Centre for Creative Media Research > Video Critical

Little London Primary School:
Photographs and description of the video

The edited video (11 minutes 48 seconds):

Titles: Tower blocks and a gas works loom large over the school, which we see in various shots with the children outside.

The children (the youngest of all video groups) say 'This is our school. Hurray!' and jump in the air. We cut to Mariam dancing and singing, vaguely but with some gusto, with an umbrella. Then we cut to Vicky: 'Hello, my name is Vicky, and I will be talking about the trees, right? I like trees because in the summer the leaves grow on the trees but in autumn the leaves fall down. And in summer, right, blossom grows on the trees, and I like blossom. [...] Birds make nests in trees. And there's a pub next to us and that in't got no trees, look! We've got trees all around the school because we like them so much. And I don't know who planted these trees, but they're very good to plant them'.

Maryam talks about the playground, noting that you can play, read stories, or have a picnic; she wishes the viewers luck in these activities.

Josiah, by some litter-strewn grass in the school grounds, says: 'My name is Josiah and I'm going to be talking about litter. Some people leave litter around. I don't like it when people leave it on the floor, do you? There's some there, there's a Ribena there, and a McDonald's drink over there, lots of things, all sorts of things'.

Amanda notes the large amount of traffic on the road which is very close to the school, a potential danger to young children. Celie talks about a tree, which has no leaves since it is February: 'It must be cold'. Deneika talks about an area of grass which has turned to mud with children walking over it in the wet weather. Vicky discusses and demonstrates use of the coloured play benches beside the playground. Josiah and then Mariam talk about another area of school 'garden' which has just turned to mud. 'I don't like it,' says Mariam.

The camera goes in through the school doors, leading into some classroom presentations. First is Celie, seated with a book: 'I'm going to be talking about pollution. And this is my book. That's what pollution is [pointing to picture of trash dumped in a river], that's all, all rubbish, and it spoils the environment. And there's the bird that's been in the sea, and an oil tanker's spilled out some oil on him. I'll show you the worst picture, it's a fish and it's been by a sewage tank. It's horrible, innit?'.

Next is Deneika, seated in the library with a book, who talks shyly about her special interest, Africa. She adds [wholly unprompted], 'Some people don't like Black people, and it's not very nice to do it'.

Mariam, in the classroom, talks about some tulips ('shulips'), which she has cultivated, and seems to love. 'I used to water them every Monday... I like shulips because they beautiful'.

Josiah in the library, with a book: 'My name's Josiah and I'm going to be talking about litter. I don't like litter when it's on the beach, it makes a horrible mess. And here are some people taking the rubbish away'.

Mariam is asked, 'Did you enjoy doing the video?'. 'Oh I loved it, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it very much. [Yeah?] Yeah.' And we swing into a musical sequence with the children around various parts of the school, talking and dancing, which leads into the end titles.

The text and images on this site are by David Gauntlett, © 1997, 2004.
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