• Short Summary

    Documentary about special schools for blind children with additional handicaps.

  • Description

    c. 1961

    L/S of a Austin A40 approaching the camera down a country lane. Car stops and camera pans up to a sign which reads: "School - Blind Children". C/U of the "Blind Children" part of the sign. The couple in the car look at each other with worried expressions. They drive up to a large house, park the car and knock on the door. A woman in a nurses uniform lets them in and leads them upstairs. They pass a child sitting on the stairs. They are led into an upstairs room and shake hands with a woman who is waiting for them. A female narrator purporting to be this woman explains that the Crawleys are worried parents. The house is "Overlea (?) Sunshine Home" - a home for blind children. C/U of the couple and the woman talking.

    Exterior of the home, lots of children play outside. C/U of the manageress of the home helping a young blind boy to stroke the flowers in the garden, seeing with his hands. He bends down to smell a flower. Overlea Hall is near Shrewsbury, it is one of the Royal National Institute for the Blind Sunshine Homes. It is special because it caters for children who has one or more disabilities as well as blindness. Various shots of a blind girl who also has a walking difficulty. She gets out of her wheelchair and walks towards a nurse. The manageress reassures the Crawleys that the aim of the home is to find the capacity for development of each child.

    Meal time for the children. Two nurses help the children to get their meals and sit at the table. The narrator explains how the school works. Various shots of the children having their meal. The Crawleys are shown in by the manageress and they watch for a few moments. They smile and look reassured.

    Various shots of the children at educational play. One boy shovels sand into a funnel, another plays with construction blocks. Occupational therapy. Lemington - the other Sunshine home for the additionally handicapped. C/U of a girl stacking bobbins - she smiles, having fun. High angle shot of the classroom. Children sit at small desks to play.
    Techniques at the school are described. The children are encouraged to try and get around and to do things for themselves. Various shots of the children - a boy uses a hand rail to help him get around. A nurse baths a young girl.

    Mrs Crawley speaks on the soundtrack about how she has been pleasantly surprised to find the staff competent and caring. M/S of a young boy handing a nurse a toy which she puts away in a cupboard for him. L/S of the house with children playing in the garden.

    The Crawleys then visit "Condover Hall School" another of the Royal National Institute for the Blind schools. They are welcomed by the headmaster who tells them about the school. Various shots of children at the school playing in the gardens. Some play cricket, others walk together holding hands. High angle shot of the empty cafeteria, by a dissolve the seats are filled with pupils. Various shots of the children having their meal. The Crawleys chat to the headmaster. The "family" system at Condover is described. Letters are read out to the children.

    Rushton school near Kettering in Northants is also featured. L/S of the exterior of the school. Children sit at a small table in the open air. A girl pushing a pram and a boy pushing a trolley are helped by a nurse. C/U of a girl playing with a toy telephone. Interior of the school, children play with educational toys. Two boys are helped down the stairs by a nurse. The headmaster shows Mr and Mrs Crawley around the school. C/U of a boy using a braille typewriter and another boy reading braille. The Crawley's are introduced to one of the teachers. C/U of a boy reading braille aloud. Various shots of the children, nurses, teachers, Crawleys and headmaster. Nature Study lesson. A blind child strokes an owl held by a teacher. She describes it to the teacher. Suddenly Mrs Crawley realises that the teacher too is blind. He shakes hands with the Crawleys.

    A group of children go on a walk together through the countryside without a sighted companion. They walk to the Condover Post Office. L/S of one girl posting a letter and the others going inside. Other children go on the bus to Shrewsbury. We see them getting off the bus and walking through the town.

    The Crawleys visit some of the classrooms. Various shots of children at work in the craft class. One boy makes a lampshade, another weaves a basket. In the Home Craft class one boy is cooking, one is ironing, one drying up and another is using a mangle. Various shots of other children doing pottery - one boy is making a clay fish, he feels a wooden fish to ascertain the correct shape.

    Print ends here but seems incomplete.

    Note: very poignant film which has much of interest for those looking at educational techniques.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:46:54:00 / 02:04:41:00

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