Film Week at Low Road Primary School

Whilst most children enjoyed an ordinary day on Friday (10 June 2022) class 5D of Low Road Primary School were visited by Into Film Sky Arts. As well as the team from Sky Arts, Hillary Benn MP joined the session. It was clear from the reactions of the class that they understood the magnitude of this.

“I feel grateful that someone so busy and important took the time to visit our classroom” Poppy N

The aim of the session was not to introduce them to Hillary Benn, but to make arts more accessible to everyone. Organisers explained to the class, “It was found that teachers felt there was no time in schools to teach arts and often the teachers don’t have much confidence to teach arts.” Consequently, Sky Arts are delivering free sessions for schools visiting Low Road and four other primary schools in Leeds during this promotional week.

We soon realised that time travel was possible as pupils were shown black-and-white films from as early as 1878. The children were very enthusiastic and were asked to compare the old film to what we have on our streets today – quite an interactive icebreaker! Billy from the class reported:

“I loved looking at all the old archive footage from 1895 the best and comparing it to modern day Leeds. it was fascinating!”

Fascinating lessons are lesson which will be remembered forever.

Hilary Benn MP told the children of the blue plaque situated on Leeds Bridge for Louis Le Prince, 1888. Louis Le Prince is known for his single lens camera which he filmed Leeds Bridge from the waterways building and it is thought to be the first moving image … we left that debate without concluding.

The Sky Arts lead reminded pupils and adults to check out the Britain on film website, from which 5D, Mr Doherty and Miss Allan were shown images of film. A particular interest was archive film from Boar Lane in Leeds then shown the first timeline created by Edward Bluebridge in 1878 and the first ever moving images created by the Lumiere brothers in 1895. At this stage I don’t know who was more interested myself or the pupils.

Moving onto the desired outcome – a time capsule that will not be opened until 2122! The pupils were given a storyboard and asked to act out three roles of filmmaking the interviewer, interviewee and they were  encouraged to think of a question.

Finally the children were asked to create their time capsule recording. They were asked questions like: What is the best film of 2022? What do you like best about your school? (the thought of potential answers did cause some laughter) and, Who is the most famous person in 2022? There was some very interesting answers to say the least and all were noted for the time capsule.

“Mr Benn sat at my table and we shared lots of ideas about our film. He’s kind and friendly.” Kasjan J

Hilary Benn MP commented:

“What a great project. we were all captivated by the old film of people, traffic, horses, carts, carriages and electric trams on boar Lane over 100 years ago. I’m sure the pupils will be the filmmakers of the future.”

These happy children were eager to share their thoughts with me:

“I am proud that the local MP chose to come to our magnificent classroom I hope he enjoyed his time in our classroom as much as we enjoyed having him here. I enjoyed planning on filming our time capsule to help people from the future learn about our times.” Alex J

“I felt special that the wonderful people from Into film sky Arts let us be a part of the workshop they taught us lots of new skills. I had a lot of fun.” Ishanika

“I enjoyed working hard on my archive footage and then watching myself on the big screen I had an amazing, fun learning experience.” Freya D

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Low Road Primary School, Music Federation for inviting me into their school and I look forward to working with them closely in the future.


This post was written by Stewart Walton

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