Cinema projectionists

If you thought that the cinema was handy for film-watching and popcorn-munching only, think again. STO discovers a range of workshops available at Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.

Tyneside Cinema, dating back to 1937, is said to be the last surviving newsreel cinema left in the UK; it’s also still a working cinema today.

And while a cinema might not seem like the most conventional attraction for learning outside the classroom, an educational team offers a number of workshops for Key Stage 2 to 5 students.

Most of the workshops include film-related materials, which can be linked to a number of school subjects including Media Studies, English, History, Art & Design and Science.

Depending on what learning session children are engaging in, there’s also the opportunity to learn first-hand from professional film makers and industry experts.

The cinema has a pop-up film school situated opposite the film-screening building; each workshop begins with a welcome and an introductory talk inside the cinema itself, before heading to the film school to continue with the workshop – all of which run from 10am until 3pm.

Classic auditorium

Pictured: Newcastle's New Theatre in 1937. (Photo credit: Tyneside Cinema).

Key Stage 2

Primary school students will find a number of workshops to choose from. The Biopic, linking to English and History, is a session during which children are encouraged to come up with ideas for a film revolving around historical figures such as Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare and Florence Nightingale.

Likewise, The Newsreel is a session linking to History; the class must create a news story linking to key events in the past, like the Great Fire of London, or World War One or Two.

During an Art of Film workshop, participants will focus on Art & Design. They’ll learn about the moving image, and a range of techniques such as animation, split-screen films, and sound design.

Key Stages 3, 4 and 5

The aforementioned learning sessions are also available for older students; and there are others to choose from too.

A Literary Adaptation workshop will see participants bringing key literary pieces of work, such as Romeo and Juliet, to life. The group will put together and shoot a short film centring on the most important moments in the chosen story.

George VI Coronation

Pictured: The coronation of George VI. (Photo credit: Bradford National Media Museum).

During a Film Trailer workshop, Key Stage 4 and 5 students can divide into smaller groups to create a trailer for Sci-fi, Film Noir, or Horror – they’ll learn how to plan, shoot, and edit footage.

For Media Studies; a Movie Business workshop will look at the behind-the scenes workings of a newsreel cinema, from where cinema posters come from to how technology has changed over time.

This workshop includes a guided tour of the cinema, and following this, the children will be encouraged to design their own cinema for a school.

Further resources

There is a specific set of resources for Key Stage 2 teachers, created by the Tyneside Cinema. It provides a suggested learning framework and structured approach to using newsreels in the classroom.

Teachers of other Key Stages will find a number of images on the website that can be downloaded to aid teaching back in the classroom, as well the chance to share resources and ideas with other teachers online.

Booking information

Schools are asked to provide their own lunches. Teachers can call 01912-275500 to make a booking.

For further information visit

Lead image: Cinema projectionists (Photo credit: Newcastle City Libraries).