Monthly Archives: May 2011

Knox Academy creates Award Winning film!⤴

from

Third year pupils at Knox Academy have spent the past seven months working on a short documentary film called ‘It Gets Better’. The film focuses on homophobic bullying in schools and gives hope to young Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender people that ‘It Gets Better’.

The pupils were part of the Panasonic Kid Witness News project, a Global contest, which asks young people to create an engaging short film with Global importance.

At the Panasonic awards day in Derby on May 4th 2011 the Knox Academy KWN Team were awarded the ‘Best Global Citizenship’ National Award. Out of the fifteen schools involved in the UK, the Knox Academy team were the only Scottish representatives.

Gill Brigg, Education Director for KWN, had this to say about the Knox Academy film. ‘The judging team was deeply impressed by the commitment of the Knox Academy students in bringing such a loud and proud message to the competition. Their film encapsulated the spirit of KWN through placing citizenship at the core and leading the audience through a challenging, yet optimistic, narrative. We loved the film. Well done! We will ensure that this film reaches as wide an audience as possible. Panasonic supports KWN in  679 schools across 26 countries and we will ensure that this film reaches as wide an audience as possible.’

The pupils worked alongside Stonewall Scotland to help create their KWN film. Laura Ferguson, Education Officer at Stonewall was very impressed by the Knox Academy KWN Team and wanted to thank them, she said  “I hope this team of motivated and intelligent young people will inspire others around the world to speak out about homophobic bullying; a problem that destroys lives. I was delighted to work with such a passionate group and I’m thrilled that the panel have recognised their efforts.”

Maura Drew, a third year pupil and member of the KWN team said ‘It’s been such a fun day; we didn’t expect to get any award. Some of the final films were really good. I was just pleased that our work has been recognised. I’ve learnt so much about film production from doing this. It’s a great project.

The team worked with professionals from Panasonic on film production, editing and camera skills.

‘This has been an amazing opportunity for our young people and I am so proud of them. Homophobia is a serious issue in schools and I want to thank these young people for getting the message heard that ‘It Gets Better’. This is our first year in the contest and to come away with the Best Global Citizenship award is really special, I’m truly honoured to work with so many inspirational people.’ Commented Drama Teacher, John Naples-Campbell

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National Theatre of Scotland five minute theatre⤴

from

The Standard Grade Drama pupils in third and forth year at Knox Academy have been accepted to take part to celebrate the National Theatre of Scotland’s fifth birthday by creating 5 pieces of five minute theatre.

A total of 235 Five Minute productions will be broadcast online over 24hrs from 5pm on Tuesday 21st June, 2011. Entries were received from all over the world with 37 successful entries coming from Edinburgh and the Lothian’s.

John Naples-Campbell, Teacher of Drama, Knox Academy, commented:

”Knox Academy are incredibly excited to be selected to stage 5 pieces of theatre created by our Standard Grade pupils as part of Five Minute Theatre. Our pupils aged 14 – 16 years old are looking forward to being part of this wonderful project. Each piece will be staged at Knox Academy on Tuesday 21st June, 2011 as part of a day of theatre at the school.  We hope to create five engaging and stimulating pieces of theatre; performed, written and directed by the theatre makers of tomorrow. From all at Knox Academy…Thank you for giving us this amazing opportunity.”

The five groups from Knox Academy, whose performance proposals include a TV cookery show with a twist; tourists marooned on an island following the sinking of their cruise ship; a one to one confessional; a site-specific, physical theatre piece and a couples’ date night. The school are planning a day of theatre at Knox Academy on Tuesday 21st June, 2011 to celebrate the Five Minute Theatre programme.

Marianne Maxwell, Audience Development Manager, National Theatre of Scotland commented: “The response to Five Minute Theatre from all over the world has been fantastic.  There is a huge range of ideas from a huge range of people. The creativity of each submission promises live and virtual audiences 24 hours of short, original, funny and brilliant entertainment on June 21st.”

 

What if we turned everything upside down?⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better than Yesterday

One of my earliest memories is from about the age of four. I was at home with my family and everyone was eating bags of crisps - or potato chips if you want to get all American on me. The bag, I recall, had a little cartoon man on the front – perhaps made by Smiths or KP – and I had opened my bag from the bottom. The man was upside down. At four years old I clearly couldn’t accept that state of affairs so I turned it upside down to open from the other end. Disaster.
A clear learning opportunity, wouldn’t you say? I never lost another crisp in my life; so isn’t turning things upside down sometimes a clever way of making things better. Even different. Reading Guy Claxton’s ‘What’s the Point of School?’ recently I came across this passage;
‘Imagine a society...in which physical education, design technology and art are the three most highly esteemed subjects, and English, maths and science are obviously less important because they only merit one lesson each a week, and they became optional when you are fourteen.’
He goes on: ‘The outstanding successes of the school are those who are strong, fit and physically agile; who can solve practical problems by inventing and building useful gadgets;  and who can make elegant sculptures and great photographs.’
Now I know there will be readers of this who will be thinking, ‘That’s Rubbish’, ‘Maybe’ or ‘Wouldn’t that be nice?’ but it has rattled my cage somewhat over the last few days. We may indeed mock Claxton’s suggestion but on closer inspection it could have some merit.  What happens when we, the teachers and adults, become jaded, uninspired by work, and desperate for something new? Most of the teachers I know would fit into one of the following groups: we wish we could play a musical instrument in our spare time; we may start to enjoy sketching or ceramics as a creative outlet; we take a photography course and buy an expensive camera; we join a gym.
Quite simply, we desire all of the things which at the moment are, perhaps, the least respected subject areas in our school system, the things we value less. We actively discourage the skills we ourselves desire thirty years later.  Ironic? Perhaps. However, what I think it does is suggest a great conversation to be had. I’m not suggesting we should change everything just for the sake of change but if we are to truly encourage engagement with Curriculum for Excellence we at least need to have these ‘out of the box’ conversations. In fact, we not only need to think outside of the box but, as again I read somewhere recently (apologies for forgetting exactly where), we need to create a new box that doesn’t even look like a box.
Whatever happens, whatever the Curriculum turns out to look like, let’s get talking. And we can start by turning things upside down and seeing what they look like. We can do this, people. Let's do it together.

What if we turned everything upside down?⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better than Yesterday

One of my earliest memories is from about the age of four. I was at home with my family and everyone was eating bags of crisps - or potato chips if you want to get all American on me. The bag, I recall, had a little cartoon man on the front – perhaps made by Smiths or KP – and I had opened my bag from the bottom. The man was upside down. At four years old I clearly couldn’t accept that state of affairs so I turned it upside down to open from the other end. Disaster.
A clear learning opportunity, wouldn’t you say? I never lost another crisp in my life; so isn’t turning things upside down sometimes a clever way of making things better. Even different. Reading Guy Claxton’s ‘What’s the Point of School?’ recently I came across this passage;
‘Imagine a society...in which physical education, design technology and art are the three most highly esteemed subjects, and English, maths and science are obviously less important because they only merit one lesson each a week, and they became optional when you are fourteen.’
He goes on: ‘The outstanding successes of the school are those who are strong, fit and physically agile; who can solve practical problems by inventing and building useful gadgets;  and who can make elegant sculptures and great photographs.’
Now I know there will be readers of this who will be thinking, ‘That’s Rubbish’, ‘Maybe’ or ‘Wouldn’t that be nice?’ but it has rattled my cage somewhat over the last few days. We may indeed mock Claxton’s suggestion but on closer inspection it could have some merit.  What happens when we, the teachers and adults, become jaded, uninspired by work, and desperate for something new? Most of the teachers I know would fit into one of the following groups: we wish we could play a musical instrument in our spare time; we may start to enjoy sketching or ceramics as a creative outlet; we take a photography course and buy an expensive camera; we join a gym.
Quite simply, we desire all of the things which at the moment are, perhaps, the least respected subject areas in our school system, the things we value less. We actively discourage the skills we ourselves desire thirty years later.  Ironic? Perhaps. However, what I think it does is suggest a great conversation to be had. I’m not suggesting we should change everything just for the sake of change but if we are to truly encourage engagement with Curriculum for Excellence we at least need to have these ‘out of the box’ conversations. In fact, we not only need to think outside of the box but, as again I read somewhere recently (apologies for forgetting exactly where), we need to create a new box that doesn’t even look like a box.
Whatever happens, whatever the Curriculum turns out to look like, let’s get talking. And we can start by turning things upside down and seeing what they look like. We can do this, people. Let's do it together.