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English - It's good to criticise

What the lesson is about

Young people from all parts of the UK gathered at the British Academy of Film and Television (Bafta) in London on 20 March to celebrate being shortlisted for a national competition and to hear who will join the select band of winners of Film Education's Young Film Critic Awards, writes Jerome Monahan.

This is the fifth ceremony and runs alongside Film Education's year-round screening programme for schools. "It's our goal to expose young people to interesting and challenging films, but also to help them reflect on what they've seen. Creating a short film review is an ideal way of shaping ideas and seeking to persuade," says Nick Walker of Film Education.

As soon as the dust settles on the Bafta event, the 2012 competition will begin, and a wealth of resources is available to pupils and teachers to help them. "Getting pupils to describe and discuss a film they have enjoyed (or not) can be a great way for them to use critical terms and attempt the kind of analysis they can struggle to apply to other works of art," Mr Walker says.

Start by checking out previous winners' reviews, such as sixth-former Katie Snow from Exeter College, who won last year's award in the 15-19 age category with her review of Juan Antonio Bayona's 2007 supernatural thriller The Orphanage.

Taking it further

To learn more about the Young Film Critic Awards, visit

Decode film language and turn your class into critics with a PowerPoint from mrushhero.

What else?

The English and Media Centre is also making its most recent film reviewing resource - previously published in MediaMagazine - available from 16-30 March as a PDF from

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