inhabit are changing the ways in which they think, read and write. This conference explored what film – and film-derived technologies – can offer English and literacy teachers.

In my presentation  we investigated ways of looking at narrative using emerging technologies.

A range of workshops, addressing both primary and secondary practice, offered colleagues the chance to explore ways of working with film in the classroom. There were also opportunities to explore the new spaces at BFI Southbank, which include a Mediatheque and a Moving Image Gallery.

Film-maker Michael Dudok de Wit also gave a masterclass on the making of Father and Daughter, the Oscar-winning short animation.  Michael is famous among English and literacy teachers as the director/ animator of a number of powerful, moving, and funny short films. Three of his films – The Monk and the Fish, Tom Sweep, and Father and Daughter – feature on BFI Short film resources.

In my keynote, “21st Century Cultures – get with the programme!” – we investigated how young people now spend much of their time playing with, exploring, and sharing texts and technologies that go unrecognised in the school curriculum. We looked at how, using technology in a liberating way, we can build children’s experiences into the English curriculum.

It was great to meet SO many folk at the BFI Southbank site. Well done to Kevin, for surviving the Doors of Doom Challenge, and to Mark Reid for being a very warm, friendly host. Well done, too, to Laurin and the technical team at the BFI Studio, for getting through some very complicated technical issues.

As a “small Country lad from the deep South (of the U.K.!) with no experience of all this glitter” the World is my Lobster… but I had better not have my head turned by all the shining things. For example, who would believe, after my fascination with using the story of Ellie and the Pudding simile, that the BFI cocktail of the week would be “The Apple Crumble”? How convenient!

Off to explore the river here on The Southbank.

Meanwhile, try visiting a few of these great film related site: FilmEducation, Pixar, Film Street, arkive and my friend Oscar Stringer’s Animation For Education
Here’s a quick glimpse of the torture Kevin endured in a HUGE Doors of Doom Challenge:

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (2)

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  1. Morlette Lindsay says:

    Thank you for making getting up so early on a Saturday worthwhile and full of inspiration! Loads of ideas I will definitely try out starting with my Year 7s tomorrow.

  2. Lorna Campbell says:

    I would just like to take a moment to thank you for what was a fantastic lecture. My friend Laura and I, spoke to you afterwards about our rather amateur use of powerpoint compared to yours! You really inspired us both (which believe me, can often be tricky on a Saturday morning!). Thank you for making us fully appreciate what a life changing career we have chosen to embark upon.

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