Cedar Lodge School and Cinemagic Celebrate Success of Young Creatives


25 Year 12 students at Cedar Lodge School Belfast are celebrating after passing an Open College Network (OCN) NI Level 1 Award in Creative Arts and Digital Technologies. The students completed a unique animation project with Cinemagic supported by The Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen. 

Over four months this year the students worked passionately with Cinemagic and Wheelworks’ Digital Artist, Nathan Crothers, on a weekly basis, to complete the Award components and create individual short animations utilising software and techniques through Procreate, Flipaclip and Rotoscoping to create their original films. The Cedar Lodge students represent one of the first Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools in Northern Ireland to achieve such a success in a project of this nature.

David McConnell, Head of Education at Northern Ireland Screen commented, “Our sincere congratulations to the students passing their Open College Network (OCN) NI Level 1 Award in Creative Arts and Digital Technologies. This initiative is a testament to the power or partnership in integrating digital technologies creatively within the classroom. We remain committed to expanding opportunities for young people regardless of their background or circumstances, to engage with, learn, and develop essential creative and digital skills.”

Laura McCurdy, Project Executive, Cinemagic said “This has been such a rewarding partnership and firstly I would like to offer congratulations to all of the students on their incredible success as well as noting their commitment and hard work completing the project. The nature of the project not only helped to nurture raw talent in the area of digital filmmaking but developed key employability and life skills in the areas of communication, teamwork and self-confidence.

Cinemagic has worked with the SEN sector for many years and recognises that many young people have the potential to find training and employment within the creative industries provided they are aware of the relevant skillset and how to access opportunities, so it was an extra beneficial project because of the lack of pathways available post 19 for SEN young people in Northern Ireland.”

Chris Murphy, Principal, Cedar Lodge School said “Working in partnership with Cinemagic to deliver the OCN L1 Creative Arts and Digital Technologies has provided 25 students from Cedar Lodge with an amazing opportunity to work with industry professionals from Cinemagic and Wheelworks developing new transferrable skills and getting a glimpse into the world of animation.

There was a tremendous buzz in the room during the project, and it was evident our young people loved the sessions with the animators, as they brought learning to life. Without the support from Cinemagic we would not have been able to provide this opportunity for our young people.”

Joanne Bailey, Director of Business Development at OCN NI said “Congratulations to everyone involved in this programme. It’s clear this qualification and programme has engaged the learners and helped them develop new skills which they will be able to further build upon for years to come.”

As part of the celebrations and culmination of the project, the students were treated to a visit to the Game of Thrones Studio Tour exploring the sets of the hit series made in Northern Ireland and discovering the behind-the-scenes magic.

Ends:// Press Information: Claire Shaw, Cinemagic Press Officer, 028 90 311 900 claire@cinemagic.org.uk

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