Alchemy Film & Arts are delighted to be embarking upon a new hands-on filmmaking project with local primary school teachers thanks to a new £145,000 grant as part of Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Teacher Development Fund.

Delivered over two years in partnership with Trinity Primary School and Scottish Borders Council, Viewfinders will see 14 teachers across Hawick’s seven primary schools – Burnfoot, Denholm, Drumlanrig, Newcastleton, Stirches, Trinity and Wilton – being taught how to make films with their iPads to enhance teaching and learning within the school curriculum.

One of only ten projects across the UK to be funded as part of the Teacher Development Fund’s 2021/22 iteration, Viewfinders is designed to build teachers’ confidence in media communications and to maximise use of iPads in classrooms. The 14 teachers will be introduced to filmmaking techniques through workshops, practical exercises, and an online sharing network.

Karen Dixon, Headteacher at Trinity and chair of the Hawick Schools Cluster, told the Hawick Paper on 27 August: “I’m delighted that our teachers and primary pupils are going to benefit from the exciting Viewfinders project.

“It provides so many fantastic opportunities and I’m looking forward to seeing how this enhances teaching and positively impacts pupils’ learning across Hawick.”

Michael Pattison, one of Alchemy’s Directors, told the Hawick Paper, “Viewfinders is a huge and ambitious project that will demonstrate the effectiveness of filmmaking and digital technologies in the classroom. It will impact the wellbeing and creative learning of hundreds of children in Hawick.

“The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of and reliance upon digital media, as well as our need for digital literacy and for creative approaches to social, cultural and practical barriers,” Pattison continued.

Viewfinders also aims to encourage parents and carers to get involved in supporting their children’s learning by developing their own digital skills.”


Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Teacher Development Fund supports the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and embeds learning through the arts in the curriculum. It aims to do this through supporting teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience.


Participating teachers can click this link to view the Viewfinders Resources.

Image: Trinity Primary School (left to right) – Charlie Moule, Chloe Bell, Mrs Scott, Neveah Torrie, Jayden McGregor