Back to Back Conversations

Philip Webb and I modelled our back to back activity with a green screen background. Taken from the film Hugo. You can download the back to back planning frame on the resources page.

Teachers also had a go!

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Narrating Over Screenshots

We often use the technique of narrating over screenshots and saving work as a video. This is often done using iPads. As we use iMovie for filming it makes sense to use iMovie for this technique as well. My other favoured option for iPads is Shadow Puppet Edu. This is a free app which is very simple to use. So simple it makes it easy to use in key stage one.

If your schools only has Windows laptops you can use PowerPoint to record videos with narration. The short guide below shows you how to do it.


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New Project Proposal for 2019.

Into Film and our partner organisations, Nerve Belfast, Curriculum Innovation and Philip Webb Literacy in Bradford, and Bristol, City of Film, are proposing an exciting new 3-year film literacy and cross-curricular learning project for primary schools. All the details can be found in the flyer below. To download a copy of the flyer click here.

Schools can sign up by clicking on this link. 

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Pupil Film Screening 2017

Today we headed to the National Media and Science Museum in Bradford for the 2017 screening. We had schools from our key stage two film Literacy project and one school from our key stage one project took the chance to attend. This is the chance for the children in our project to watch their films on the big screen. It was clear to see how excited the children were as soon as they walked through the door and saw the screen. Flowery Field Primary travelled from Hyde and sent this tweet showing us how excited they were.

The cinema started to fill up…

…and we got started. Each school had the chance to stand on the stage and tell us about their films and the creative process.

Then it was showtime.

The children really enjoyed the day as can be seen in these tweets from Flowery Field Primary School.


We all had a great time and are looking forward to next year already.

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Join the Free Film Literacy Project 2017-2018

In 2017-2018 we will be running a free Film Literacy training project in partnership with Into Film. The sessions will once again be delivered by Curriculum Innovation and Philip Webb, independent Literacy consultant.  There will be three CPD days for teachers with one day also including pupil training to become Film Literacy Leaders in your school. There will also be a case study writing and evaluation day.

We will be running an information session at our centre in Bradford on the 25th of May at 4 p.m If this is too far from your school for you to attend please contact me via email at You can sign up for the meeting via this link. The flyer below also contains for information.



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Film Literacy 2016-17 A Chance to Take Part

This year any two form entry school will be able to join our Film Literacy project as part of a research project supported by Cape Uk, Into Film and the British Film Institute. This is for any school, not just those in the Bradford Local Authority. The project will enable year five teachers to embed the use of film English lessons.  This project is subsidised and the three training days for staff (with follow up consultancy) and one day for children will only cost £250.

More details are available in the flyer below. Please contact me if you have any questions.

The project is available to single form entry schools at a separate cost – all details can be found on our site here This page also gives details of our key stage one project.

Trouble seeing the flyer? Click this link to view it.


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The Results Are In. Record Levels of Progress

The reading and writing levels are now in for all the schools that took part in the third year of the Bradford Media Literacy Project. The teachers and children achieved an average points score of 4.7  in writing and 4.28 for reading. These are the best levels we have ever had and also give us an average points score over the three years of the project of 4.28 in writing and 4.15 in reading. The expected progress over a school year is three points.

This provides firm evidence that the use of film can have a powerful impact upon reading and writing levels in primary school. We have also amassed over twenty five case studies detailing the impact the project has had in individual schools. These are on our case studies page.

Our project continues next year and details to sign up can be found here. The project is open to schools in Bradford and beyond.

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Sign up for 2015-16

You can now sign up for the fourth year of the Bradford Film Literacy project. This is open to schools in and beyond the Bradford Metropolitan area. We are holding a meeting at the Innovation Centre Bradford in Little Germany  on the 29th of June at 4pm where schools can find out more. We will share the impact of the project to date and what will be involved over the course of the year. You can download the flyer below and details of how to find the centre are here . For more information email Tim Bleazard or phone 01274 434818

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Media Literacy Leading Teacher Wins National Award



Claire Dunsire, a teacher at Greengates Primary School has taken part in the Bradford Media Literacy project since its launch three years ago. Claire attended the Into Film Awards at the Empire Cinema in London last week where she won an award for the Most Inspirational Use of Film in the Classroom. The Into Film Awards recognise not only the best young filmmakers and film critics in the country, but also the inspiring teachers and film clubs who are making the most of the educational power of film.  Claire was trained in her use of film by the Bradford Media Literacy Project which has been running for three years. The project is run by consultants Tim Bleazard and Philip Webb and  works with Bradford City of Film and Cape UK.

Claire places film at the heart of her English teaching, her children watch, analyse and write about short films as well as planning and creating their own. As well as inspiring children in her school she presents her work to teachers across Bradford and has also presented to Welsh teachers as part of their pilot Film Literacy project.

The Media Literacy project has firm evidence that the use of film in the classroom raises reading and writing standards. If you would like a member of staff to take part in the project next year please email me at

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Training Day – Teachers Run with Film in Literacy

Our latest training day was jam packed with ideas showing how to use film in Literacy. We had a superb presentation from Philip Webb showing Literacy encoding and decoding skills in action through the use of film. Philip shared the great Decide Now app which can be customised to address the 3 Cs and Ss.  After listening to the opening music from the film Hugo (see films for the classroom page) we tried the Sound On Vision Off approach to describe what we could hear. Lots of our schools use this as a stimulus for writing activities. We had to sequence a series of images taken from the book Hugo and explain why we put them in the order that we did. This reinforced our understanding of sequencing and camera shots. We had started to build a story in our minds and crucially we had started to develop connections between each of the images. Philip had the brilliant idea of using IKEA film strips to house each image in the sequence (see below).

We looked at the brilliant resource developed by Chris Whitney in Lincolnshire linking different sentence starters to different camera shots (see below). Once we had done this we could replace each screen shot in each frame with our own writing.

After that we used the Into Film activity called Shots in Sequence. This allowed us to compare two shots next to each other. We structured our explanations by using the versatile and ever popular Venn diagram. Lots of our teachers have used this for comparing characters in films or books, scenes or comparing a scene in a film to a paragraph in a book. This activity took us decoding to encoding the activity.

Both Philip and I feel as if the presentations from the teachers were the best we’ve ever seen. I’ve added some of them below. Rachel Clifton from Clayton Village Primary used the book and film of How to Train Your Dragon.   Her presentation, which gives details of the wide range of skills and writing genres, is below.

Rachael is not afraid to incorporate technology into her teaching. Below you can see pupils analysing the text on a page of How to Train Your Dragon using the Screenchomp app.

How to Train Your Dragon – Analyzing the text – Clayton Village Primary from Curriculum Innovation on Vimeo.

Linda La Touche from Clayton C.E has been using Media Literacy in her guided reading lessons. Her presentation is below.

Nick Carter from Fagley dived straight in and made a Beowulf film with his class. The children have done lots of work related to recognising different camera shots and most importantly why they were used. His children have watched lots of other films and he told us how less able children had been engaged and been able to working on inference and deduction skills using film.


Victoria Wood from Westbourne Primary School looked at how important different shots are in conveying meaning in film. Children analysed shots to extract as much information as they could relating to character, setting and time, this also made extensive use of the Pie Corbett Questionator technique and the activities on our own resources page as can be seen in the slides in her presentation below.


Cath Binns is a year six teacher at Bolton Brow Primary school in Sowerby Bridge. When I sat down to plan with her she showed me the amazing film Gareth’s Story(see below)  that was created by the Happy Days Charity for whom she volunteers. Cath told us how she started using the film In a Heartbeat to familiarise children with different film shots and how they are used before moving on the Gareth’s story. The children wrote in the roles of passers by who reacted differently to the homeless man. A highlight of this work was meeting people from the charity and interviewing them. One of the most powerful events will be when Gareth, the star of the film attends a lesson to be interviewed by the children. The image below will take you to the Bolton Brow blog where you can watch a video of children in role reacting to seeing a homeless person. it’s worth reading the many comment written by the children attesting as to the value of using Media Literacy in their work.

Gareth’s Story from David Fawcett on Vimeo.

The quality and variety of activities and how they are closely linked to both reading and writing skills bodes well for our children this year.


In the afternoon we had an excellent presentation from Rob Smith, who runs the Literacy Shed web site. We had asked Rob to focus on poetry, an area often overlooked in the field of Media Literacy. His presentation was packed with ideas to use in the classroom and presented with pace and humor. His first reaction upon being asked to present on poetry can be seen below….

Rob came up with the goods and shared superb filmed performances of poems with us. A highlight of this was Johnny Depp performing the Jabberwocky. We explored portmanteau words and watched the superb Simpson’s version of the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. The films we used can be seen in the Poetry Shed and the Ghostly Shed on the Literacy Shed web site.

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