Providing literacy outside the square

4 May 2010

Marrickville and Panania public schools have begun a six week film production and editing program directed' by tutor Jack McGrath from the University of Sydney's College of the Arts (SCA).

The program introduces students to the basics of film and video production as a fun and engaging way to support literacy development.

Students will learn how to storyboard and explore concepts of character, plot and narrative. Working in groups, students use the medium of digital video to develop and execute an idea.

During production, students are divided into roles including direction, crew, wardrobe and of course, the all-important actors. Using the storyboard and shot list as a guide, cast and crew cooperate in groups to shoot the film on digital video.

The program offers schools the opportunity to work with an SCA tutor across all phases of the film production and editing process including:

  • planning
  • shooting
  • editing
  • music & sound effects
  • making a DVD

Condell Park HS and Condell Park PS will also be undertaking the program later in the year.

To support the program and ensure its long term sustainability, teachers from all participating schools have received seven hours of professional development facilated by Jack.

The feedback from the 30 teachers that have now received professional development in film production and editing techniques have been overwhelmingly positive:

  • "empowering, engaging and relevant to syllabus outcomes" (teacher, Condell Park HS)
  • "this knowledge and these skills are a priceless resource in the classroom." (teacher, Panania PS)
  • "very useful. Covers a lot of curriculum using literacy and ICT" (teacher, Condell Park PS)

Marrickville Primary School plan to enter the film that they make as part of this project in the ABC kids documentary competition in June, 2010. We wish them luck and will keep you posted on their progress.