A documentary on the history of the Arboretum, which was created by Walsall College’s Supported Learning (SLDD) students, was voted the runner up for a ‘Film of the Month’ competition by Into Film.
Into Film supports teachers and educators to achieve a wide range of effective learning outcomes in their use of film. Their programme includes a network of extra-curricular film clubs, resources for use in clubs and in the classroom, training opportunities, a cinema-based film festival and their annual Awards.
‘The History of the Walsall Arboretum’ came in second place for Into Film’s monthly competition and is now featured on their Youtube channel.
The documentary began as a citizenship project, as part of the students’ Foundation Learning Skills for Working Life course.
20 students were involved in the making of the documentary, which took nine months to film. The film premiered at Walsall College’s Venue theatre in front of a large audience, including Arboretum manager Louise Worton, who was also interviewed in the documentary.
The film received a standing ovation, and Louise was so impressed with the quality of the filmmaking that she requested it to be featured on the TV screens in the Arboretum’s visitor centre.
At 15 minutes long, the insightful documentary delves into the history of the Victorian park, including the lake that was originally a limestone quarry that was later flooded.
The film also captures the story behind the wooden stocks, which are currently used as benches in the park. The stocks were once positioned at the bottom of the steps at St Matthews Church to punish those who committed petty crimes.
There is also footage of a statue of Walsall author Jerome K. Jerome, who wrote the book ‘Three Men in a Boat’ that was adapted into a TV series and a number of films.
Paul Bagnall, Curriculum Manager for SLDD, said: “I’m really proud of what both of our SLDD students have achieved. It was a massive undertaking – they all worked together as a team and supported each other through-out the process. Teamwork and creativity are skills that are vital in the workforce, and our students have shown they have the qualities and skills needed for working life.”
For more information about enrolling on a course at Walsall College, please call 01922 657000.