Artist support day – St Patrick’s PS

CPDL Planning – Thursday 22nd March

On Thursday 22nd March, I visited St Patrick’s Primary School in Ballygalget to help Mrs Dornan plan for the school’s teacher-led CPDL session. On the most recent development day in January, I delivered green screen training, and this is what Mrs Dornan wants to focus on for her CPDL session. She plans to deliver a practical session for an hour and a half.

The teachers at St Patrick’s PS have received Into Film training and are comfortable with iMovie, so Mrs Dornan wants to show them how using green screen can enhance learning in different areas of the curriculum and how they can achieve things that they might not be able to in iMovie. She will also emphasise that as well as increasing the pupils’ filmmaking skills, green screen filming can also improve their talking and listening skills, because it can involve speaking clearly to camera as well as communicating with each other during the planning and filming process.

Mrs Dornan will start the session by showing an example of how green screen can be used in the classroom. She will create this example with her own pupils before the CPDL. The focus of the film will be famous landmarks and mathematics. For example, a pupil might stand in front of an image of the Eiffel Tower, tell us its height in metres, and then convert this into different units, among other interesting facts. The green screen clips of the different landmarks will be put together using iMovie. I thought this was a really nice idea and suggested to Mrs Dornan that one pupil could ask a question, and after a pause, another pupil could answer it. This way, the film could be used as a learning resource for other pupils because they would have the opportunity to guess the answer before hearing it on the film. I will then show a few other examples of how green screen has been used to cover topics such as The Vikings and to learn about other cultures. This will give the teachers an idea of how green screen can be used in a number of different contexts for a range of purposes.

After this, teachers will be given the opportunity to think about how they could use green screen to enhance the topics they are already doing in class. Mrs Dornan will provide teachers with storyboard templates so that they can plan what to include in their film, sequence it, decide on the different backgrounds they need, and write a short script for each scene if necessary.

Mrs Dornan will then show teachers how to find and save large images using Google Search, to ensure that images won’t be pixelated. This is another tip I showed at the previous development day as it is something that is often overlooked but is important to the overall quality of the final product.

We will both then show teachers how to use the Do Ink Green Screen app and give them some time to practise before filming their actual scenes. They can then put all their scenes together using iMovie. We will showcase their films and have a discussion about what worked well and what could be improved. Because the training session will be attended by a small number of teachers, Mrs Dornan thought that the evaluation of the session should take the form of a discussion (rather than written evaluation) around how they plan to incorporate green screen into their lessons, whether they have any worries/concerns, and if they would like any further training.

Mrs Dornan is already showing signs of confidence in using film and filmmaking within the curriculum, and in cascading these skills throughout her school. I look forward to helping out with this practical green screen CPDL, and seeing Mrs Dornan shine as a film leader within St Patrick’s PS.

Donna Galas, Artist Practitioner