In praise of British Pathe website

The revamped British Pathe website is full of brilliant film resources for outstanding lessons. The website contains 90,000 historic clips which are free to those who download clips from a recognised school server. The clips range from silent uncut clips from the First World War to the Moon landings in colour. The clips come in different formats from silent, unused footage to the traditional newsreel images shown in cinemas across the country. Alongside these, there are also short documentaries about social trends as well as interviews with those who put the newsreels together.

As a History teacher, I have found the newly created series A Day That Shook the World immensely useful and a great way to start the lesson to hook the students into an event or a period of change. A Day That Shook the World is a series of films created by British Pathe that last just over 3 minutes long and narrated by John Humphrys. Each film focuses on an event, such as Emily Davison’s death at the Derby or the building of the Berlin Wall and gives a clear, narrative overview of the event with some context. A great way to start your lesson to create interest and an introduction to the lesson content …. and all for free! Also can be used for revision and students can access this as part of a structured revision programme.

When I used this during an inspection, the Ofsted inspector took away the link as she thought it was an outstanding resource.


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