Going Up: Merging fiction and non-fiction in a creative curriculum

Case study submitted by John Parkin of Oxenhope Primary School.


Developing new skills to analyse film and applying these skills.

What we did

  1. Using a clip from Up, we listened to the soundtrack without pictures so that children could predict the content.
  2. We then used the jigsaw technique and placed the children into Home groups and gave them an expert group to attend for one of the Cs for Camera – Character or Colour or one of the Ss for Setting – Story or Sound.
  3. The children met in expert groups and then fed back to their home groups.
  4. Follow up work involved writing a character study of Carl or Ellie and then a diary entry.
  5. The fiction work on Up was then followed by Non Fiction work using a BBC clip about Angel Falls, which is the inspiration behind the fictional Paradise Falls in Up.
  6. The class used this film to discuss and explore camera shots and camera angles.
  7. The skills and knowledge gained through the above films were then applied by the children when making their own films using flip cams and covering themes such as The Tudors, Space and The Bible.

Angel Falls - Thanks to Ben Heason for this photograph


The use of film as a stimulus increased the quality and quantity of the children’s diary entries especially for the boys. They showed increased engagement in the activities and were motivated by writing their own scripts and then using their increased awareness of film techniques.

Successful because

The ‘hook’ of using a film was very motivating and the children rose to the challenge of using a new way to look film using the Cs and Ss. They particularly enjoyed the ‘hands on’ production of their own films.


Climber Ben Heason –  http://benheason.com/ gives illustrated presentations in schools about his adventures which include an expedition to Angel Falls. His presentation comes highly recommended by Bradford headteachers.

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