Film: 4715

Education | 1930 | Sound | B/W


A short but sweet insight into the education system of pre-war Britain follows three children of different ages from one family into their daily classrooms. Some of the shots more like a Victorian school than a 1930's school.

Frontage of a large sort of Art Deco building which is a school. Pupils walking through glass-sided corridors. A boy walks up to a school door. A boy sits at a table in the living or dining room as his mother wearing an apron gathers his clothes together after breakfast. She helps him on with his blazer, getting ready for school in the morning.

An older girl puts her coat on in front of a mirror and puts on a 'snood'-type scarf. A close up sees her adjusting the knitted headwear. Another close up of older boy. He picks up a model airplane as the three young members of the family are bustled out of the room by their mother and off to school. Mother smiling waves goodbye to the children at the front door of the house.

Down a tree-lined avenue where the youngest is left at the school gates. Four to seven year olds file into class and hang up their coats. Each boy and girl brushes their teeth before play begins : digging in the sand pit, having fun on the slide - and as one young girl tries to go before her turn the politics of fair queuing are learned! As the children are shown painting pictures and girls bathing their baby dolls the narrator explains how each game or activity equips them with important life skills.

A small boy concentrates upon a complex task with wooden blocks while another figures out how geometrical shapes fit together. Close ups of busy hands. The classroom full of children reading together. Slightly older children playing the violin in concert,

Several tables of infants in the dining room each set their own tables with folded cloths and helping themselves to a bottle of milk they all say prayers before the meal of milk and biscuits.

Out in the playground lots of children playing ball. Mary is reading her comic. Boys swap picture cards. A boy and girl stand watching, sipping their school milk through straws. Lining up to march back into class the children obediently re-enter the building.

A female teacher explains a mathematical sum on the blackboard while pupils aged seven to eleven watch intently. An older girl paints with an easel. Teacher gives individual attention to a boy in order to illustrate the narrator's comment on the importance of assessing each child's "special qualities", progressive child psychology.

Mary's class walk through the woods with their teacher pointing out things of interest. Back in class children are instructed in the science of botany, cocoa and cotton plants cover the desks as children cut out pictures relating to these industries. Nature table.

A scene from the school play, Snow White, shows children costumed as dwarves with lanterns.

Pupils come downstairs and sit at tables as lunch is served. Close ups of children eating. Focussing upon Mary, her thoughts about her future new school are enacted: older girls wearing hats and uniforms walk with their cycles in front of the new school buildings. Scenes of university students in gowns cycling through town as narrator tells us that "every girl and boy no matter how poor" had during these times the opportunity to pursue further education. The final scene shows silhouettes of girls filing into their new school.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 4715.