School has its lighter moments

  • Theme - Education
  • Year - 1955
  • Location - Gt. Yarmouth
  • Filmmaker - Stephen R Skoyles


This clip offers an insight into the daily life of pupils enrolled at The East Anglian School For Deaf And Blind Children, in Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, during 1955.The school was officially opened by the Earl of Leicester (from Holkham Hall) in 1912 and cost £9,000 to build. The film is quite a rarity as few film makers were given access to film young people with disabilities. It may have been designed as a way of raising awareness about the activities taking place in the school or perhaps to help raise funds.
As the title suggests the emphasis is one some of the more pleasurable activities in the school. Pupils are seen using the Braille system to read texts. Braille, a system devised in 1824,allows a blind or visually impaired individual to read by touch. Deaf children in a class can sing 'Happy Birthday' to a smiling classmate, reading the words indicated on the blackboard. To the amusement of the class, the birthday girl is then given the bumps – traditionally a “bump” for every year plus one for luck. Pupils enjoy plenty of physical education –girls are playing netball and athletics like the high jump and boys use the playground equipment and play football and “mess about” in the changing rooms. The hands of the younger children are checked for cleanliness before “grace” is recited and school lunch is served.

The school was closed in 1985 and was later demolished in the early nineties. The site it once occupied is now used for housing and is home to a new school.


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