Modern Technology at Oxhey Wood Primary School

1969 Style

By Susan Waller

In 1969 ‘Rank’ made a film at Oxhey Wood Primary School, in Oxhey Drive called ‘Switched on at Seven’.  This concerned the new Audio Visual Technology that was starting to be used in schools and Oxhey Wood was one of the pioneering schools in this field.  This consisted of the classrooms each having a tape recorder, spool projector, cine projector, screen and slide projector alongside other new equipment. The school also had a room entirely planned to be a ‘Film Library’ and another as a ‘Dark Room’ for photographic work.

 The Headteacher Mr James Embling worked with the Audio Visual Council to promote this new technology in schools.  The school had many visitors from Great Britain and overseas who came to see how this worked in a classroom situation and many filmed the children operating the equipment in the classroom.

Many of the children did not like the teachers loading the films into the projectors, as they thought they did not do it as well as they could.

These photographs were taken around this time.


This page was added on 04/05/2012.

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  • I remember all that equipment and I think the teacher in the class was Mrs Morris. Just seen myself in 2 of the photos. Not sure name of teacher I’m standing in front of but I remember vaguely. Made me laugh.

    By Les Hurlock (08/12/2018)
  • Oh this is great to see! I remember being filmed for Tomorrow’s World with Raymond Baxter in the classroom. It went out on a Thursday evening and the title was ‘Life in the Future’ I still remember the poem we all contributed to and I was given the honour of reciting it- part of it went-: ‘ we’ll be living in luxury and not in shabby houses, on the moon and under the sea in paper shirts and trousers’ A small party of us were then taken to Elstree studios for a tour and saw where they made Doctor Who and the famous Daleks!
    I wonder if the school still has that recording?
    I remember Mrs Pierce-Price very well she always wore her hair in a bun. She brought into school one day, a film of her trip to Japan- very unusual to do in those days- it was fascinating. I can’t remember many of the names of those classmates but I do remember Pauline McMerdie, Sonia Jones, Lillian Evans, David Berger ( who used to tease me., relentlessly) Malcolm Ford, who was brilliant at Art ( I always came 2nd to him annoyingly ) and a girl called Joanne ( can’t recall her surname )
    Two teachers stand out for me there and that was Mr Mcgregor ( who went on to head my nephews school in Hemel) and Mr Black who had a moustache and was hilarious.
    Great memories.

    About 8 years ago part of this film was shown on television as part of a series involving Melvyn Bragg.
    I can’t at this moment remember the title but I will check on it. The school did not have a copy.

    By Georgina Baker nee Yabsley (26/07/2017)
  • Hi, it has been a long time , but I can remember the film shows at the school , very advanced for the era, great school , happy days.

    By TerryRainbow (13/11/2013)
  • Looks like me in shorts (second photo) – Also Steve Harland (forefront right in third) – Not sure but possibly one of the culprits is Steve Driscoll hovering over tape recorder (last photo) I recall having photographs taken during one particular lesson with Mrs Pierce Price…In fact I have one somewhere with Bob Hickey & I with a rear screen projector….

    By Brian Burr (11/06/2013)
  • I remember the modern technology at Oxhey Wood, and loved loading the film into the projectors. I think two teachers in the photos were Miss Morris and Mrs Pierce-Price

    By Carol Gibson (01/07/2012)