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New Private Peaceful resource from into film and National Literacy Trust

Launched in May, an innovative new, cross curricular resource from education charity Into Film and the National Literacy Trust offers teachers an array of stimulating possibilities for using Michael Morpurgo’s moving story Private Peaceful to develop literacy and bring World War I to life in its centenary year. Created for use across the Key Stage 3 curriculum, the resource features exclusive footage and insights from the author in addition to clips from the film and behind-the-scenes information. Seven sections are available for study in English, Citizenship, Geography, History, RE, Science and English, each containing teachers’ notes and a series of activities to inspire imagination, stimulate thought and discussion, and support subject teaching in tandem with traditional and film literacy. Each section is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation with video content for use in teaching and learning. Designed for use in conjunction with the film, the resource can be downloaded at peaceful-resource,.

As well as undertaking in-depth film analysis, young people will embark on a skills based literacy and cross-curricular enquiry incorporating analysis of character and relationships, investigation of the main narrative themes and devices, and interpretation of the author’s message and different viewpoints. Activities range from storyboarding, story mapping and debating to comparing book and film, analysing camera shots, setting and sound, exploring class

structure in the early 20th Century and looking at the impact of World War I on the landscape. Through a variety of strategies for researching and retrieving information, organising data and presenting findings the resource will help schools to demonstrate that they are using film to achieve literacy outcomes across all subjects. Michael Morpurgo says: “Private Peaceful deals with one of the darkest aspects of a terrible war; the execution of our own side. I wrote it wanting to highlight what I believed to be the injustice of those shot at dawn, but also to show the impact of the war, of any war, on family and friends and loved ones. This heartfelt and moving film brings vividly to life the simple fact that soldiers are human beings, not just uniforms.”

Guy de Beaujeu, the film’s producer says: “The film has been praised by teachers as an excellent teaching aid in its depictions of WW1 and for remaining true to Michael’s original novel. There is a growing realisation among education providers that Private Peaceful is the perfect project for the Centenary – it is non-judgemental, non-jingoistic and unsentimental.” Abigail Moss, Deputy Director at the National Literacy Trust says: “Teachers will be able to use this timely resource to focus on the First World War and actively engage children and young people through the film, in both literacy and film literacy learning. We hope that this will have a positive impact on students’ attainment across curriculum areas as well as being a fun and interactive way for schools to mark the centenary year of WW1.”

Jane Fletcher, Director of Education at Into Film says: “Curriculum linked and enrichment teaching resources for learning through and about film are a key element of Into Film’s remit to put film at the heart of children and young people’s learning and cultural experience, and we are thrilled to be partnering with National Literacy Trust and Private Peaceful to bring this unique new teaching resource to our membership of Into Film clubs in schools, colleges and youth groups throughout the UK. We hope that this resource will enable teachers to support young people’s development of their literacy and film literacy skills by exploring behind the scenes of both Michael Morpurgo’s book and the film, which in turn brings World War 1 to life for the students.”

The Private Peaceful DVD is available free to rent for all schools with an Into Film Club ( - or to purchase online from (please visit the Schools area) at the specially discounted prices of £4 (1 copy), £10 (3 copies), £15 (5 copies) or £25.00 (10 copies).

Fink Cards prove dyslexia need not be a barrier to success F

ink Cards has just launched two new sets of conversation cards called Dealing with Dyslexia at Home and Dealing with Dyslexia at School. They are designed to help children take control of their dyslexia and become more independent learners.

One child in ten has dyslexia. The majority of them are intelligent, good talkers and very creative but there are many things they find difficult. Sometimes teachers, pupils and support staff need a tool to help children talk about dyslexia in a non-confrontational way. Sal McKeown is a freelance journalist and author of the book How to Help your Dyslexic and Dyspraxic Child published by White Ladder Press. She devised the cards because she has seen many instances where home and school become a battleground. Each pack contains sets in four different colours and will encourage more positive conversations: • Red cards are designed to draw out opinions. • Green cards will pinpoint the elements of dyslexia that cause significant problems.

• Blue cards hint at possible solutions the learner might try

• Yellow cards let users think more creatively Some schools are buying the Dealing with Dyslexia cards with Pupil Premium funding to develop 'Meta-cognition and self-regulation'. This strand has been identified by The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as 'High impact for low cost, based on extensive evidence.'


According to the EEF, 'Meta-cognition and self- regulation strategies involve learners being aware of their strengths and weaknesses, setting personal goals, monitoring and evaluating their own learning.

The researchers claim: 'Meta-cognitive and self- regulation approaches have consistently high levels of impact with meta-analyses reporting between seven and nine months additional progress on average.'

The Dealing with Dyslexia cards can be used one to one and for small group support sessions for students who are in danger of falling behind and who need additional support.

Leicestershire Dyslexia Support tutor Charlie Pitt Miller said: 'I love the fact that you have all the questions ready to go, to tailor-make an interview, stimulate a group discussion, provoke an argument and help with metacognition. Using carefully chosen cards I learnt more about the learning preferences of an individual child and fed this into a teaching programme. They are a great resource to have in my bag!

Elizabeth Lancaster from Newfield School in Sheffield said: 'The Fink Dyslexia cards enabled me to have a better understanding of the problems our students face when considering what subjects to take in their final years at school, also how difficult it is to choose options for further education. I particularly liked the way the activity could be used with students of different ages for them to share ideas and opinions.'

Joe Beech is a fan of the Dealing with Dyslexia cards. He is a teacher with dyslexia and won an Outstanding Achievement Award from the British Dyslexia Association for his book The Little Book of Dyslexia: Both sides of the classroom. He said: 'We really need more resources like this. The focus is on looking at problems from a different light, thinking about dyslexia in a balanced way, seeing the benefits as well as some of the problems.'

June 2014

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