Free STEM Course Using Film Technology in English

This week I worked with a group of teachers to deliver a course at the National STEM centre in York. This course is funded through a STEM Enthuse bursary, so it is effectively free to schools. It runs again in June and you can book places here.

This course is based on our three year Bradford Media Literacy project in which we linked use of film in the classroom to reading and writing attainment.  We spent the first part of the course exploring how to make children film literate. You can see lots of the resources we use on our Film Literacy resources page here. We worked on our understanding of camera, character, colour, setting, story and sound. We used lots of films from different sources, the main one being the Literacy Shed.

Once we had worked on how to read film we could then use these skills to explore how to create our own films. Film making is often seen as a large scale, time consuming project. We used an idea called Sentence Filming to make it the opposite of this. As the name suggests pupils film a sentence. Children film a sentence with two clauses and focus on an aspect of grammar. This video used a fronted adverbial.

Roar from Curriculum Innovation on Vimeo.

We followed this up by storyboarding and filming our one minute masterpieces.

After collecting stills from a film we dropped them into a slideshow and added narration to describe the shots and why they were used.

Commenting on movie shots from Curriculum Innovation on Vimeo.

We used Comic apps to show our ability to infer what characters are thinking and feeling by using stills from a film.


We also used the iMovie trailers app to summarise a plot.

The birds from Curriculum Innovation on Vimeo.

We also looked at animation and how it can be used to support English, Maths and Science.  This course has lots of practical, hands on activity. Even though lots of these exanples used iPads the course is designed to provide alternatives for schools who have laptops.  Why not join us in June?

Some feedback from teachers….

“Fantastic! Will be extremely useful in school, particularly for reluctant writers.”

“Excellent to see how film can be used in the teaching of grammar.”

“App smashing between Doink and iMovie was great. I can really see my children enjoying this.”


Tim Bleazard

Tim has over 20 years experience as a primary school teacher, twelve of them as an ICT co-ordinator. In 2009 he was seconded to Challenge City Learning Centre and used the opportunity to assist schools in their understanding and use of a range of new and emerging technologies. He joined the team as a Curriculum Innovation Consultant in 2012. Tim is a qualified E-Safety Mark Assessor, CEOP Ambassador, Apple Professional Development Authorised Trainer and a Google Certified Teacher. Tim’s role includes evaluating a range of mobile devices (Apple, Android and Microsoft) and advising on their appropriate use in schools. Tim is passionate about blogging, programming and using creative digital technology such as video, animation, photography and audio to raise attainment across the curriculum. He leads the very successful ‘Media Literacy Leaders’ project in partnership with Bradford UNESCO City of Film, the British Film Institute and Cape UK.

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