Education | 1970 | Sound | B/W
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The village during the reign of Elizabeth in the sixteenth century.
Children at a country primary school study the Elizabethan period in an imaginative and re-creative manner. This is fun as well as educational and helps develop a range of learning skills.
Signpost and bench in an English village, Elmley Village, an Elizabethan timber- framed house in the background. The front of a similar, thatched house. Titles over a quiet street, an Elizabethan house. " The environment of many country schools is rich with interest". Plowden 474, over a country school. An Elizabethan house beside a modern brick school. Children (probably of primary school age) in a playground. Children in their classroom. Our presenter, David Lucas, points to a stamp on the classroom wall and tells us it all begun when a child brought the stamp to school (at Ashton-Under-Hill village school) , prompting an interest in the Elizabethan period the 16th century various Elizabethan replicas and drawings of Elizabethan items adorn the classroom; the children are busy making Elizabethan gloves; gauntlets, hose, rush matting.
A boy dresses a hog's head, stuffing it with Elizabethan herbs. Two girls make Elizabethan candles. Close-up as one pours tallow on a wick for candle making. The glove makers as Lucas talks about the children receiving "an imaginative experience" giving an insight into earlier village life. Close- up of a busy girl. She cuts paper or foil. Close-up of beads on cloth. A boy cuts card. Another angle. A glove in preparation. A close-up of glove. A bead is glued to a glove, Lucas narrating about Elizabethan splendour and pageantry. A boy. Girls and boys working at a table. Bowls with items to resemble jewellery- beads and seeds. A child gluing beads, Lucas telling us that all the children can get on on their own. A studious boy. Items are selected from the bead bowls, Lucas speaking about the children working with enthusiasm. The teacher walks between different tables and groups, free to give her attention to those who need it most. A child pins part of a display to the wall. An Elizabethan picture, children fiddling with string and beads. One attaches a brooch to the display. The other attaches string to another part of the display. Narration speaks of children not being in competition, the less able are not discouraged and the bright ones are not complacent. The two boys move away from the display which will eventually consist of 2D- represenations of an Elizabethan man and woman. The boys look at reference books for inspiration. Closer. Lucas stands in front of children's drawings of Elizabethan houses and tells us the children learnt about the buildings by visiting a Tudor cottage with their teacher Mrs. Eccles.
A child fills in a drawing of the Tudor house, in front of the house. The boy describes the house as he draws it. The oak framework of the house. Inside, a girl sits in the inglenook fireplace. View up the chimney, pegs sticking out which were used by chimney sweeps. The girl again, taking notes as boy measures the fireplace, the girl, in voice-over, imagines what it would have looked like. The gir writes as others measure or draw. A boy writes on the stairs and bannisters, his voice-over describing his imaginings. Other children on the stairs and bannisters. A girl cuts out a tracing of a bannister. A girl carries rushes up to the loft. Two girls spread the rushes in the attic where they would have made a bed. A third girl writes as she watches. The three of them as the third's voice-over imagines what it would have been like for a servant there. Two of the girls spread a blanket. Another angle. The third girl writing. The three of them again, two laid out on the floor. A boy does a rubbing of a piece of old timber. Another, a rubbing of a linen fold panel. Closer, narration about learning through touch as well as sight. Two boys measuring the fireplace- so maths is used too. A boy and a girl drawing on the floor. A corner of a room. The oak beams of a passage. A girl studies a sqint hole. Closer. A girl draws. A boy draws in the middle of a room, oak beams above him. The boy fills in his drawing of the room.
Wider angle, the oak beams in the opposite wall. The quiet street outside the scaffolded Tudor House. Children making calculations outside the house. A boy makes a chalk mark on the road. The boys work out the height of the house. Their calculations on paper. Two boys measure a corner of the house. A boy paints the house- narration refers to encourage- ment of mathematics. The boys paint pots. The group of boys, one with a protractor. He uses it to gauge the house's dimensions. The calculations. The boy and protractor again. Closer. The group again.
Back at the classroom, Lucas discusses some of the waste material that the children brought back from the work on the Tudor House, then turns to a boy to ask him about wattle and daub construction. Close-up of some of the material- horse hair. The boy mixes the hair with clay. Closer as he applies it to the willow wattling. View from below. View from above. Lucas asks what it was used for. The boy tells him it prevented drafts and was waterproof. The boy concentrating. The wattle. the boy moulding the daub. Closer. Wider again. Mrs. Eccles in her busy classroom. Children work with willow or rushes. Closer, on boy weaving them. Another boy uses meccano to aid his mathematics. A girl weaves rushes. The boy with meccano triangle again. Geometric drawings on the wall. The classroom of children, all busy at their tables. Drawing of a quill pen. An image of Shakespeare, children working below it, a child talking about making a quill pen. Close. Closer still as he fashions a feather pen. Wider view. Books on the table about Shakespeare's writing. Closer, Shalkespeare's signature. A child writes in a book. The boy with quill pen, a girl writing next to him. A display about the Tudor House is prepared. A boy drawing. His drawing of the house. The classroom. Lucas speaks to a girl about the cakes she is making. Some Elizabethan food on the corner of the table. Lucas asks the girl about the recipes, then reads about Sir Walter Raleigh's cakes. Elizabethan herbs on a table. Closer- the herbs include rue, lavender cotton, bay, and rosemary. Mrs. Eccles tells us about the use of herbs and lavender cotton was put on the floor to hide the smell, bay was used for cooking. Lucas asks about the number of children and classes in the school. He asks about the age and ability range. Ages 5-11, all abilities, asked what are the disadvantages of a country school, Mrs. Eccles speaks of the need to take the children to cities, but that advantages outweigh disadvantages. Cut away to the herbs on the table. Lucas asks if the villagers are interested in the school. Mrs. Eccles says yes. Children in the classroom. Closer as they prepare boar's head stuffed with herbs, a favourite Elizabethan dish. One of the girls, next to the boar's head. Closer. Wider angle with other children. A child stuffs an orange with cloves to make a pomander. A girl decorates the boar's head with gelatine and cream. Closer. Other children play recorders to mimic 16 cty music. The busy classroom. A girl lights the tallow candles she made. Her friend watches her, then they prepare another candle. Closer. Wider again. The narrator asking rhetorical questions about tallow. Other children. In one corner, a table with children doing embroidering. Examples of their work, flora and fauna based on Elizabethan designs behind the children. Work in progress. More embroidering. Two girls sewing. A fantastical embroidered image. An embroidering butterfly. Embroidering plants all these have been especially made for blind people to enjoy. Another butterfly. A boy glues a seed. He glues it on an embroidered ship. Drawing of and writing about a ship. Collage of a ship wreck. Montage of close-ups of the collage. The whole collage on a wall, other ship associated items belw it on display.
The children playing recorders. Closer. Another angle. One of them on her own. The two girls stop playing to watch one of the boys. Another angle. Closer. Another angle. Mrs. Eccles in the classroom. Montage of children's faces. Mrs. Eccles talks about some antique furniture in the corner of the classroom, and asks the children questions. Montage of children's faces. Mrs. Eccles talks about the cauldron. One of the boys. Mrs. Eccles continues talking. Closer- children at a table prepare a costume for Macbeth a witch's hat, mask. Closer. A boy glues. Then attaches scraps of paper to the mask. His face a child reading from Macbeth in voice-over. Overview of a work table. A child tries out the witch's mask and hat which is quite effective! A boy daubs another mask. He and two girls doing the same. Closer as curls of paper are attached to a mask. Close-up of one of the girls, she tries a mask on. Wider angle. Another girl at work. The mask she is making. She applies glue. And sticks string on it to look like hair. Montage of masks. The children making them. Dressed up in their costumes, children act out a scene from Macbeth in the hall (the witches around their cauldron). Another angle. The actor witches cast their spells. The witches round their pot. Pan from inside the pot.
The hall and children watching the scene. Children use straws to blow bubbles in water as a sound effect. Other children make bird noises. Others play instruments. The players and audience, teachers watching from the back row. The witches much boiling and bubbling. Another angle. Credits over witches' faces.
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