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ARTiculate newsletter: April 2018

Hello teachers!

Lights, camera, ACTION! This month’s newsletter is all about film and about how it can be used to inspire creative teaching and creative writing.

Read on to see how I am using it with children in classrooms from Leeds to Cape Town, changing the way schools teach and how children think about themselves as storytellers. I have even included a free resource to help get you started using film to inspire your class.

If you want to know more, I offer CPD training on using film to teach literacy for primary teachers in the UK and around the world. Click here or visit to book it for your school!

The Arrival: child migration in Cape Town

One of the things that brings me to Cape Town this year is the chance to support a research project in one of the city’s primary schools. The project explores how child migrants to Cape Town are accommodated by the education system. Using innovative methods such as photography and The Arrival – a picture book by Shaun Tan - the researcher is exploring the issue of inclusion for migrant children from the perspective of the children themselves. What challenges do they face when arriving in a new school? How do they feel school helps them settle in? What do they think could be done better?

You can read my blog posts on this project here.

My role in the project was to help the children turn their ideas into a short movie based on the story of The Arrival. Filmed with a group of children from Grade 4 and Grade 6, the film tells the story of a new arrival and what an inclusive and excluding school might look like to them.

The children really enjoyed the filming and, as this was their first experience of writing and starring in a movie, I was pleased to be able to offer them a new way to tell stories.

Julia Caesar – an ARTiculate film!
Earlier this year, I worked with a fantastic group of Year 6 children in a primary school in Leeds (UK) on a Shakespeare project. We pulled on our togas and jumped, sandals first, into the murky world of intrigue and blood-thirsty revenge that is the Roman epic, ‘Julius Caesar’. We reimagined the story, swapping the Roman forum for the school corridors of power and explored Julia Caesar’s ambitious plans for the school council. But will she succeed?

Click below to watch the trailer for the movie...

If the link did not load, follow this link to access the video:

A MOVIE for your classroom: Pandora from Avatar by James Cameron

To get you started in the movie-business, why not try Pandora, a short sci-fi film perfect for inspiring both fiction and non-fictional writing. Pandora is a mini-documentary featured in the blockbuster film Avatar by James Cameron and explores an alien planet and the natural wonders that can be found there.

This resource can be purchased from my e-shop on TES online (click here to access).
You can get it for free by joining my mailing list. Email with the word 'subscribe' as the email subject. 

Resource summary

Ideas for talking and thinking: consider how we might explain our human lives to aliens through the objects we have and get children world building….

Ideas for writing: Write and film your own documentaries about alien worlds….

Ideas for art: Use collage to create alien landscapes…

Ideas for other books and films ideal for creative literacy can be found in my e-shop.

How can I get Stefan to work with my school?

When schools approach me, these are usually the things they need to know. Click on what your school needs to visit my website and find out more.

#1 We need someone to show us how to inspire a class or year group about literacy and writing.
#2 We want a creative challenge for a high-flying group of children.
#3 We need a boost for a group of children who struggle with writing.
#4 We'd love someone to offer regular creative classes at our school.
#5 Our staff want training on how to plan better literacy topics.
#6 It is none of those things, but we’d like you to...
Why not drop me an email at I’d love to hear from you!

Happy teaching!


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