Billy Elliott film viewing

FIlm viewing activity with focus on young people following their path and resisting barriers and opinions against this

First the students watch the film called Billy Elliot (released in 2000), duration: approx. 110 minutes.
Plot summary: Rough “macho” father (Gary Lewis) of an eleven-year-old boy, Billy (Jamie Bell), decides to man up his boy by enlisting him to boxing courses in the local sports centre. Billy tries to penetrate the mysteries of this rough sport, but finds young would-be ballerinas dancing in the adjacent room. Enchanted by the gracefulness of their movements, he is stuck on the spot, thinking, what would his father say, how would his militant brother respond? Yet his desire overcomes him, and he arranges with Ms Wilkinson (Julie Walters), who trains the small dancers, to enlist him among the girls. Billy soon discovers a whole new world. It is obvious that he is tremendously talented, and being pressed to do so by Ms Wilkinson, Billy’s father pays lessons at a prestigious ballet school. Billy does not let him down…
After watching the movie, the students receive a worksheet, which can be filled individually or in groups. In case of individual work, the worksheet may also be graded by the teacher, if they see fit. Discussion about the film can commence before or after filling in the worksheets.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Education techniques
  • Motivation and resilience

Actual outcomes

Realising how important it is to follow one’s dreams in life, and not allowing others to destroy this aim.
Showing that it is possible to connect one’s interests with selecting the future school (or occupation).


Qualities in focus

Purposefulness, self-discipline

Resources required

Film clip, worksheet (which is included in the download document attached)

Time needed

4 Lessons – of 45 minutes in the pilot example

What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?

The students embraced an enjoyable change in classwork – watching a movie together. However, the teachers must bear in mind that not all children will like the movie, as everyone has their individual tastes. Some students thought the film was old-fashioned, but everyone ultimately understood why this film was chosen. Some students also tend to comment loudly on the film, which is not suitable as they disturb their classmates. When reading the filled worksheets, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased by some answers.

Links to related resource files

Contact information