Pupils make a film with the BBC Learning LAB

Posted: 29/10/2014 | Education

From shaving foam art to stop-motion animations, when the BBC learning lab came to the Royal Blind School, it was definitely what you'd call a 'multimedia' experience.... 

It's day two (Oct 29) and the classroom has been transformed into an industrious animation studio. Three pupils (Christina, Katie-Jane and Namarra) are intensely focussed on moving fabric prints around a table, under the confident direction of their classmate Andrew. Next to them, Stephen is on camera, capturing each small change to the scene. Hundreds of images are then run together in a beautiful stop-motion animation that makes the fabrics magically dance, float and disappear.

This was the final piece of a multi-sensory extravaganza brought to the school by the BBC L.A.B. - which runs digital media workshops for pupils across Scotland. It involved video making, audio recording, animation, print, photography, craftwork and poetry.  All around the room there is evidence of earlier efforts, from the colourful art hanging on a laundry dryer to the half-empty cans of shaving foam.

While many types of media were used, every element shared a common theme – the school’s sensory garden. The project began with each pupil talking about something that they enjoyed about the sensory garden, such as the sound of the leaves or the smell of lavender. Christine was given the task of presenter and everyone talked about their choices. The short film was edited and uploaded on the BBC Lab website.

Students then brought back something from the garden to use for art projects.  They took photos using special film paper so they could feel the result and draw it. Wiki sticks help create shapes, which were then cut out to make stencils for the prints.

In the messiest part of the day, shaving foam with dye in it was used to create the colours for the printed squares, later brought to life in the animation.

Things were calmer when pupils turned to poetry. Stephen suggested a poem could be created from the letters in 'sensory', and everybody came up with words about the garden, which were recorded and placed inside an audio card. Andrew then got on his BrailleNote and created a beautiful piece of poetry about the sensory garden in just under 20 minutes!

Project Leader Johanna Hall described the event as:

“Messy, brilliant, such good fun. Everybody steps out of their comfort zone and has a wee go”.

Jo has worked at the Royal Blind School twice before and really enjoys it: “The kids are always amazing – they always blow me away!


Find out more about the project and watch the fantastic video the pupils created at: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02jfw9f