The West Riding of Yorkshire Education Authority, under its Chief Education Officer, Sir Alec Clegg, long had a reputation for the emphasis placed on the creative arts in its Primary schools. The A...uthority no longer exists through reorganisation and Sir Alec Clegg has retired. In this programme the outstanding and exciting creative work done in Balby Street Primary School in an Educational Priority Area of the South Yorkshire coal field, is examined by Bob Bell in the context of this continuing "West Riding" tradition. Sir Alec Clegg, the headmaster, teachers and pupils all comment on the unique work in movement, drama, music and painting which marks out this primary school.
|Module code and title:
|E203, Curriculum design and development
|First transmission date:
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|Bob Bell; Arthur Naylor
|BBC Open University
|Balby Street Primary School; Creative arts; Drama; Movement; Music; Painting; Traditional emphasis; Yorkshire Education Authority
|The opening sequence shows children from Balby Street School engaged on a project about local housing demolition. One child reads a poem in voice over. In interview the headmaster of Balby Street, Arthur Naylor, gives his view of the aims of primary education. Over film of a class in progress he argues in favour of a creative, unplanned curriculum. Film of a dance class improvising. Bob Bell describes the school's physical and social environment. At the school Bell interviews Sir Alec Clegg, formerly Chief Education Officer of the West Riding of Yorkshire Education Authority. Clegg explains why Balby Street is such a good school. He stresses the advantages of a pragmatic curriculum and a lack of formal classes. Over film of a music lesson, Naylor describes the advatages of this approach to education. Over film of a teacher reading a story to a class, Clegg describes the disadvantages of traditional education methods. A child describes a scene from Beowulf, which a movement class then acts out. In interview with Bell, Clegg stresses the fundamental importance of the creative arts, from which the rest of the curriculum benefits. A group of eight-year olds show their proficiency in arithmetic and reading. Film of a movement class improvising to rhythmic music. A pupil talks to Clegg about her artwork. Clegg describes the differences between Balby Street and the typical secondary school. He expresses hope for future improvements. A child reads an account of a school trip to a canal and a coalfield over shots of paintings recalling the trip. Naylor comments on the financial benefits of the school being in an educational priority area. He describes the school's contact with local parents, and lists the benefits of this. Bell interviews one parent, who speaks enthusiastically of the school's methods, maintaining that the children are happy and that standards are high Naylor stresses the need to avoid a curriculum that compartmentalises subjects. In the classroom, a teacher explains the advantages of giving children individual attention. Naylor argues that education should benefit a child's whole range of experience and not only academic performance. Film of a group of children performing a musical work which they have composed themselves. They describe to Bell how they went about the composition. The programme ends with the children's music.
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