Collection Pestalozzi


Films related to the work of the Pestalozzi Village Trust and its educational work (based near Battle) from around 1958 to the present day, applying the philosophy of Johann Pestalozzi, providing refuge and education in matters of integration, multiculturalism and overseas developments. The collection includes Thames Television and BBC footage as well as amateur material.

Collection ID799Reference codeES 060301
Dates1940s - 2010s
ProductionPestalozzi Broadcast Television Material
MaterialsFILM DOCUMENTATION VIDEO 16mm Super 8mm EPHEMERA Lantern Ephemera
Access statusContact Screen Archive South East for details


The Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Sedlescombe was founded by Dr. Henry Alexander, a Jewish refugee from Berlin and Chairman of the British Pestalozzi Association and Mrs. Mary Buchanan, Hon. Gen. Secretary of the Association. This initiative followed on from the success of a similar village at Trogen in Switzerland, which was established by Dr Walter Corti in 1946 to care for war orphans from Europe, some of whom were from England as seen in Milestone: Children’s Village Trogen (1947?) & Three Swiss Newsreel Items: Pestalozzi Children Village in Trogen (ca. 1950).

Screen Archive South East's collection of Pestalozzi films is comprised of over 40 amateur and professional films that feature life at the Village since its early days and reflect the changes over the subsequent years.
In the early days, the village housed refugees from Displaced Persons Camps in Europe; however after the camps were abolished, the Trust changed its focus to provide educational opportunities for children from the poorest parts of the world. From 1963 until 1997, the Village welcomed Tibetan refugees from India who are seen in Two Way Ticket (1968) and performing for His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Dalai Lama visit to Pestalozzi (1973?) and later refugees from Vietnam, Palestine, Nigeria, Thailand, Nepal and India. These children attended Sedlescombe Junior School and later, Claverham College. During this time the Village aimed to promote the Pestalozzi "Head, Heart and Hands" approach and the children were involved in the building of houses and workshops and running the Village farm. Many of the films in the collection are from this period, including They Built It Themselves (1969-1972), Let’s Go Out (1975), Pestalozzi Children’s Village; Building work; farming; metal work (ca. 1977) & The Pestalozzi Story (1984).

Since 1997, the Village has welcomed students from Africa and Asia who would otherwise have had no opportunity for education. They study for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, which includes 'Creativity, Action and Service' components. A Year in the Life of a Pestalozzi Student (2000) records the daily activities and experiences of students as they study for the International Baccalaureate (IB). As well as helping young people from a wide variety of countries, the Village has also enabled the local community in East Sussex to learn firsthand about other cultures and continues to promote international understanding in the local community and beyond, through events such as the Festival of Culture as seen in UK Today Programme on Pestalozzi (1997).

The organisation is now called The Pestalozzi International Village Trust. Its website holds information about the organisation's history and the 'archive project' which gives a timeline and includes a series of archive photographs and documents. All organisational records and documents are now cared for by the East Sussex Record Office held at The Keep.

Films in this collection:

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Showing 1 to 15 of 38 results.