Film ID:
YFA 3901



Visitor Tabs


This film documents some of the daily activities which took place at the Handsworth School located in Sheffield during the 1940s. The film consists of two reels, part one filmed in 1942 and part two filmed in 1948. The footage includes images of the children playing outside on the playground as well as different lessons.

Part One
A class of children are gardening outside the school. The children work together in groups to rake the soil, plant the seeds, and water the flowerbeds. They then gather around the small stone pond and scoop weeds out with a net.

Next, there is a PE lesson in the playground. The children jump over small hurdles and jump under a skipping rope which two girls swing. The children take it in turns to climb onto a chair and jump from it. They are being helped by a little girl who holds their hands as they land. A line of children stand holding hula hoops for the class to jump through. Two boys throw a ball to each other over a high net, and a girl skips with a skipping rope as children roll hula hoops to each other.

In the classroom the, children are role playing different jobs. A boy sits at a desk (Get your money here) and the children take it in turns to collect money from him. The children then line up at the shop stand (New Stock - Open) to buy various goods from the girl who is serving in the stand. A teacher helps the children who are sitting in their seats doing work.

In the playground the children sit on the floor and watch a puppet show put on by other children in the class who sit behind the box stage and move the puppets.

A boy and a girl sit together on the grass connecting blocks in units of ten. They then attach a number to the chain and continue to add another ten blocks this is continued up to 60. A group of children sit at a table in the playground and push blocks onto spikes then they write on their papers. A girl takes the blocks from one spike, stacks them on the table and slots them onto another spike. A group of children stand at a table with different containers. One has pond water while another contains soil. A boy looks at two snails on the table.

Inside the classroom, the children work together at their desks. At a group table, a boy and a girl work together to connect coloured shapes in a long line along the table. A girl kneels on the floor helping a boy paint a cardboard train. The children line up at the cardboard stand to collect their tickets as the two boys controlling the train move it forward. Meanwhile, the teacher helps a boy with an activity he is working on at the desk.

Walking in pairs, the children make their way onto the playground. They are carrying nets on poles. At the side of the large pond, the children lower their nets into the water. Three boys look into the jam jar filled with specimens from the pond.

A boy and a girl sit in the playground in front of a large board with various maths problems. They take it in turns to solve the equation and hook the answer on the board. A boy sits in front of a board with three circles, and he slots pieces into the one by one. A group of children sit next to activity boards where they make notes in their workbooks. Two boys kneel at the side of a bench working out different weights of objects using scales and weights. The children take it in turns to stand in front of a white measuring stick so that a boy can see how tall they are. A girl sitting next to the measuring stick records the measurements in a workbook, and a girl kneels on the floor and takes objects out of a box and lays them in different patterns on the ground. The class lines up and takes turns going down the slide on the playground. A group of four boys work together to build and paint a small train and aeroplane (RAF). The boys play with the modules in the playground.

On the playground the children take it in turns to take part in various drama activities during which they wear different costumes. A girl stands over a boy lying on the ground, a girl stands at a table with scales and weights with a boy, a boy lies underneath a table as a girl in kneeling on top of it. Two girls kneel on the floor as two girls stand over them. Finally, three girls stand next to children sitting on chairs in a semicircle.

Part Two

Children wearing coats and bobble hats walk along together past a hedgerow. The children run around the field followed by the teacher. The children all stand next to a stone wall and metal gate trying to climb over. They walk on the grass-covered slope in between the trees while some of the children pick flowers. The children walk together through a field with a horse pulling a plough.

Inside the classroom, a girl rides on the rocking horse while the other children are involved with other activities at the desks. A girl and boy rock on a seesaw inside the classroom. This is followed by a group of children who work together to collect building blocks. They stack them up to make a wall. A boy and girl stand at easels where they paint pictures, and another girl puts washing through a mangle and hangs it on a line. A group of boys are playing together in a sand box. Children sitting next to the teacher look through picture books. Three girls help each other to wash a doll. The girls treat the doll like a baby, carrying it gently from the washbowl to be dried off with care as two girls carry the washbowl of water outside to drain away. The children paint various pictures on easels such as houses and people, and a group of three children sit at a table and play with modelling clay.

The children put on Chinese hats and play musical chairs. They sit in the classroom where they eat their Christmas lunch. Two children and a teacher struggle to pull a cracker. Before the meal, the children stand at wash bowels and racks with towels washing their hands. They help each other to lay tablecloths in the classroom. The children walk up to the table to buy milk in glass bottles that are being served by two children. The children are seated at the tables with their milk saying grace before they start holding their hands in front of them praying. They drink their milk through straws. After they're finished, the children walk to a row of boxes and place their empty milk bottles in them for recycling. They help each other fold up the table cloths. Four boys help each other carry two boxes full of empty milk bottles. After the meal, the children run around outside.

In the final section of the film, the children are weighing out cooking ingredients using scales and weights. They pour the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together. The mixture is laid out onto baking trays in circles (biscuits).