Calendar Dates in Focus: Summer 2024

10 May 2024

14 mins
Calendar Dates N&Vs Header (Summer)
Calendar Dates N&Vs Header (Summer)

Looking for thematic days to link to your lessons? Our termly Calendar Dates round-ups highlight the most significant days on the horizon, and provide useful links and resources to help you explore them using film in your classroom.

From a wide selection of film titles available for free* with the Into Film+ streaming service, to brand new resources, delve into some key May, June and July dates below including Mental Health Awareness Week. Refugee Week, and Windrush day.

Below, we've covered the main dates coming up across the 2024 summer term to help you plan and structure your lessons ahead of the summer break. As always, the information and links below are an easy, at-a-glance way of knowing what's coming up, but we'll also be exploring many in more detail closer to the dates themselves.


National Share a Story Month

National Share a Story Month is an annual celebration of the power of storytelling and story sharing. This year's theme is A Feast of Stories, which looks to remind us how authors invoke all of the senses in their stories, by focusing on depictions of food in literature. Think delicious smells wafting from an oven, the design of sugary sweets, the sounds of whipped cream being sprayed on a hot chocolate, or the feeling of fizzy drinks on the tongue.

Our Wonka: Pure Imagination resource is a learning sequence that calls on young inventors to apply their entrepreneurial flair in planning and pitching their own marvellous chocolate creations, making it the perfect accompaniment for this year's National Share a Story Month theme.

In addition, our series of fairy tale-inspired resources uses the films TangledFrozen and Song of the Sea to explore different aspects of storytelling, and if you're an educator looking for relevant training or CPD opportunities, our Visualising Stories and Writing Fiction Through Film courses could be ideal.

Deaf Awareness Week (6-12 May)

Deaf Awareness Week aims to help make everyday life more deaf-friendly for children and young people.

Our D/Deaf and Hard of Hearing Film List provides a range of relevant titles for both primary and secondary learners, and you can also revisit our 2023 interview with the Deaf Talent Collective; a consultancy service that organises deaf actors, BSL interpreters, BSL and deaf consultants, script consultants and bespoke deaf awareness training for productions or events.

Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May)

This year's theme is Movement: Moving more for our mental health, which recognises the importance of movement for our mental health, and aims to help people to find moments for movement in their daily routines. 

Our Making a Wellbeing Short Film resource will help young people engage with film and filmmaking with increased confidence, allowing them to articulate ideas about what mental health means to them. In addition, short films I Am Good at Karate and Blue Bottle both explore links between the physical and mental wellbeing.

Meanwhile, our Mindfulness Through Film training course (created in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation) explores how film watching and filmmaking can be used to introduce mindfulness principles and exercises.

Endangered Species Day (17 May)

Every year on the third Friday in May, Endangered Species Day aims to celebrate, educate and promote action towards protecting threatened and endangered species.

Feature-length documentary Escape from Extinction is available with Into Film+, and dives into the great efforts being taken to preserve animal species around the world. Meanwhile, available with Into Film+ Premium, short film Akashinga: The Brave Ones looks at an Australian ex-special forces soldier who has formed a group of female rangers to guard Africa's endangered wildlife from poachers.


Pride Month

Starting as a result of the Stonewall Riots, and headlined by the iconic annual march through central London, Pride Month is a vibrant and inclusive celebration that honours the LGBTQ+ community, their history and achievements, and their ongoing struggle for equality.

Our dedicated LGBTQ+ page collects our most relevant LGBTQ+ films, resources and articles to help you explore Pride Month in your classroom. Of particular relevance are our Exploring Identity on Film: LGBTQ+ resource uses film clips to challenge young people to consider how Pride can be showcased and shared through art, and Tomboy: Exploring Identity Through Camerawork, which explores the role of the camera in presenting identities and relationships in the film Tomboy.

World Ocean Day (8 June)

World Ocean Day supports collaborative conservation, working with its global network of youth leaders and 2,000+ organizations in 150+ countries, and by providing free and customizable promotional and actionable resources.

Short film The Beauty reimagines the ocean and its vibrant aquatic life as having become one with the plastics and other pollutants that litter the oceans, while Oscar-nominated feature-length animation The Sea Beast explores, among other things, the sanctity of marine life.

Refugee Week (17-23 June)

Refugee Week is the world's largest arts and culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. The theme for 2024 is Our Home, which aims to celebrate what 'home' means to us all, whether it's a place of refuge, a feeling, or a state of mind; a house, or an entire planet.

In 2023, Aardman and international children's charity Save the Children released Home, a new short film to highlight the experience of refugee children around the world. We're proud to house such an important and accessible film on Into Film+.

Meanwhile, two of our Doc Academy resources are ideal for exploring Refugee Week in the classroom. Our Moving To Mars resource is aimed at English learners aged 11-14, and uses the documentary Moving to Mars to explore the situation in Myanmar, following the plight of a refugee family who leave the country to begin a new life in England. Aimed at learners aged 11-16, our Exodus - Forced Migration Toolkit introduces varying perspectives on the topic of forced migration, and aims to develop the capacity for independent and critical thinking, empathy, understanding and social responsibility.

Learning Disability Week (17-23 June)

Organised by charity Mencap, Learning Disability Week is all about making sure the world hears what life is like if you have a learning disability. This year's theme of "Do you see me?" is focused on helping those with learning disabilities be seen, heard and valued.

Our dedicated SEND/ASN/ALN page offers resources, films and articles, including film guides around Home and A Monster Calls created specifically for SEND pupils.

World Music Day (21 June)

This annual celebration of all things musical aims to celebrate and promote the global language of music, and to bring together people of different nationalities, cultures, and races through music.

Our Primary Model Music: Speaking Musically asks younger learners to listen closely and respond to how a piece of music in a film scene captures the tone of the events, while Primary Model Music: Composing will see them consider how music relates to silent cinema.

Windrush Day (22 June)

Each year Windrush Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush - the ship that gave its name to a generation of Caribbean immigrants in the UK.

School Diversity Week (24-28 June)

Organised by LGBT+ charity Just Like Us, School Diversity Week is a UK-wide celebration of LGBT+ equality in education. The Just Like Us website features a number of resources and ways of getting involved.

Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay is a documentary that follows the pop star and actor as he examines some of the causes behind disturbing statistics around bullying and mental health issues that LGBTQ+ pupils disproportionately experience in school. 


Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution - so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities.

Short film The Story of Plastic is available to stream with Into Film+ and provides an overview of the modern plastics industry and how it is affecting the planet.

Meanwhile, our Our Generation vs Climate Change resource uses feature-length documentary The People Vs Climate Change as a catalyst to explore all sorts of issues around recycling, net zero, and climate change. In particular, the 'E-Waste and Disposable Culture' and 'Reduce, Recuse, Recycle' PowerPoints are ideal for sparking classroom debates.

For educators looking to improve their confidence in this field, our Sustainability Through Film course will help you explore how film can engage learners in important conversations about sustainability and empower them to amplify their voices on what matters to them most through filmmaking. 

Nelson Mandela Day (18 July)

Biographical film Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom is available to stream with Into Film+ and can be further explored using the accompanying film guide, while our Mandela: A Life and Legacy on Film resource is ideal for secondary learners.

How Do I Get Started with Into Film+?

To access Into Film+, all you'll need is an Into Film Account - it's completely free, and only takes a moment to set up.

Into Film+ is free to use for all UK state schools that hold a valid Public Video Screening (PVS) Licence from Filmbankmedia. If you're a state school in England that's funded by the Department for Education, you will also have access to Into Film+ Premium, which offers an even greater selection of films.

Filmbankmedia PVS Licences are paid for on behalf of schools by all local authorities in England and by some local authorities in both Wales and Scotland. Into Film NI cover the license cost for some schools in Northern Ireland. For further information on licensing in your locality please see our FAQs.

If you don't have a PVS Licence, or aren't already covered, then a licence can easily be obtained from Filmbankmedia.

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Filmbankmedia licenses and distributes film and TV entertainment to many groups and is the licensing authority we work with to ensure schools, libraries and youth groups have the permissions to screen films from our catalogue.

* Screenings for an entertainment or extra-curricular purpose require a PVS (Public Video Screening) Licence from Filmbankmedia. State-funded schools in England are covered by the PVS Licence.

The core Into Film programme is free for UK state schools, colleges and other youth settings, thanks to support from the BFI, awarding National Lottery good cause funding, and through other key funders including Cinema First and Northern Ireland Screen.

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