Title ID 87Collection ID343
Title[Patcham House Special School: Sports and Outings]
Date1975 -1976
CollectionPatcham House Special School
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemePublic Services
KeywordsBeaches Boats Children Disabled Persons Games Outings Parks Play Recreational Facilities Schools Sport Youth
LocalStoke Mandeville Brighton and Hove Patcham Aylesbury Littlehampton Shoreham-by-Sea Lancing Worthing [?] Bognor Regis [?]
RegionalBrighton & Hove West Sussex Buckinghamshire
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionPatcham House Special School
CameraNorman Clark
ParticipantsCouncillor D. Sheldon and wife (Mayor & Mayoress of Brighton)
FormatSuper 8mm Colour Silent
Duration20min. 14sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


The pupils of Patcham House Special school in East Sussex filmed by the Headmaster taking part in the 'National Spastics Games', at play and on a number of class outings. The children have a range of physical needs and disabilities.


The film opens with shots of the 'National Spastics Games' at Stoke Mandeville where the children are taking part in races. They are next seen playing in the school playground during the lunchtime break. The Mayor of Brighton, Councillor D. Sheldon and his wife, wave the children off as they set off from the school to go on holiday. More shots follow of the 'National Spastics Games' at Stoke Mandeville with the children competing in various field and track events.

The children then watch a man riding on a go-cart and play in a park on a school outing to Brooklands Park, Lancing. The children play during break time at school.

Another class outing sees the children at Shoreham-by-Sea beach, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton and again at Brooklands Park. The children ride on a miniature railway and look on as the train driver extinguishes a small fire next to the railway. More shots from the 'National Spastics Games' at Stoke Mandeville follow with the film ending with class outings to Worthing and another location. The children play on the beach and go sailing in small motor boats on a lake.

Contextual information

The Patcham House Special School films held at Screen Archive South East were principally filmed to show to parents and Friends of the school, recording the out-of-school activities enjoyed by the pupils. The collection, which also includes [Patcham House Special School: International Spastics Games in Southern France] (1970) and [Patcham House Special School: Holiday to Scilly] (1981), contains images of summer term class day outings, fetes, school sports days and annual Spastics Games. They were filmed by the school's then headmaster, Norman Clark.

The Spastics Games evolved during the 1960s and 1970s when there were significant changes in social and governmental attitudes towards the education of disabled children. The 1944 Education Act, which had established a free secondary education system based on academic results at the age of eleven, did little to encourage integration. Indeed, it proved to cement the segregation between mainstream and 'special' schooling, with each having distinct curriculums. It was not until the 1970 Education (Handicapped Children) Act that all children in England and Wales were given the right to education - it also resulted in the transfer of responsibility for the education of disabled children from Health Authorities to the Local Education Authorities. It was also during this period that sports activities were integrated into the curriculum for special schools and colleges - the ideology concerning the importance of physical activities had been circulating since the formation of The Spastics Society in 1952. Thus the children at Patcham House Special School during the 1970s, whose disabilities included cerebral palsy, spine bifida, muscular dystrophy, heart problems and cystic fibrosis were amongst the first to benefit from these changes in the education field.

Screen Archive South East also holds films which look at life at other contemporary schools - for example, [A Day in the Life of the School] (1970) is an amateur film of Burwood Park School, a secondary school in Surrey for deaf children whilst [Nevill School Sports Events] (1960 - 1971) records sporting events at a mainstream secondary school.

Screen Archive South East houses several other films which record the educational provision for disabled children in the post-Second World War era. Children and staff from Chailey Heritage enjoy a day trip to the beach in Worthing in A Day’s Outing (ca. 1949) whilst Special School. Around & About with the Children of Queensmill Rd School (1949; 1954) features an outing to Bognor Regis for the female pupils of a London school.