During my PGCE year I was lucky enough to have a placement in a school who were using the Film Club organisation for an after school club and I thought it was a fantastic idea. Starting my school in September I straight away set to organising my own.
If you are unfamiliar with Film Club they are an organisation dedicated to providing children and young people with access to both mainstream and independentfilm. They offer a free service, available to join online www.filmclub.org, using the services of LoveFilm (again you don’t need to pay for this if you use it through film club) you are sent 3 DVDs at a time through the post which you can watch and then return for others to be sent. The range of films is incredible, as good as any DVD rental store, so you’ll never be short of something good to watch and children are able to request what they would like to order. Film club also provide you with a variety of resources such as discussion points and possible curriculum links to support the use of film within school. After each film children are encouraged to write reviews online and share their experiences.
Film Club offer a unique and personal service which really makes a difference. When joining you are first invited to an induction where they can introduce themselves and check you’re ok with how their systems work. They automatically assign you a co-ordinator who is always on hand to offer advice, answer questions or send you free merchandise to encourage your children to review. Currently they have sent me a lanyard and membership card per child, numerous wrist bands, hats, bags and tshirts; all for free!
Film Club is a great way to get boys interested in writing by sharing their ideas with an audience and I have seen much better writing on the reviews than I often see in their Literacy books. Each week Film Club choose ‘best’ reviews for each age category who get featured on their site and some goodies, if a child is chosen twice they get bigger rewards such as interviewing stars or going behind the scenes on a set. This is fantastic motivation to keep children reviewing and writing online.
So far I have seen children eager to get online and write reviews for a variety of films. They have been enjoying watching films together and sharing the experiences of film which has been wonderful. We have opened a Tuck Shop selling pop corn and squash for 20p and 10p and the club is proving so popular I am considering expanding my numbers from 20 to 40 children. I am also looking into running a whole-school film night event which my film club co-ordinator is happy to support me with!
I hope there’s more to come from here!