Summer School 2010

June 4, 2010

Here’s what the CLC has planned for Summer School this year:

  • Music Summer School, 2nd-6th August – aimed at musicians between 12 and 16, attendees will look at performing, recording and editing their music. We’re pleased to announce that Jon Windle, formally of Little Man Tate, will be joining us for guitar and song-writing masterclasses.
  • French Summer School, 23rd-25th August – for pupils between 9 and 11 years of age. Participants will learn some basic French using a variety of technologies, for example green screen filming, animation, comic strips etc.
  • Animation – Beyond Plasticine,  16th-20th August – for young people between 13 and 16 years old. We wanted to move away from animating using plasticine figures and use different media instead, for example photographs, real people, drawings etc. For inspiration see the animations here and here.

To apply for the summer schools, please fill in the form here, and return to the CLC with £10 (cheques payable to Sheffield South CLC) per person per summer school.

Primary Cross-Curricular Music Project – Final Summary

March 22, 2010

The four weeks with the Valley Park year 6 class passed far too quickly, but it is all over and the music video has been completed.

The Publicity group continued with posters, and presentations and diary entries about the World tour, all of which can be seen on the project blog at During the final session they held a Wii Music competition, to see who would record the best version of the Locomotion, playing instruments of their choice.

Over the last two weeks the animation group discovered that their story was a little complicated, and had to simplify it all. As this group also made up the editing group, there wasn’t much time for the pupils to edit the video in the final session. However they communicated their vision for the film and I hope to have done it justice:


Primary Cross-Curricular Music Project – Week #2

February 2, 2010

So the song has been written and recorded in our recording studio, and now just needs a few finishing touches by Mr. Hilton at school. The Locomotion dance is ready to be filmed and the animators have all their characters ready to be brought to life.

Last week the Publicity Group struggled at bit with the unstructured nature of the project, so this week I gave them a very clear task – to finish the T-shirt design.  First I showed them examples of exisiting t-shirts, both old (Beatles) and new (JLS) and go them thinking about what kind of design they wanted. I also showed them how to work with text in Adobe Flash – making interesting patterns and changing the font. I know this isn’t normally the kind of software one would use, but it’s one I’m very familiar with and it is relatively easy to use.

After some paper and pencil planning, the students got on with their final designs which we then voted on. You can see it here – the pupil actually designed it on a website and so I worked with him translating the design into Flash, and losing the less appropriate images and text!

Meanwhile the bloggers were photographing everything that moved and started some interviewing. The school is lucky enough to have Jon Windle, previously the lead singer of Little Man Tate, working with them at the moment, so he was duly interviewed. The audio of the interview can be found on the blog here. Unfortunately their enthusiasm doesn’t stretch to writing up a report on what has been happening each week, something to work on next week!

In all, progress has been made, but it is really tough to ensure everyone is engaged at all times. Year 6 pupils definitely need plenty of structure to their sessions, even when they are interested in what they are doing.

Primary Cross-Curricular Music Project – Week #1

January 18, 2010

Finally the snow stopped long enough for the first year 6 class from Valley Park School to get to the CLC on Friday. I’d visited the class the day before to talk a bit more about the project and assign some roles. Work was already underway on the song to be recorded, which is about Machines – the current topic being studied, and some ideas had been explored by the Video Concept Group.

In terms of roles, I was delighted to have a volunteer to be the Director and general boss of things from the students, her first role was to fill in a Google Calendar with tasks for the upcoming sessions. The other pupils were split up roughly into two groups – the Music Video Group and the Publicity Group. During Friday’s session (9.30-12.00) the Video Concept Group firmed up their ideas and looked at some examples of storyboards before beginning their own. A group of dancers began choreographing a dance to a section of the music (based on Kylie Minogue’s Locomotion!)

The animators began designing their characters using Paint. I also spent some time training up two camera people to use the video and still cameras – before starting the filming of each pupil playing an instrument to be used in the video.

Meanwhile the Publicity Group were hard at work coming up with a name for the band (they decided on “The Equals”) and then designing T-Shirts. The three bloggers took photos of the proceedings and wrote their first post on the Posterous site (which can be seen here – please note this may become password protected at a later date). Throughout the morning pairs of students also tried out the Nintendo Wii, learning to play instruments on Wii Music.

Generally it was a very successful first session. We will perhaps have a struggle to get everything done in 4 weeks, but as always it is the process not the outcome that is most important.

Primary Cross-Curricular Music Project

January 8, 2010

This term we have big plans for a cross-curricular music project with Valley Park Primary School. It began with the purchase of our Nintendo Wiis, including the Wii Music software, and was inspired by the work done by Ollie Bray in Scotland using Guitar Hero as a starting point for transition work (see article here).

Two year 6 classes are spending a morning at the CLC over 5 weeks this term and will be completing some or all of the following:

  • Writing and recording a song based on work they are currently doing at school.
  • Creating a music video using the Green Screen, animation, photos etc to accompany the song.
  • Designing a CD cover, posters and any other merchandise for the video.
  • Planning a European Tour for the musicians, researching transport (including carbon footprint), languages spoken and interesting facts about the cities to be visited.
  • Learning about sound and pitch to fit in with science work.
  • Reporting on the work being done and contributing to a project blog.
  • And if there’s time – learning to play a few instruments on the Wii!

We’re very excited about the whole thing, and hope the pupils will be too. I’ll be updating the blog with our progress as the term goes on.

Music Video Summer School 2009

August 11, 2009

The CLC recently completed its inaugural Music Video Summer School, inspired by having a number of bands using our music recording facilities this year. Fourteen students spent 5 days at the centre creating a music video in 4 different groups. We asked one of the bands from our partnership schools, The Ruze (website here), to record one of their tracks for groups to create a video for. One of the groups chose to record their own song which gave them a chance to use the recording facilities. The following days were spent planning, filming, animating and editing the films, with students learning how to film using with the green screen and edit in Adobe Premiere.

You can hear feedback from one of the groups here

The finished videos were all excellent and were judged by a panel made up of CLC staff:


Thanks to all the participants for their hard work, and particular thanks to The Ruze for the track and allowing the groups to film them playing.

Mundella pupils re-enact the Great Fire of London

December 8, 2008

Year 2 pupils from Mundella School spent the day at the CLC recreating the Great Fire of London. Small groups created stop-motion animations using I Can Animate (see animation above) with some fantastic hand-made sets whilst others sampled Baroque music and created their own sound effects in Garageband. Others dressed up as Samuel Pepys, King Charles and a number of other key people of the times, to act out scenes in front of the green screen, in order to add fire footage afterwards in Adobe Ultra. A final group interviewed characters and talked about artefacts from the fire.

As you can imagine it was pretty hectic, but the pupils and adults learnt a great deal about the events and how to use lots of different bits of technology.

Meadowhead Music Video

January 30, 2008


A band from Meadowhead School, The Killer Instincts, came to the CLC in November with music teacher Kerry Knight to record a music video. We used our new green screen equipment that means that you can add any background to what you film, like in weather reports. The band played their song “Realise” a number of times in front of the special screen, and chose some video backgrounds. The backgrounds were then edited into the footage of the boys playing to create a finished music video.

This technology can be used for a number of creative video projects across the curriculum, and is highly motivating for students. Once our extension is completed over summer, we will have a large space that can be used as a recording studio for such projects.

NUMU: The future of music

January 21, 2008

The website NUMU at is a dedicated safe space for young people to showcase their music, meet others and learn new skills. It is designed to support the Music Curriculum across primary and secondary and integrates with the innovative learning approaches of Musical Futures. Schools can create their own music label and upload their own original music.


Beatles Multimedia Project

December 12, 2007

Heritage Park School took a small group of year 7 pupils with two year 9 helpers to The Beatles Story in Liverpool in November. This was to fit in with key stage 3 music. They recorded video and audio and took photos of the trip. When they returned, each pupil created their own video of the day, adding music and voice-overs. For a sample of the sort of thing they did click here: Heritage Park sample video

Barbara Kirkaldy, Deputy Headteacher, said that the project gave the pupils “a positive experience of working at the CLC and producing a finished item they were proud of. In fact they are entering the Global Video award.”