Over 200 local primary school children attended the Première of a film they created exploring the life and work of Seamus Heaney.
The storytelling with Imovie project was delivered under Mid Ulster District Council’s Education Programme in advance of Seamus Heaney HomePlace opening later this year.
Eight local primary schools – St John Bosco P.S., Bellaghy P.S., Holy Family P.S., Knockloughrim P.S., Magherafelt P.S.,St Mary’s P.S. Clady, Spires Integrated P.S. and Gaelscoil, Magherafelt - participated in the project which aimed to tell stories about Seamus Heaney through a medium other than the written word.
The children carried out research on Seamus Heaney using the internet and any other relevant resources known to them and were shown how to use Imovie to create short films. They used IPads to film footage and photographs which would come together to form the finished film.
They also used interviews to find out more about Heaney from those who knew him or were involved with him – the questions and dialogue were scripted by the pupils themselves and each school explored and recited a different poem from Heaney’s extensive collection, including Digging, Death of a Naturalist and Blackberry Picking.
Deputy Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton was thrilled to attend the Première and commended the children and everyone else involved in the project. She said, “I am delighted I could attend the Première this morning. The amount of work, effort, commitment and dedication the children, and everyone involved in the project, put in was clear to see from the very beginning.
“To create such a beautifully crafted and innovative piece is a real testament to the schools who took part and they should all be very proud. It is something they will be able to look back on for years which is fantastic.”
Mrs Joan Bell, Spires Integrated Primary School, added “The Seamus Heaney project merged technology and literacy in an exciting and innovative way. It provided pupils with opportunities to research a local poet and to investigate the locality which provided the inspiration for Heaney’s acclaimed pieces of work.
“The facilitators were excellent, providing expertise in both literacy and ICT. The children were enthused throughout each session and are delighted to see their work on screen, being presented to a wide audience. I would like to thank Mid Ulster Council for offering such a purposeful programme which fuses education, the community and the local environment.”
The Education Programme is being delivered by the Verbal Arts Centre on behalf of the Council and is part-funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Other activities will take place in the coming months as part of the Council’s Seamus Heaney Education Programme.