There are many organisations and websites with film education resources that you can download for free or buy to help you with your film literacy work in the classroom.

Getting Started

To get you started with the basics in film literacy and filmmaking in the classroom, here a few essentials to help you begin planning it into your lessons.

Basic Filmmaking Techniques (BFI Screenonline)

Understanding Film (BFI Screenonline)

Each of the sites listed below have a broad range of resources which can be used to support film literacy in the class room:

Primary Film Literacy: Innovation Centre

The Innovation Centre’s online blog holds extensive information and downloadable resources including films for the classroom, films made at the Innovation Centre, script templates and enhanced ‘Tell Me Grid’ amongst many others, and case studies of schools that have taken part in the film literacy project.


British Film Institute

The British Film Institute help people of all ages to understand and enjoy film. They run events and courses at BFI Southbank and encourage new audiences into the world of specialist, independent and archive film. Their website includes information about events, resources (including the popular Ciné-minis, Story Shorts, Story Shorts 2, Starting Stories and Starting Stories 2) conferences and courses.


Into Film

Into Film is a film education charity that puts film at the heart of the educational and personal development of children and young people aged 5-19 across the UK.

Into Film offers schools and colleges the opportunity to use film as a powerful tool for learning in the classroom. Educators can set up their own film club, giving students the opportunity to watch, discuss and review a huge range of films, as well as all the guidance to introduce filmmaking into school projects.


The Literacy Shed

A website for teachers filled with ideas for literacy teaching using visual resources such as film, animation, photographs and picture books.


Film Space

THE FILM SPACE recognises the key role that teachers play in introducing children and young people to a wide variety of moving images both as an art form in itself and also as a way of exploring other curriculum areas.

THE FILM SPACE seeks to encourage and build an understanding and appreciation of the moving image, in all its forms, amongst children and young people in full-time education.


Film Education

Film Education is a static web resource containing numerous free film study guides, web resources and dvds.



Cineclub, The Young Filmmakers Network, train professional filmmakers and teachers to set up and run filmmaking workshops for young people. They aim to create a vibrant and thriving network of young filmmakers who create, watch and share films with each other. By providing CPD to teachers, teaching assistants and youth workers they are ensuring that filmmaking and film watching become sustainable activities for their members.


Thinking Film, Thinking Primary Literacy resource

Developed for teachers of children aged of 7-11, this resource comprises a study DVD available free of charge to UK schools supported by a comprehensive set of teaching materials.


Private Peaceful resource

An innovative, cross curricular resource from the National Literacy Trust and education charity Into Film that 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.


Internet Movie Database

IMDb, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content.


BBC Short Film Network

Over 300 short films available for viewing – check age group suitability before screening – includes how to make your own film guide. 


Lights, Camera, Action

A wide range of ideas and resources to help you when you are teaching children about films, TV and movie making, including animation ideas, using flip video, filmmaking and character acting.



Anim8ed is an online animation resource offering ideas, contacts and suggestions for teachers, educators and those interested in developing animation projects, includes free activity sheets, online tutorials, equipment and sound advice.


Media (TV and Film) classroom resources

Media (TV and Film) classroom resources. BBC bitesize film based resources for studying tv and film based texts including Dr Who.


Teaching media, film and filmmaking

Teaching media, film and filmmaking. A comprehensive online resource for teaching media, film and filmmaking including a guide to using film in schools, teaching ideas, media literacy and resources to buy.



Arts Award

“Arts Award gives young people a fun way to engage with and be inspired by the arts. Discover, Explore and Silver Awards are all accompanied by workbooks which make it easier than ever before to plan and incorporate Arts Award into the classroom.”

Rachel Preston, Arts Award Trainer

Film Led Arts Award Suggestions

Each film led activity suggestion for Arts Award Discover or Explore is a guide and many may be adapted to suit different age groups and levels of Arts Awards.  The ideas are not limited and your children will have many more once they understand the concept. You should also refer to the Arts Award toolkit to check the requirements for Arts Award.

Arts Award Discover

For Arts Award Discover pupils find out about film and enjoy filmmakers’ work. They collect their arts experiences in a Discover arts log. The award will usually take around 20 hours to complete.


  • Look at and identify different film formats, ie drama, comedy, family, documentary, animation & record the differences
  • Make a short film in the style of a favourite filmmaker 
  • Work with a local filmmaker to make a film
  • Watch a selection of short films made for children from The Literacy
  • Take part in the Into Film Film Festival
  • Visit a local cinema and find out how it works behind the scenes, choosing films, selling tickets, selling popcorn and treats, projection room, looking after the cinema, putting up posters and promoting the films. Find out who does all the jobs.
  • Visit a local film archive and see a screening of local archive films or invite the local film archive curator to visit your school and screen some local archive films. Encourage discussion and record responses

Find out

  • Create a record of what has been found out about filmmakers, their film or the film experience they have had
  • The teacher can record, on camera or audio, young people’s expectations prior to an activity and then again after they have experienced the activity. Take photos of the experience.
  • Find out about a favourite filmmaker, their life and work.
  • Create a simple story board so the young people can illustrate their experience – use a comic /story board format so the young present their experience visually.
  • Young people can use their Discover Arts log to record their expectation and responses to the activities.


What was shared and who it was shared with:

  • Compile a short film edit of film footage and share with another group of young people, another class or assembly
  • Create an area for an exhibition of the storyboard which the group have made illustrating their experience
  • Organise a screening of the films made and invite other to share

Arts Award Explore

This award is accredited as an Entry Level 3 qualification. It is the perfect stepping stone from their introductory award, Arts Award Discover, to the Level 1 qualification, Bronze Arts Award.

Be inspired by Film. Find out what interests you, learn about filmmakers and film organisations and create your own work. You collect your film experiences in an Explore arts log and record everything you do along the way. The award will usually take around 25 hours to complete.


Take part in different arts activities and record what inspires you:

  • Watch films that have been made for young people and have a discussion about stories and themes.
  • Take part in a filmmaking workshop which explores different film genres: ie. Animation, comedy, documentary, drama. Invite an animation filmmaker to show how they make their work


Make art work to demonstrate your arts skills and creativity:

  • Set up a clay making animation or single frame animation workshop with filmmakers to allow young people to make their own short animations. This can be done in short 1 – 3 x 1 hour sessions in school or could be part of a visit to a local cultural centre or cinema.
  • Take part in workshops at a local children’s film festival.
  • Learn how to use simple camera and editing exercises and make simple documentaries by interviewing each other or friends about ideas or issues that are important to you.
  • Work with a local film archive centre and an editor and ask them to provide archive films which the young people can edit themselves on simple editing software that can be downloaded is available online – uScreen or imovie.  Create new short films from old films by creating a story or working with music and poetry.
  • Set up an afterschool or lunch time Film Club in school and record work in the Explore workbooks or on camera as a video diary.


Share some of your exploration with others and record what you do:

  • Compile a short film edit of film footage and share with another group of young people, another class or assembly
  • Create an area for an exhibition of the storyboard which the group have made illustrating their experience
  • Organise a screening of films made and invite others to share