Aim: To inspire all staff to develop and use film resources in lessons to replace aspects of schemes of work and make lessons more enjoyable and rewarding for teachers and students.

Background: More authentic cultural depth in lessons had been a school and department priority from 2010/11. The MFL department focused on teaching grammar points and language, as well as consolidating past work and stimulating discussion in Years 7-11 without the textbook or more traditional methods.

Method: Having been inspired by the British Film Institute (BFI) French film DVD resource ‘ciné-minis’, the department became involved in the MFL film teaching project with the BFI, which was funded by the Lord Mayor of London. HBS then produced their own film resources and the project expanded across French, German and Spanish in KS3 and 4.

Year 1:

Provision expanded across the three languages

Head of Department delivered PTI New Teacher Subject Days workshops (Autumn 2014) and PTI CPD in March 2015 on use of French film and shorts

Embedded and expanded Year 8 sequence of lessons using a second short film

KS3 students were taken to BFI cinema days in each MFL where possible

Year 2:

Continued to build a larger set of resources on cinema shorts/extracts from French film, particularly in Years 9-11

Devised a resource booklet for a Spanish short film as a project with the BFI

Expanded German film use to Year 8 and/or KS4 lesson sequences

Year 3:

Deeper analysis and authenticity: students gained wide appreciation of film techniques far beyond their normal year group level using the language of film grammar and analysis and imaginative exercises such as dictation, script extract analysis (for the new GCSE) and translation, to inspire and motivate

Community links: an independently organised CPD session for other local schools was held at Henrietta Barnett, with cross-school resource sharing

Evidence: Staff and student feedback, lesson observation by the BFI and Institute of Education.

Impact: Students now watch films differently and in an analytical way. They are able to write about cinematographic techniques in the target language at a more Sixth Form level. Students use film to learn grammar and extend their opinion base to vocabulary far beyond their year group. Students thoroughly enjoyed lessons using film resources and the range of (short) films used all proved popular. It increased their sense of a real, living culture and society, as well as giving them access to some classic films such as Les 400 Coups. A number were inspired to consider MFL at A Level. Staff enjoyed developing and using these resources. Staff who attended our CPD day all left feeling their subject knowledge had been improved and were very positive about film use and our resources presented to them in the three languages.

Reflections: As Head of Department, it has been great seeing members of my changing department be enthused, lead, create and share resources and take active roles to ensure quality outcomes were achieved. For the most important stakeholders in the whole project, our students, it has created a real buzz: a sense of enjoyment and authenticity in the lessons where film is used, discussed, written about, where displays are produced and scenes are even acted out.

Contact: Paul Haywood, Head of Department,