FÍS, the film project for primary schools, is a wonderful educational initiative that has proven a great success during its pilot phase, and is now, I am delighted to say, being extended to primary schools throughout the country. I am very proud of the Department’s involvement in initiating the FÍS Project and I congratulate the project sponsors, AIB Group, for their vision in supporting this work, since the beginning, in such a significant way.
The FÍS Project was launched in 2000 and since then hundreds of children and teachers in twenty-eight pilot schools and fifty ‘phase-two’ schools have embraced FÍS with enthusiasm. The project has demonstrated that film in the curriculum can provide creative, relevant and memorable learning experiences for children of all ages. Through FÍS,children have developed their understanding of film as a medium of expression and have acquired key skills incommunication, teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking. They have drawn up storyboards, written scripts,learned to use the latest digital film technology, and engaged in the challenging decision-making processes involved in editing their own films.
The external evaluation of FÍS has provided a strong endorsement of the project’s work and has identified benefits to learners in many areas of the Primary School Curriculum. The children themselves have been extremely proud to share their film projects with parents and to involve their school communities in celebrations of their work. Above all the children have shown that film in schools can be great fun.
Since the inception of FÍS, the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Dún Laoghaire, has provided superb professional input, excellent project management and high-quality support for the project schools. I pay tribute to the steering and management committees, the creative directors, and the many individuals and partner agencies that have contributed to the success of FÍS to date. I mention especially Aileen MacKeogh, to whose memory this FÍS Resource Pack is dedicated. Her artistic and educational vision and her dedicated leadership of FÍS have been an inspiration to everyone who has engaged with the project.
I am delighted to introduce this excellent resource pack which will provide teachers with practical guidance on the integration of film as a unique way of learning in the primary classroom. The well planned exemplar lessons and the clearly written technical manual will provide comprehensive support for teachers and will be invaluable in the promotion of film education in many more primary schools.
The National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) has become a major partner in the further development of FÍS. The mainstreaming of the project has already begun successfully with a programme of structured professional training for teachers and support through the NCTE in association with the Education Centre network. I am confidentthat this FÍS Resource Pack, the involvement of the NCTE and the Education Centres, and the continuing support forschools through the IADT and the FÍS office will enable this very special educational initiative to grow and develop.I wish the children, teachers and all the partners involved with FÍS every success.
Mary Hanafin, TD
Minister for Education and Science