Primary school pupils film ‘Dewsbury, Our Town’

OUR TOWN Year 5 Boothroyd pupils with Ken Smith, Simon Reevell, Reporter Series editor Hannah Ridgeway and guests.
OUR TOWN Year 5 Boothroyd pupils with Ken Smith, Simon Reevell, Reporter Series editor Hannah Ridgeway and guests.

Pupils from a Dewsbury primary school have made a film that explored the different aspects of culture and community that make up the town.

Year 5 pupils at Boothroyd Primary Academy produced Dewsbury, Our Town, in which they interviewed people in the community about various topics including the town, experiences at school and recollections of the Second World War.

Boothroyd Primary head teacher Lesley Butcher said: “Challenging times in education make it more important than ever to consider our different pasts and our shared future.

“The film gets under the skin of Dewsbury in a gentle way.

“I am incredibly proud of the children who have conducted the interviews and filmed the project.”

The film was part of the Boothroyd Connecting Communities Project and was made with help from film and educational company KGB Productions and the Kirklees Faith Network.

With guidance from Ken George, the managing director of KGB productions, the pupils conducted interviews with figures in the local community including Professor Shaiykh Allama Moalana Shahid Raza Naeemi, mosque leader Colonel Mohammed Fayum, Reverend Kathy Robertson and Dewsbury Reporter editor Hannah Ridgeway.

Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Ken Smith (Lab, Ashbrow), and Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell (Con, Dewsbury) made speeches after the film was shown for the first time at Westborough High School. Coun Smith said: “The film reminded us how important it is to show kindness to our neighbours.”

He said Dewsbury had experienced its fair share of problems, but he had faith in the pupils as citizens of the future.

Mr Reevell said it was important for people to remember how similar they are, and that their shared humanity and beliefs made them more alike than different.

He said that distorted idealogy could have horrific consequences.

“If someone comes to interview you when you are older I hope we can speak not about war, but about peace and prosperity,” he said.

Filmmaker Ken George, who helped the pupils said making the film allowed them to experience things outside of their usual boundaries.

“They went on a journey,” he said.