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December 2021

Pupils from Russet House School (Enfield) have memories of life during the pandemic preserved in Schools Time Capsule

The project encouraged students to reflect on and capture their experiences

Pupils from Russet House School had their memories of life during the coronavirus pandemic preserved as part of the 2021 School Time Capsule, a project led by BAFTA Kids, children’s mental health charity Place2Be, and Oak National Academy.  

Students were invited to use art, photography, writing or other media to portray how the pandemic affected them. The pupils from Russet House submitted two pieces;  woven art made using the novel items that appeared in school at the start of the pandemic and a video depicting how it felt to live in London when the streets were deserted and the buildings were closed.  Both pieces represent the children’s own work including the more technical aspects of recording a video.

The submissions have been preserved alongside those from other schools all over England, Scotland and Wales. The Time Capsule includes memories from a wide range of perspectives and experiences, ranging from 5-6 year olds through to 17-18 year olds, and Academies and State-funded schools as well as Independent schools and Specialist schools.  

The Time Capsule was sealed at BAFTA’s prestigious headquarters on London’s Piccadilly.  The pupils’ reflections on this important moment in history will be shared with future generations when the capsule is opened in 2047, marking BAFTA’s 100-year anniversary.

A short film featuring pupils’ words, voices and artwork was published to accompany the sealing of the Schools Time Capsule on 22 November. 

Click here to view the completed video included Russet House     School’s contribution.

The project was supported by a host of famous faces including Claudia Winkleman, Lemn Sissay and Rhys Stephenson who contributed to a video encouraging children to get involved earlier this year. Watch the video here.

Rebecca Freedman, Deputy Headteacher at Russet House said:

“As a leader of a Special School for autistic pupils, I would like to thank the project organisers for developing such an inclusive idea that enabled our pupils to contribute in an independent, meaningful way and have their voices ‘heard’. It is not often that we are able to showcase their work alongside mainstream schools in such an equal way and both the teachers and pupils are delighted to have had this opportunity.” 

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, said:

“We have loved seeing the creative ways that children and young people chose to share their experiences for the 2021 Schools Time Capsule – whether it’s the difficult times and the things they’ve missed, or the special moments and what they’ve learned. This is a wonderfully unique collection of memories to preserve for the future.”? 

Tim Hunter, Executive Director of Inclusion Policy & Membership at BAFTA, said:

“This time capsule will be opened in 25 years’ time, to mark BAFTA’s 100-year anniversary and to celebrate how kids have made it through difficult times over the past year. It highlights how art, media and other creative expression has underpinned the struggles of the last year for young talent, and something BAFTA can look forward to celebrating in the future.”

Matt Hood, Principal of Oak National Academy, said:

“It has been a tough year for children and young people. As we look forward to things returning to normal, it’s important to reflect back on how the pandemic has affected their friendships, schooling and everyday life. The 2021 School Time Capsule is a great chance to preserve their insights on this moment in history for future generations to learn from — and of course to have fun in the process.”