Bromley Learning Alliance

Thursday 23rd November 2006 was the date for the Bromley Learning Alliance celebration event, where children who took part in the Summer Project got to share their work with parents and friends. Matt and I were presenting to an audience of approximately 200 people and we were delighted to be leading the parents through the work, commenting on it and talking to the children as each film was shown.

What struck us both was the absolute quality of the films in terms of the story behind each one. The animations they created (all stop frame, all using the excellent iStopMotion from Boinx) may not have had the precise model making skills for a Nick Parks production, but the digital literacy the children exhibited was astonishing. The participants were all aged from 9 to 12 at the time of the event, which is a very young group to do this kind of work with.

They are not the youngest, however! That honour falls to Cressing Primary School who we worked with to see if stop frame animation could be used with 6 and 7 year olds. We found that it can, but you cannot simply go in and do it without a certain amount of preliminary work.

The Bromley pupils were part of the Bromley learning alliance, which was formerly known as ‘SEEVEAZ’. We have worked with them for the past five years running summer projects in digital creativity and they have carried the torch on further than we originally anticipated.

Top marks to Bromley, then – and our sincere thanks to Andrew Ferrier, Sue and Merrill for their support and time in making this all happen.

We made the DVD for the children to take away on the night, but there were so many issues with the media that we will re-do it for them free of charge.  This is the first time such a glitch has descended on our DVD production routines – I only hope the re-make will be better! We use DVD Studio Pro for the authoring and I am confident that the problem lies in the media or the audio format we used. I’ll investigate… but my apologies to the children of Bromley who have a disc that may not work well!

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