We all loved going to the cinema when we were young: the smell of popcorn as you walked through the foyer, the anticipation upon entering the dark auditorium, the flickering light of the projector, and the hush of the audience as the film began. It was, and still is, a truly magical experience for a child, being able to watch a film on the big screen. Now imagine if the film being shown were one that you had written and starred in yourself, the audience listening to your every word... That may have been only a dream to us, but this is the experience of many Primary school children each year, thanks to LitFilmFest.
The usual school grading system rewards and highlights academic success, but as educators, we have a responsibility to prepare our pupils to be responsible, active members of the community, with a moral and social responsibility to improve the world they live in and to fight discrimination and reduce inequality. As teachers, we know that theory is one thing, but to embed a thought behaviour, or an action, one must practise it regularly in a hands-on manner. So how best to go about this in 2018/19?
An amazing thing happens when we expect students to be leaders. They lead. Challenging the philosophy that, by nature, there are leaders and there are followers requires educators to start early. Providing guidance and opportunity for development of leadership skills early on is essential. This is where we learn the tenets of how to get along in the world, and it’s also where “soft skills” originate that serve as building blocks of leadership.
Is the answer to community reinvention sitting at a school desk? In the year that the UK has appointed the first ‘minister for loneliness’, it seems that perhaps we - as members of a community - need to take some responsibility for anyone struggling within our own locality. Let’s use retirement as an example: it is often seen as a time of happiness, ‘me time’, starting new hobbies, however many issues can hamper the enjoyment - poor health, lack of money, bereavement, distant families, inadequate support and, subsequently, loneliness.
Regular readers of IMS will be familiar with nationwide literacy and filmmaking initiative LitFilmFest, which transforms the written work of KS2 pupils across the country by bringing it to life on the silver screen.
Back in September, we announced the launch of LitFilmFest 2018 – a completely free KS2 literacy & filmmaking festival developed by the team at A Tale Unfolds, and supported by YouTube Kids, in order to boost writing attainment in Primary schools. The innovative event has gathered interest from an impressive line up of organisations, including the BFI, Picturehouses, BBC GoodFood, Change.org and the Houses Of Parliament.
The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a leading international initiative driving innovation and collaboration in education, took to the stage at EdTechX Europe in London on 20th June to reveal the five latest projects that will join the WISE Accelerator programme. Launched in 2014, this initiative serves to support and share the development of young, innovative edtech projects with high potential for scalability and positive impact in the field of education.
As the first manned mission to Mars draws nearer, UK students are being offered a unique opportunity to join the race to the red planet - by designing a space habitation module for NASA. The challenge – the first of its kind in the UK – has been launched today by Discovery Education as part of a new national STEM education programme: Generation Beyond. Unveiled at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in Gloucestershire, the exciting initiative will deliver space exploration resources to UK schools, inspiring the next generation of innovators, explorers and astronauts to pursue STEM careers.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is high on the agenda for schools, inspiring teachers to find more creative ways of bringing these skills to life in the classroom. Is Arckit the solution we’ve been looking for?
In June this year, 7-11 year-olds from across the country will descend on the BFI IMAX to attend LitFilmFest – a cinematic celebration of pupils’ writing achievements through filmmaking. Dominic Traynor, the festival’s founder, talks to us about the purpose of the event and how schools can get involved: