RELAYS at Watershed is a Watershed programme funded by Regional Educational Legacy for Arts & Youth Sport
Watershed’s Media Literacy Workshops have been evolving over a number years, developed in association with Fairfield High School’s media staff; and writer, broadcaster and teacher David Goldblatt, who leeds the workshops.
Year 9 and 10 students visit Watershed for the workshops where a morning screening of film clips and discussion is followed by an afternoon of production – creative writing, or devising a short drama piece that includes a sporting commentary. Volunteers from the BBC work with students to craft their scripts, and then film the performances at the end of the session.
The workshops explore topics such as the use of language, cliche and meaning in sports’ media, and representations in the media of sporting personalities and major events such as the Olympic Games.
Today was the last day of our 2012 Media Literacy workshop series around the theme ‘Why watch the Olympics?” with author and broadcaster David Goldblatt. We’ve welcomed 5 schools to 6 workshops, with 136 students attending a morning lecture session in the cinema watching film clips of some of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics from the last 100 years, followed by writing a drama workshops continuing this theme.
This year we have been making a film about a number of the elements that we’ve working on for the last four years in our RELAYS programme of activities and this includes a feature on our Media Literacy Workshops, so come back to this section in September to see the completed film.
Posts on the three previous Media Literacy workshops from 2009, 2010, and 2011 can also be found in this section.
We were delighted to welcome to Watershed yesterday Millbrook Academy from Gloucester – the first school from outside Bristol to participate in our annual Media Literacy Workshops with David Goldblatt and volunteers from the BBC.
The same successful format has been followed again this year with the year 9 students spending the morning in the cinema where, using archive footage, David discusses the significance of the Olympic opening ceremonies to each host country’s profile in the global media arena. From the confusion of the Paris Games in 1900 – where some competitors were unaware of winning medals until some time later - through the chillingly orchestrated and innovatively filmed 1936 Berlin Olympics, to the accidental roasting of the symbolic doves released minutes before the lighting of the Olympic flame in Seoul in 1988; much can be discovered about each country’s aspirations and desire to impress the world. The students are guided through these displays of extravagance to unpick the details of how the nations choose to represent themselves, particularly through the use of media.
In the afternoon, workshops in writing and drama take place exploring, and playing with, the themes covered in the cinema session. Writers, working with David, create an inner monologue for an athlete while the drama enthusiasts – supported by their teachers, Watershed staff and BBC volunteers – devise short performances based on the idea of an opening ceremony (of a non-sporting variety) where two of the group provide a sports-style commentary on the activity of their fellow performers. Lending itself to some humorous interpretations, one of yesterday’s groups produced a black comedy choosing as their ceremony the funeral of a well know pop idol – with suitably respectful commentators – which culminated in a zombie disturbance!
We are running five further workshops between now and July 6, with Henbury, Fairfield – both a media and a PE group, QEH and St Mary Redliffe Schools. For details and photographs of previous years’ workshops please see our Media Literacy page
We’ve just opened the booking for our well established Media Literacy Workshops – they don’t take place until June but with all the activities we’ve got planned for 2012 this year’s going to be busy for RELAYS at Watershed so we need to get confirmation by March 6th. So, if your Year 9 English, Media or PE students are enthusiastic about the Games, bringing them to our Olympic-themed Media Literacy workshop will help them learn more about how the Olympics has been represented over the last century – on film, on TV, in art and graphics.
If, however, they’re already bored by the very idea of sport, it’s more than likely they’ll find some intriguing, entertaining and challenging ideas in the wide range of movie clips they’ll watch from previous Olympic Games that include personal rivalries, political showmanship, bizarre costumes and things that go wrong at opening ceremonies – as well as some iconic sporting moments.
Watershed’s day-long Media Literacy Workshops – part of our programme of RELAYS activities – take place late in the summer term when David Goldblatt, writer and broadcaster, with input from the BBC, will invite students to unwrap some of the stories from what has been described as the greatest show on earth.
“Thank you for a really enjoyable and valuable experience yesterday….we had a fabulous day! ”
“Thank you for an excellent day at the Watershed”
These quotes are from teachers who brought their students to this year’s Media Literacy workshops at Watershed. The theme was ‘Why study the Olympics?” (see below for more information) and Opening Ceremonies through 20th Century Olympic Games provided the focus for the morning screening session, which included clips of Leni Riefenstahl’s innovative 1936 Berlin Olympics film, Los Angeles 1984, and the astonishing 2008 Games in Beijing.
Photos from the workshops can be seen in the gallery.
In the afternoon, the students – from Fairfield, Henbury, St Mary Redcliffe and Brislington Enterprise College – were given the challenge of creating their own opening ceremonies using drama, pairs of commentators and Olympic placards, or they could choose to write a report on one the opening ceremonies they had see earlier.
BBC volunteer crews worked with the students during the afternoon to help them devise, write and rehearse their performances and then filmed both the completed pieces and some of the writers reading their reports. The BBC volunteers seemed to have a good time too – the following quotes were sent after the workshops.
“Lovely to meet such engaged and enthusiastic children”
“I very much enjoyed it, it was great to meet the students and spend time with them and hear their views, it was great fun”
We’re just finalising details for this year’s Media Literacy workshops for secondary schools (follow Media Literacy tag on the right to see information on previous years’ workshops) and thought we’d tell you a little bit about our plans and the theme “Why study the Olympics?”!! Here’s an introduction to the topic for teachers by the workshop leader David Goldblatt:
“The Summer Olympics are an extraordinary event. What began as an obscure, eccentric Hellenic revival and sporting gymkhana has become one of the world’s most important and most watched public spectacles. Now over a century old, they have survived every twist and turn of global history and grown ever larger. Up to six years in the making, the scale of a modern Olympic games is immense: 20,000, athletes, from over 200 countries, compete in 23 sports over three weeks, and most of the planet will be watching some of it.
Along the way the Olympics have been aligned with internationalism and peacemaking and served as a theatre of the most bellicose nationalism. The summer games have been pressed into the service of dying European empires and rising Asian superpowers. They have been subject to the whim of communism, fascism and free-market capitalism and been struck by kidnappings, riots and terrorist attacks.
Undaunted by this track record, the world’s leading cities spend millions of dollars to win the right to host them, media companies break the bank to screen them and the world’s largest corporations dig deep in their pockets to sponsor them. National governments ransack the treasury to pay for the show and then some more to make sure they win gold medals.
There is no shortage of cynicism around the Olympic Games. There is no shortage of critics who condemn their embrace of commercialism, the irresponsible urban development they leave in their wake and the often shallow internationalism of the spectacle. Yet the Olympics continue to offer us both a compelling display of sporting excellence, human brilliance and beauty and an unusual but finely crafted lens through which to view the world in which we live and play.”
We’ll post some photos and a brief report in early July once the workshops have been completed.
Here’s a chance to view what over a hundred Bristol school pupils experienced when they came to Watershed in May for the Media Literacy Workshops. With teachers in mind we recorded one of the morning sessions led by David Goldblatt so schools who haven’t attended before but are interested in coming to future workshops, can get an insight into the process.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Media Literacy Workshops please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Building on the established and successful format of previous Media Literacy Workshops, writer, broadcaster and teacher David Goldblatt, led the workshops with a World Cup theme to explore the use of language, cliche and meaning in sports’ media.
Five Bristol schools each came to Watershed for a day bringing 134 year 9 and 10 students from Bridge Learning Campus, Brislington Enterprise College, Bedminster Down, Fairfield and St Mary Redcliffe schools. To see more photographs and storyboards go to the Gallery, and for a full video recording of David’s presentation visit this page.
Audio excerpt from Media Literacy Workshops 2010 – David Goldblatt on Story making
After a morning of watching and discussing clips from sports films, and hearing some of David’s vivid stories from the world of sport, the students took the second half of the day to either work in groups devising and performing a short drama using commentary style framework, or work individually on a short piece of creative writing.
At each workshop BBC volunteers helped the drama groups to develop their scripts and decide on filming options. The completed dramas and creative writing pieces were performed for the whole school group and filmed by the BBC crew who create a DVD of the students’ work which is given to the school for further use in classroom discussion and student assessment.
A BBC World Service Assignment programme by David Goldblatt ‘The Rise of Mathare United FC’ was awarded Sports Story of the Year at the Foreign Press Association media awards in 2009.
“The judges were unanimous in selecting this wonderful and hugely charming piece of radio that showed one reason why sport is so important: it can change peoples’ lives.”
This audio-slide show about Watershed’s Media Literacy Workshops uses photographs and audio recordings made during the workshop sessions which were part of the RELAYS at Watershed season ‘Let the Games Begin’ in June 2009.
Excerpts from David Goldblatt’s talk introduce the themes for the workshop and are followed by edited interviews with teachers, BBC film-crew volunteers and the pupils participating in the workshop.
Select the play button below to continue.
The voices heard in the sound track do not necessarily belong to the people depicted at the same time in the photographs.
‘Sport + Culture + Passion: Let the Games Begin’ – Media Literacy workshops for schools at Watershed, Bristol.
As part of the RELAYS project, Watershed ran a programme of Media Literacy workshops for schools during June in conjunction with Bristol City Council’s Children and Young People’s services and the BBC. Each workshop was a day-long session held at Watershed and was attended by over 200 students from 5 Bristol schools, with 16 volunteers from the BBC helping out during the sessions. Go to the Media Literacy Workshops gallery to see more photos.
On arrival students were issued a challenge to create a piece of work ready for ‘broadcast’ by the end of the day. The process began with an introductory, inspirational session led by speaker David Goldblatt, author of “The Ball is Round: A global history of football”.
Using a diverse and global selection of film and TV clips, both contemporary and from archives, David Goldblatt offers an inspiring and interactive presentation to enthuse and excite participants about sport and film with a particular focus on expressing sporting passion and the skills and techniques that are needed to write and talk about sport.
The afternoon session was led by school staff and supported by David, and volunteer camera crew from the BBC and members of the Watershed team. Students worked in groups to produce a piece of writing (eg: reportage, poetry, inner monologue, commentaries, etc) or drama which was then performed to camera and recorded by the BBC who supply the school with a DVD of the workshop film that can be used by teachers in classroom discussions.
A season of sport themed films was also screened for the public during June to complement the workshops – see ‘archive’ section for details.