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Episode 3

Pupils and teachers embark on a time-travelling adventure. The class enters the 40s and 50s - deportment, debate and even dancing are on the menu.

In this episode, their time-travels begin in 1945. The Second World War has ended, and a revolution in education has begun. Our class are now the pupils of a postwar grammar and make up some of the top 25% of children who passed the 11+. The first lesson begins with English for the girls, and while they might consider themselves lucky to finally be taught an academic subject, learning by rote and writing at speed leaves a bitter taste for some. The boys, meanwhile, have been enlisted for the School Harvest Scheme, taking them out of the classroom and into the fields. Picking berries, the boys are put through their paces, supporting food rations in the aftermath of war. But being at one with nature is a tall order for some of our very 21st-century pupils!

A head boy and head girl have been appointed in keeping with the establishment of strict public school values in this school, but they may not enjoy the same level of respect from their modern peers as they would have in the 40s, despite trying hard to satisfy the demands of their new roles. The class are given free school milk as part of a government health drive, a bit of light relief ahead of their next subject. History sees them learning ancient dates and historical events by heart, and makes the more experimental lessons of the past seem like a distant memory. Despite more high-brow learning, the girls find they are still being educated in more delicate subjects of the curriculum, without the boys. Taking part in a deportment and etiquette lesson, practising balancing books on their heads and enunciating social behaviours may not seem useful to them now, but their next lesson of 1950s style sex-ed is an eye-opener, and not in ways they might expect!

After school, the pupils take to the playground by pedal as they enjoy the cycling proficiency club, before the boys suffer the indignity of the timeless school cross-country, especially important at a time when athletic superiority was prized highly. School lunch is a formal affair, with a nutritional dish of liver, onions and mash and a pudding of fruit sponge and custard. The pupils grudgingly stock up before their next lesson - the art of debate, with a special guest, Dame Joan Bakewell. In 1953, as Queen Elizabeth II is crowned, celebration breaks out across the nation and arrives in this school by way of commemorative pencils. There is even a special tuck shop, and the pupils rejoice in eating their first chocolate bars for 50 years.

As the decade progresses, social lives for young people really take off, and our class head out in their best outfits to a local Milk Bar to embrace Teddy Boy and Rock & Roll culture, where it is all fashion, food, milkshakes and music. Finally, with their new dance moves practised, the pupils, friends and families join the teachers in the school hall for an end of term tea dance, complete with live band, poodle skirts and coifed hair - it's nearly time for the birth of the 1960s!

59 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Glenn Miller

    In The Mood (feat. Jodie Prenger)

  • 00:09

    The Ames Brothers

    Rag Mop

  • 00:17

    Lou Preager & His Orchestra

    Ballin' The Jack

  • 00:19

    Brew Moore Quartet

    No More Brew

  • 00:22

    Fred Astaire

    Puttin' On The Ritz

  • 00:32

    Kenny Roberts

    Choo Choo Ch' Boogie

  • 00:33

    Muddy Waters

    Muddy Jumps One

  • 00:37

    Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

    Skin Deep

  • 00:45

    Alma Cogan


  • 00:47

    Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group

    Rock Island Line

  • 00:48

    Bill Haley and His Comets

    Rock Around The Clock

  • 00:52

    Shirley Bassey

    Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me


Role Contributor
Presenter Sara Cox
Presenter Polly Russell
Aerial Photographer Aerovue
Camera Operator Duncan Stingemore
Camera Operator Nik Porter
Camera Operator Tom Slee
Sound Supervisor Bal Rayat
Sound Paul Taylor
Lighting Key Light Hire Ltd
On-line editing Dan Thomas
Colourist Chris Short
Re-recording mixer Paul Donovan
Production Designer Peter Gordon
Art Director Rosie Westwood
Art Director Hannah Newcombe
Graphic Designer Leonie Tucker
Costume designer Mark Ferguson
Makeup Artist Veronica McAleer
Runner Oliver Comer
Runner Holly Beaumont-Wilkes
Runner Chantelle Stewart
Runner Ellie Davies
Assistant Producer Pamela McIntyre
Assistant Producer Rajveer Sihota
Casting Stephanie Wessell
Casting Claire Parry
Production Secretary Sophie James
Production Coordinator Ross Stanley
Production Coordinator Jade George
Production Manager Jeanne Clenet
Line Producer Emily Assael
Producer Sophie Wogden
Executive Producer Emily Shields
Editor Joe Pedder
Editor Jane Harris
Second Unit Director Claire Martin
Second Unit Director Francis Welch
Director Laura Ellings
Series Producer Christina Nutter
Series Producer Morgana Pugh
Production Company Wall to Wall Media