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Schools in running for top film awards

A film made by pupils of Cranmore Integrated Primary School in Finaghy celebrating 40 years of Integrated Education is one of three Northern Ireland nominations for this year’s prestigious Into Film Awards.

Pupils from Beechlawn Special School Sixth Form who have been nominated for ‘Film Club of the Year’ at this year’s Into Film Awards
Pupils from Beechlawn Special School Sixth Form who have been nominated for ‘Film Club of the Year’ at this year’s Into Film Awards

Beechlawn Special School in Hillsborough is nominated for Into Film Club of the Year, and Michele McAlonan from Cliftonville Integrated Primary has been nominated for Teacher of the Year,

All three nominees will take part in a star-studded ceremony at the ODEON Luxe Leicester Square on 28 June where an esteemed group of film stars will be on hand to present awards to the winners.

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Cranmore’s mini documentary, entitled ‘Integrated Education Month’ created by the school’s P6 pupils was nominated in the 11 and Under category for the awards, which celebrate the film-making talents of young people across the UK and the work of educators who inspire them.

Cranmore Integrated Primary School pupils, Eli and Ava were part of a project celebrating 40 years of Integrated Education in Northern Ireland

Scripted and performed by the children, who also designed the backdrops and performed part of the soundtrack, the film examines the changes in Northern Ireland over the last four decades and looks at what makes a good integrated school.

Teacher Andrew Duggan said: “We are delighted to be nominated for such a prestigious award. Film and filmmaking has become an important part of Literacy at Cranmore and is enjoyed by all. It has proven to be a great way to engage all children.”

Beechlawn Special School Sixth Form has been nominated for ‘Into Film Club of the Year’.

The club is a safe environment for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN), some of whom find it difficult to communicate effectively.

The film club enables the pupils to choose films, have open discussions about the characters and write reviews. It has helped to improve their engagement and develop friendships. During periods of lockdown caused by Covid-19, the club was run virtually which helped ease the pupils’ feeling of isolation.

Club leader Catherine McBride said the children were excited at being nominated: “This club is so important to our pupils and school as it provides a safe place, where our young people can relax, chat and enjoy film.”