Carr Infant School 2016 - 2017

The Easter eggs have been eaten, the blossom is blooming, and under normal circumstances it would have been back to school for children across the UK; however, the effects of COVID-19 are writing a new chapter in our history.

As parents start to plan their next homeschooling lesson and teachers get to grips with ‘virtual teaching’, we thought it was a good time to look behind the scenes of a much-loved York school, back in 2016/17, with a special film preserved at the Yorkshire Film Archive.

Carr Infant School is a thriving school in the heart of the local community, led by head teacher, Mrs Rebecca Fernandes. The previous head, Mrs Bell, just prior to her retirement, oversaw the building of the new school in September 2016.  The new build replaced an existing school that had stood at the site since 1948, when it was built to provide for the growing housing development of Acomb in the post-war period. The Junior School opened on the site next door in 1950.    

An opening ceremony was held in 2017, with the previous head Mrs Bell joined by the Lord Mayor of York, Barbara Boyce.  To mark the end of the old school building, and the beginning of the new, a film was made by local filmmaker Andy Burns, with support from the City of York Council Ward Funding, granted to the Friends of Carr Schools by the Acomb Ward.

Friends of Carr Schools is a registered charity who work to raise funds for both Carr Infant and Carr Junior Schools.  Established in 1992, Friends of Carr is run by parents and carers of the children at both schools, who organise fairs, discos, an annual kids triathlon, as well as many other events through the year, to help both schools buy new equipment and fund activities.

Friends of Carr Schools said:

"The school has been a beacon for the people of Acomb for decades, with generations of families attending the school since it opened over 70 years ago. This film is a fantastic record of a bustling learning environment that, despite recent events intervening, continues to inspire the children of Acomb.  We can’t wait to get the kids back into the building soon."

The 15 minute film, which is professionally preserved at the Yorkshire Film Archive, is in two parts; the first section takes us behind the scenes of the old school, which was in need of some structural tender loving care but that still held many memories in the damp and paint-flaking walls. The second section of the film reveals the new school, built by Keir Construction, with its up-to-date facilities, as the teachers and pupils begin to make new memories: paintings adorn the walls, the sports day gets underway, the disco is in full swing and the school is officially opened.

Graham Relton, YFA Manager, said:

"Our collections date back to the 1890s; included in the thousands of films that we care for as charity are celluloid and video examples of schools in nearly every decade.  This heart-warming digital addition continues the story of education in the region, recording a colourful and flourishing school in more recent times. We’re delighted to make it accessible on our website for everyone to enjoy."

The Carr Infant School film was supported by the children, staff, Parent Teachers Association, Friends of Carr School, the local authority, Kier Construction, the Yorkshire Film Archive and local filmmaker, Andy Burns, who all played an important role in its production.

In these strange times with school closures in place, the film is an uplifting visual record, an important documentation of a much-loved school that past and future generations can enjoy.