An amazing time was had by all at the Into Film Awards at London's Leicester Square Odeon yesterday. The venue was packed with excited kids, teachers and film industry insiders as we settled down to see some of the best films and animations created by young people from around the country.
I was delighted to be nominated as 'Teacher of the Year' and it was great to be up there with other teachers using film to inspire their pupils' creativity. I didn't win, but I thought I'd share the poem I'd written as an acceptance speech just in case. Here it is...
Welcome to Film School
The school of the silver screen
Where lessons are taught by folks
From movies that you’ve seen
Art with Mr Disney
Home Ec with Remy the Rat
Design and Technology
With that man dressed as a bat
History with Dr Jones,
And hockey with St Trinians
And despicable school dinners
cooked up by a bunch of minions
At playtime you can play
With Jessie and Woody and Buzz
In English Professor Yoda
(Teaches backwards, it all, he does)
In PE, a certain panda
Teaches you to do Kung Fu
In Maths, it’s time for Algebra
With 007 + M + Q
And then there are school trips
to Middle Earth or Jurassic Park
In Year 5 we (der-dum) learn to swim
But (der-dum) watch out for the great white shark!
Chemistry with Dr Jekyll
(Let’s hope not Mr Hyde)
Then physics with Doc Brown
“Marty! Let’s go for a ride!”
But, alas, like life in Oz
Film school is just a dream
These far-off people, places
It’s all a bit extreme
But with film club in your school
You’re already half way there
Go on adventures, be creative
It could take you anywhere
One of the presenters was one of my all-time heroes - the one and only Simon Pegg (creator and star of Spaced, Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) - as well as the brilliant Michael Sheen and Stephen Mangham and the director of 'Belle', Amma Asante.
Perhaps the best part of the day was seeing the films created by children and young people from across the country - the variety and creativity on show opens your eyes to the scope and possibilities that film and film-making can offer in schools. So many skills are involved in making films and animation - it is truly collaborative and offers a 'level playing field' to children of different abilities and backgrounds. It also offers a real 'purpose for learning' and an end product to work towards that everyone can enjoy. Let's hope more schools cotton onto this!
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