Film ID:
YFA 5377



Visitor Tabs


This is a film made of the Rotherham Girls School in 1957.  The film takes the viewer on a tour of the school and features many lessons including domestic science and chemestry, as well as a Parent's Day and Gymnastic Display.   

The film begins with a man, accompanied by two teenage girls, ringing the doorbell of the school.  They are invited in and are escorted around the school by the Head Teacher, Miss Castle.  They meet with another group of school girls and are introduced to a teacher who continues with the tour.  Inside there is a geography class in progress.  Students sit at their desks and make notes from an atlas.  As the teacher of the class takes the register, one of the girls comes up and hands her a note.  Another one of the girls takes the register to the school secretary, Miss Parkin, who is busy writing letters and taking a phone call.  Back in another classroom, the students seem to be practising pronunciation of French.  One of the girls has her reading recorded onto a reel-to-reel tape.  In a maths class, the teacher , Miss Wilson, explains the areas of circles and triangles on the blackboard.  Two girls come to the front to explain something to the class in reference to the drawing on the blackboard.

In a domestic science class, a student makes a pancake mixture in a bowl before pouring part of the mixture into a frying pan.  Other students are shown making tarts and baking a cake. In art class, pupils make paper mache animals and masks.  They paint the masks while others work on still-life drawings and paintings.  One is excellent painting of a jazz band.  Others practice calligraphy and make small figures in chalk.  In a sewing class, the girls are making dresses which they then model.  This is followed by footage of the playground where two girls are playing jacks.  Most of the students sit in groups on the playing field.

In chemistry class, there is a yellow liquid boiling in a tube on a Bunsen burner.  The young teacher explains the chemical process, and the students take notes.  The girls – Pat Maxwell, Cynthis Homes, Margaret Ball, Margaret Bagot and Jean Houghton – perform other experiments using electric circuits.  There is a brief scene of a girl feeding guinea pigs in a cage.  Then back to class where girls examine swabs under a microscope and make drawings of what they see.  One of the students identifies flowers leaves, another dissects a guinea pig, and a teacher helps another girl dissect insects.  In music class, a girl, Diane Saul, plays the piano, and a young teacher conducts and sings from the front of the classroom.

The students are at the school gates with their belongings waiting for a coach to arrive.  They put their bags into the coach, Rileys of Rotherham, and get on board, waved off by a group of younger pupils. The students arrive in the countryside and walk through a village.  They take notes and consult maps while doing so.  In a clearing, the girls study the rocks.  They continue their journey walking over hills and finding their way by map.  Back in the classroom, they check where they have been against a map on the wall.  In the library, girls look through past editions of the Rotherham Advertiser.  They look at one in particular 1938 which marks the 100 year anniversary of the paper.  They then visit a museum, taking notes of the items on display.

In the school kitchen, the school cooks make pastries and set the dining room for a meal.  Outside the girls run a lap of the school courts before playing a game of netball.  The PE teacher demonstrates some moves, and they practice jumping for the ball before carrying on with the netball match.  Some of the younger girls play a game of hockey.  Afterwards the school groundsman, Mr Badger, mows the lawn.  There is a practice session of tennis, taught by a male coach, followed by girls having a game of cricket.  Other students rehearse a school medieval play outside.  The school caretaker can be seen sweeping the floor.  Elsewhere, a group of girls play a tune using bells.  They are overseen by a male teacher.  Finally, two girls, one with her arm in a sling, play a game of chess.

A group of Girl Guide march around in the front of the school, and one of the girls receives a Union Jack to go into a flag holster.  Three of the girls receive a badge from Miss Potts the domestic science teacher.

Other aspects of the school are shown including a Parents or Sports Day, with posters for a Dress Parade and a Gymnastic Display, a Fancy Dress Parade and an Art Exhibition.  It begins with one of the parents playing a game of skittles, using large spaced out skittles and a small ball.  There is a stall where students sell cakes and buns, another stall where upholstery is sold, and additional stalls with books, flowers, crafts, and plants.  There is a competition to find buried treasure, people participate in various games, and food and drink stalls have also been set up.  There is a Children’s Corner where older pupils are looking after children playing in a sand pit.  Next, there is a gymnastic display with vaults and exercises on the gym horse.  After this, buttered scones and tea are served to parents who are seated at tables on the lawn.  The film ends with the girls lining up outside All Saints Church in Rotherham city centre.