Setting children’s imaginations free

We have developed a specialist unit that focuses on creating content for children.  A unit able to understand what motivates, inspires and educates children of different ages.

While the content we create contains practical learning techniques it’s also about freeing the imagination of the audience and encouraging participation.

Our 2014 and 2015 project Ten Pieces was the centre piece of a nationwide BBC initiative to inspire and involve primary school children in classical music.

Our work has been broadcast in; cinemas, on TV, online and as part of more in-depth digital content formats.

In 2013 and 2015 we were awarded the BAFTA for the Children’s Company of the Year.

Recent projects include: Music Technology for 8-16 year olds, Play On! to enthuse 7-10 year olds about classical music; Bringing Books to Life for 7-11 year olds; Poetry Between the Lines to inspire 14-16 year olds; and an Online Literacy series to inspire internet use.

Poetry: Between the Lines

Poetry: Between the Lines is a BAFTA winning series of entertaining short films (5 x 6 minutes) aimed at inspiring 14-16 year olds with contemporary poetry. We produced the films for BBC Learning.

The series was presented by hip-hop star Akala and features contemporary poets including Jackie Kay, Gillian Clarke and Ciaran Carson, in conversation about some of their best-loved poems. The poems we chose explore themes ranging from childhood imagination to the power of memory and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. We aimed to show how poetry is something alive in the world around us – inspired by our environment, memories and experiences.

A 30-minute version of the films was shown on BBC Two’s Learning Zone and Poetry: Between the Lines is available online.

Ten Pieces aims to inspire a generation of children to get creative with classical music.

Ten Pieces and Ten Pieces II are flagship films produced by Somethin’ Else in association with BBC Music Television.

The films were part of a cross-platform initiative for BBC Learning and BBC Music to promote classical music to the UK’s Primary School children.

Ten Pieces was first shown to more than 100,000 children in cinemas during October 2014 as part of the launch of the music project. Ten Pieces II was aimed at secondary school children the following year.

Both films showcase ten well known classical music pieces backed by commentary from celebrities including Katy B, Claudia Winkleman, Laura Mvula and Dick & Dom.

Each presenter attempts to inspire children with ideas around the pieces, brought to life with a mix of live action and animation directed by Oliver Smyth.

The BBC’s target was for every primary school child and those in years 7 and 8 to see the films through the special cinema showings, the TV broadcast or DVDs distributed to schools. The films are accompanied by a series of learning materials to create classroom discussions. Children are then encouraged to provide their own responses to the film as part of a “year of learning” related to Ten Pieces.

Bringing Books to Life

Dick and Dom bring Roald Dahl’s ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ to life. Part of Bringing Books to Life, ten short films that help get 7-11 year olds excited about reading.

“These films are fresh, exciting and beautifully shot. They manage to capture the passion and enthusiasm of the presenters for the books they are advocating. We hope that the films will help to enthuse a new generation of readers.”

Katy Jones, executive producer for the BBC Learning Zone.

Bringing Books to Life follows on from Somethin’ Else’s previous online videos for BBC Learning with Your Paintings, a series of short films (10×6’) aimed at getting children interested in art and art galleries.

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