ScreenSkills launches animation lesson plan

© ScreenSkills / Morag MacDonald

Primary school children in Bristol today became the first to enjoy a lesson in animation based on the new animated adaptation of Judith Kerr’s much-loved classic, The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

ScreenSkills has collaborated on the educational resource with the production company, Lupus Films, which made the TV special which premiered on Channel 4 this Christmas. It is based on the book published by HarperCollins Children’s Books.

The career lesson plan is designed to excite and inspire primary school children about jobs in the animation industry. It concludes with children creating their own animation based on The Tiger Who Came to Tea story.

Commissioned by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council with contributions from the animation industry to the Animation Skills Fund, the resource consists of a flexible plan which can be run as a single lesson or a series. It includes teacher notes, a presentation, a project book for the children and additional lessons in maths and science.

The lesson plan is now available on the ScreenSkills website, coinciding with the start of Digital Cities Week in Bristol. Digital Cities, organised by the BBC Academy with support from ScreenSkills and others, is a series of workshops, masterclasses and other events that take place at locations across the UK to boost digital skills and introduce young people to new technology.

The animation lesson plan is the first in a new series on careers in the screen industries, created by ScreenSkills in association with the Into Film education charity and Arts Council England. The next plans are due to be launched in March 2020.

Compass Point School in Bristol, which has an Into Film club, hosted the launch event, with Year 5 and Year 6 students from Ashton Vale Primary School and Luckwell Primary School also taking part in the lesson followed by a tea party with an adult-sized tiger as a special guest.

Teaching staff will be invited to take part in a professional development workshop on using animation in the classroom, hosted by ScreenSkills with the educational charity Into Film, the same day.

Seetha Kumar, Chief Executive of ScreenSkills, said: “This is a lovely way of opening the minds of children to how an animation is brought to life. It is a natural way of encouraging them to develop skills – whether technical, social or creative – that will be useful whatever they do later in life. However, for some young people, we also hope it will plant the idea that animation could be a career. We would love this project to help inspire future generations of British animators.”

Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama, Channel 4, said: “We are thrilled that our Christmas special will help inspire young people to discover how animations are made.”

Adam Jackson-Nocher, Line Producer, Lupus Films, said: "We are delighted that The Tiger Who Came to Tea is featuring in the upcoming lesson plan, and to see such excellent resources being made available for a young age group. We are very proud to offer our continued support to the fantastic work ScreenSkills are doing to inspire the future generation of home-grown animation talent in the UK.”   

Brad Arthur, Deputy Headteacher, Compass Point Primary School, said “The ScreenSkills lesson plans inspire children by allowing them to delve into a much-loved story through animation and other hands-on learning opportunities. The plan based on The Tiger Who Came to Tea also allows children to see what goes into their favourite animated films and what jobs and opportunities there are to work in this field.”

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