Radley College: Public School, 1980

A BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary series about Radley College, a public boarding school for boys aged 13-18 located in Oxfordshire. The programme offers an insight into Radley’s traditions, idiosyncracies, vocabulary, and day-to-day life. For the other parts of this documentary, follow this link.

Source: Herald Institute Media, Youtube

Kingswood: A Comprehensive School, 1982

In 1982, a BBC series followed the staff and pupils of Kingswood school, a medium-sized comprehensive school in the unemployment blackspot of Corby, Northamptonshire. This documentary was made as a  pseudo sequel  to  Public  School  (1980) which  featured  Radley  School [shown above]. The  format  was  the  same; a  fly-on-the-wall  documentary  capturing  as  many  aspects  of  school  life  as  naturally  as  possible.

Source: Richard Denton, Youtube

A Beverley High School Day, 1984

This school-made anniversary film shows a day in the life of Beverley High School for Girls, a secondary school in Beverley about 10 miles north of the city of Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The school was established in 1908 and has remained an all-girls school, going from grammar to comprehensive in 1973. We first see the Headteacher addressing the morning assembly and directing hymns. Followed by a trip to the tuck shop, hockey practice, and the school dinner service. The girls nervously eye the camera as it pans around the school hall at lunch time. Cookery lessons show practical work with labour-saving devices and jazzy aprons, but also a theory lesson reviewing the dietary requirements of what they are making. The footage is provided on YouTube by East Riding Archives & Local Studies Service, archival reference SL245 14 8.

Source: YouTube, East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Poor Man’s Eton, 1989

This BBC documentary follows the only inner London Education Authority boarding school, in a Suffolk country house.

Source: Youtube, John Vercarre-Shaw

Back in Time for School, the 1980s

This BBC2 series, first broadcast in 2019, took a group present-day of secondary school kids from the West Midlands (and their teachers) ‘back in time’ to experience education across the decades. In this episode on the 1980s, the pupils undergo a shift into a more competitive and disciplined school culture. They also use robots, try out rhythmic gymnastics, and learn about entering the depressed youth labour market of Thatcher’s Britain after leaving school.

Source: YouTube, Mii Maker