“I like sharing because you can put your ideas out – everybody can work off your ideas – and it lights a fuse and becomes a great big flame”
Year 5 child, Worcestershire
“I can’t imagine teaching poetry without animation next year”
Year 1 teacher, Devon
Persistence of Vision (POV) was an MEA project jointly funded by the UK Film Council’s education strategy “Film: 21st Century Literacy”, by Creativity Culture Education and by three local authorities (LAs): Devon, Norfolk and Worcestershire. From 2009-10, it explored the ways in which primary school children can learn about animation, by providing training and resources for their teachers, ensuring that the children involved had repeated experiences of critical viewing and creative activity, and by encouraging the schools involved to make links between animation and poetry.
POV was an open-ended, developmental project based on a central hypothesis: that recurrent opportunities for children to engage in critical and creative activity with animated film would lead to substantial gains in children’s attainment, not only in relation to film but also in relation to other curricular areas and behaviour, compared to what they might achieve through “one-off” projects. It took the risk of bringing together people from many different disciplines and approaches: animators working in different styles, advisers in local authorities with different policies, schools with different priorities, teachers with different pedagogic styles and professional experience, academic mentors with a research background, and nearly 300 children with different backgrounds and perceived abilities. The project also took the unusual step of linking poetry with animation viewing and making, to encourage a closer attention to meaning and less preoccupation with narrative. POV has shown that embedding animation activities within the literacy curriculum over an extended period brings significant benefits to teaching and learning – not just about written texts but also about film – and enables both teachers and learners to see film as an integrated part of children’s learning, not as a specialism or an extra.