Over the past three years Year 10 pupils in New-Bridge Integrated College have had the opportunity to work with the AMMA Centre in a cross-curricular project.
AMMA is a multimedia creative learning centre in the Southern Education and Library Board. It is a centre where digital technology alongside traditional media can be used creatively by organisations and individuals from schools, the youth sector and the community.
Every year the focus of the project is derived from the theme for Integration week- this year the theme was ‘Journeys’. The subjects involved in the project were Art, Drama, Music and I.T. The project was launched in December when pupils were introduced to the stimulus text ‘The Arrival’- a graphic novel by Shaun Tan which focuses on the issue of immigration.
In Art the group collected a series of key words from the text to illustrate and many of these drawings were used as projections in the final production. In addition to this they created story boards to plan the filming of the piece which would also include music and drama elements.
In Drama the focus was on trying to empathise with the characters. The group used images from The Arrival as starting points for developing a sustained drama, which would develop our understanding of the migrant experience. It also encouraged them to reflect on the ways in which existing communities respond to new arrivals.
As the project evolved the group also began to recognise the importance of music in creating mood and atmosphere. And so in the Music classroom they listened to different genres of music to reflect this. They were also trained in the use of Garage Band on the Apple Mac computers so that they could compose our own sound tracks.
Finally, in IT the group practised their editing skills on the Dell computers which prepared them for the final editing process of the movies.
Pupils from 10MG were then given the opportunity to work with AMMA, who reinforced these skills by teaching pupils how to use IMovie on the Apple Mac.
At the outset of the project the school invited visiting speakers to recall their journeys. Each of the speakers had experienced travelling from their home country, where they had left family and friends in order to set up a new life for themselves in Northern Ireland. These interviews were used as an additional stimulus to piece together the story of immigration in a unique and personal way.