Pupils from Bellaghy Primary School and St John Bosco Primary School, Bellaghy attended the Movie House Cinema Maghera for a cinematic experience with a difference this week.
A film the pupils had created as part of the Know Your Place: Bellaghy Project was premiered on the big screen.
The project, delivered by PLACE, (Planning Landscape Architecture Community Environment), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the making of great places across Northern Ireland, was the final event in the Council’s Seamus Heaney Education Programme in advance of HomePlace opening in September this year.
The short film is the final output from this innovative project exploring Bellaghy’s built heritage and is a compilation of audio and visual recordings the group of pupils from the two schools captured while out and about the village.
Know Your Place: Bellaghy is a way of exploring local history through the town's built fabric, using sketching, design, and digital media to capture children's sense of place and their connection to home. It aims to improve the children’s understanding of Bellaghy’s built heritage, introducing them to concepts of architecture through walks and hands-on workshops, and linking these to the life, upbringing and poetry of Seamus Heaney.
The project involved working with Key Stage 2 pupils from both schools over a period of three weeks.
On week one, PLACE led the children on a sketching walk of the town, picking out the patterns and subtle details of the town's built landscape. In the second week, the group learned how to think like an architect, exploring the way architects imagine their buildings, the decisions they make, and the people they build for.
Week two saw the pupils undertake a hard hat tour of HomePlace and week three was when they brought everything together and created the film documenting their experiences of the village.
Speaking at the screening, Deputy Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sharon McAleer said: “Today’s film is the outcome of the Know Your Place: Bellaghy Project, part of the Council’s Education Programme, exploring Bellaghy’s Built heritage in advance of the fabulous Seamus Heaney HomePlace opening in the village in September.
“It is obvious that pupils worked incredibly hard over the three weeks and thanks to the remarkable delivery and facilitation by PLACE, learned to sketch, explore and think like architects! The project was a fantastic and creative way of getting the children thinking about the built environment around them and linking it to HomePlace.”
Mrs Mary-Lou Richmond, Principal of Bellaghy Primary School said, “It was an excellent opportunity for our children to be involved with the expert team from PLACE. Additionally, looking at their village through the eyes of an architect was a valuable learning experience for them. One of the highlights of the project was our ‘hard hat’ visit to the Seamus Heaney HomePlace which the children thoroughly enjoyed!”
Michael Corr, Creative Director, PLACE added, “It was our immense pleasure to see the children of Bellaghy, over the course of three weeks, get enthused about the buildings and landscape of their village, learning all about the processes of design that have shaped it, and which have inspired the construction of the new Seamus Heaney HomePlace.
“All of the video and audio was directed and recorded by the children, and the resulting short film is the culmination of them getting to know their town from a new perspective. PLACE would like to thank Mid Ulster District Council for initiating this wonderful project, and the staff and pupils of St John Bosco and Bellaghy Primary Schools for their hospitality.”
The film, along with photographs from the project, will be available at www.placeni.org/know-your-place from Wednesday 29 June.
For more information visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com and follow us on twitter @shhomeplace