Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, made the funding announcement at the launch of the Children’s Cultural Poverty Forum at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Caernarfon.
Operating in partnership with Film Agency Wales, FILMCLUB Cymru is a registered charity that works with teachers and pupils in primary and secondary schools across Wales to help set up film clubs.
Organised during the lunch break or after school, the clubs encourage pupils to improve their literacy and communication skills by writing film reviews, discussing films and reading about the topics featured in films.
Providing a range of films from Wales and in the Welsh language, FILMCLUB Cymru also actively supports the submission of film reviews in the Welsh language, with a distinct Welsh section on its website.
The project aims to close the gap in education opportunity and performance by engaging disadvantaged pupils with new ways to communicate and learn.
The charity will now play a key role in the new forum which aims to bring together a broad range of experiences and learning opportunities for children in cultural poverty.
At the launch today, FILMCLUB marked the beginning of a season dedicated to cultural poverty with the showing of a film they have produced on the subject. This will be distributed amongst all FILMCLUB schools across Wales.
Speaking at the launch today, the Education Minister said:
“I’m delighted to announce further funding for this pioneering project.
“Only two weeks ago, I launched our National Literacy Programme which set out the actions that need to be taken to achieve a step change in literacy standards over the next five years.
“FILMCLUB Cymru is already making a valuable contribution to this agenda. Pupils who take part in the project are able to develop their literacy and communication skills by analysing films and exploring the issues they raise.
“I am sure that FILMCLUB Cymru will make a very valuable contribution to the work of the new forum and I wish them well as they extend their reach to new schools and new audiences.”
Mark Higham, Chief Executive of FILMCLUB said:
“We know that engagement with films and other arts helps with children’s receptiveness to learning and is also a key factor in academic achievement and social mobility.
“The Forum will share good practice and explore practical steps that can be taken to reduce cultural poverty and to ensure all our children receive the richest education and the best chances in life.”