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UCL film education journal - FINAL (JUST

Exploring the place of animation in Scottish moving image education

pyrocat pic.png

A still from the animation 'Pyro Cat'

Exploring the place of animation and the role of the classroom-based film-maker within a wider field of Scottish moving image education     




Animation is a popular type of moving image education in Scotland and is particularly suited to use in the primary classroom. As schools increasingly digitise learning experiences and mobile devices become an integral part of the classroom, the process of making animated films is a fantastic way of engaging learners of all ages and abilities and can be used across different curriculum areas. 

In this article animator and film practitioner Jonathan Charles and academic Robert Munro discuss the benefits and challenges of using animation through a detailed look at a filmmaking project within a primary school in East Lothian. The article also provides, via Jonathan’s personal experience, an overview of animation practices and how its place in film education has evolved over the past decade.  

Key points to explore


For teachers interested in making animated films with their pupils, the article covers a range of useful topics, including: 

  • An overview of how animation evolved within different learning environments and within the context of various moving image education programmes and initiatives in Scotland (pp.71-72) 

  • The benefits of creating animation in schools over more expensive and challenging live action filmmaking (pp.73-75) 

  • A detailed case study of the animation project that took place at Harrysmuir Primary School in East Lothian, where Jonathan Charles worked with pupils and teacher to produce a short animated film on the dangers of smoking (pp.73-81) 

  • A discussion on the role of the education practitioner and how their involvement in education projects in the classroom helps to educate and upskill teachers as well as students (pp.77-80) 

Interview with film education practitioner Jonathan Charles

Ideas for the classroom:


This free resource produced by Education Scotland gives an overview of some simple approaches that teachers can use when creating animated film with pupils: 

Moving Image Education also have a list of free guides on animation:

Into Film (free but registration required) have a number of helpful resources for animation: Animating Africa; An Introduction to Stop Motion Animation and Software and Editing for Animation.

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