Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - Deaf teenagers triumph at Berlin film festival

Nadeem Islam and Kayleigh Goacher, both students from South East London, picked up an award worth 3,000 Euros at the ZEBRA International Poetry Film Festival last week.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 29 October

Deaf teenagers triumph at Berlin film festival


Nadeem Islam and Kayleigh Goacher, both students from South East London, picked up an award worth 3,000 Euros at the ZEBRA International Poetry Film Festival last week.

Their 8-minute short film, That’s not all of me, was created as part of Life & Deaf 2 – a project funded by The Royal Borough of Greenwich Council.

Young deaf people were invited to submit poems to the Life & Deaf website. Ten of the young poets were then asked to read some of the most powerful lines from the submissions for an audio recording, which film director Eelyn Lee mixed with animation and sound effects to complete the film.

The young poets were also involved in technical roles such as make-up application and assisting the director.

Nadeem Islam, 15, from Thomas Tallis secondary school, and Kayleigh Goacher, 16, from Shooters Hill post-16 campus, joined Ms Lee at the bi-annual festival to collect the RITTER SPORT film prize last Sunday.

Festival judges explained that the film was a “beautiful piece,” which they selected it for its “film technique” and “emotive power”.

Ms Lee said: “It’s great that the 2012 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has recognised a film driven by young, deaf voices. It’s a fantastic launching pad for the film which has proved it can reach and engage international audiences.”

Jane Thomas, a speech and language therapist, who works with the Life & Deaf Association, explained that the project had helped the young people involved to learn “that they have a voice in the world”.

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival was held as part of the Berlin Film Festival– one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Thirty-three films from 18 countries were shortlisted and three major prizes were awarded: the ZEBRA prize for the best poetry film, the Goethe film prize and the RITTER prize.

The Life & Deaf Association will continue its deaf awareness work with a UK tour in 2013. Staff at the association will visit schools and supermarket car parks to share their vision and resources.



Questions for discussion


  • What do you think it might be like to be deaf? What everyday problems would you face?
  • If you were to make a film, what would it be about?
  • Why is it important to feel like you have a voice? How can we make sure that the different voices in our school get heard?


Related resources


What’s it like being deaf?

  • Help students understand the difficulties deaf people face every day with this detailed resource pack from The National Deaf Children's Society.

Deaf opera

  • Be inspired, watch this Teachers TV video following a group of young deaf students making their first opera.

British sign language

  • Help students learn to count to 10 in British sign language with these new resources from tesSpecialNeeds.

Deaf awareness

  • For more resources to help you raise awareness of hearing impairment, try the TES deaf awareness collection.

Further news resources


First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week


Brighton and Hove City Council has suggested removing honorifics from all documents to help better support the needs of the city’s transgender community.

A row has been triggered among MPs following a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that has led to the introduction a draft bill to allow prisoners limited voting rights.

The scientific world reacted in dismay yesterday after an Italian judge convicted six scientists for failing to assess the risk of the 2009 earthquake in the city of L'Aquila.

The Twitter account of Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party, is being investigated by police over the posting of homophobic tweets.



In the news archive index