March 5, 2008
Welford Primary school is in Handsworth Birmingham, one of the most troubled and racially tense areas in Britain. Today this thriving school has pupils from 17 different ethnic backgrounds. It has never had many white British pupils.
“Thereâ€™s never been more than 10 within the school community of 480″ explains headmaster Chris Smith. Filmed over the autumn term at the school, The Primary follows headmaster Chris and the pupils at Welford revealing what life is like for 9 year old Nathaniel, 11 year old Alyx and their diverse peer group, Mariam, Saubia, Conrad and Xhosa.
But how is it for 11 year old Alyx whose family have been part of the school for generations and who is now one of only two white British children at the school. â€œMy mums been to Welford my uncles been to Welford, Iâ€™ve got my nan whoâ€™s the caretaker and then now my granddad who started working here as the assistant caretaker.â€ As Alyx’s nan explains. ” My children came here and I wouldnâ€™t have asked Alyx to come here if I thought there was a problem, children are children doesnâ€™t matter what sort they are.”
The Primary – to be screened on BBC 2 on Wednesday 12th March – forms part of the channel’s White season: a season of programming focusing on life in twenty-first century Britain for the white working class. Other programmes in the season are: Last Orders, White Girl, Rivers of Blood, The Poles Are Coming and All White in Barking.
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