CHESTER schools are among those participating in National Schools Film Week, the world’s largest festival for cinema and young people.

Schoolchildren will have the opportunity to extend their classroom learning through the media of film.

Schools are invited to attend free screenings of films that are linked to the curriculum, providing students with a powerful and engaging learning experience.

There will also be an online library of resources, relating to both individual films and more generic topics, available for participating schools to explore.

Nick Walker, director of National Schools Film Week, said: “It is an incredible opportunity not only to build the adventurous, film-loving audience of the future but also to develop the kinds of passion in young people more likely to make them more receptive to this collectively experienced art form.

“This is achieved by in-cinema talks and online resources, which give teachers the tools to encourage students to explore and understand new cinematic worlds.”

More than 473,000 students and their teachers took part in National Schools Film Week in 2010. This year, as the festival celebrates its 16th birthday, 2,500 screenings will be held at 570 cinemas across the UK.

Executive editor of The Chester Chronicle, Michael Green, will present an introduction to one of the screenings as part of the festival’s activities in Chester.

Mr Green said: “Film can speak to young people with relevance, vitality and inspiration, engaging both the intellect and the imagination in a way that no other visual medium, such as television and computer games, could ever hope to match.

“National Schools Film Week helps tap into those unique aspects of the cinematic experience and provides an opportunity to introduce youngsters to works they may not previously have been aware of, expanding their horizons and hopefully encouraging them to seek out more challenging material for themselves.”

The festival is produced by the charity Film Education, who produce curriculum-based resources and run cutting-edge teacher training events.

In an average year, Film Education’s activities reach more than two million school children aged four to 19. They aim to reach all schoolchildren, regardless of economic, cultural or social background.

Amanda Ellis-Rushton, a teacher at Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, said: “Taking part in National Schools Film Week is a wonderful experience for the whole school and it offers some of our children who can’t necessarily go to the cinema very often the chance to go for free with their friends. Using the online resources we were able to link the film in with class work, which was brilliant.”

National Schools Film Week will run from October 13-21. Teachers can book their free tickets and find out more about the festival online at

National Schools Film Week screenings in Chester – which take place at Cineworld on the Greyhound Retail Park, are:

October 13 – Yogi Bear (U); October 14 – The Smurfs (U); October 17 – Rio (U); October 18 – 127 Hours (15); October 19 – Cars 2 (U); October 20 – The King’s Speech (12A).