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Box of Delights: Quite Unfit for Females (1921)
In the Classroom

Some suggestions on how to use this title in the classroom and where it fits in to the curriculum.


QCA Unit 7: Children's rights - human rights (Year 3-6)

This film can be used to support Section 2: That's not fair where children can explore discrimination based on gender, leading to discussions about other forms of unfairness in society.

Introduce the film by explaining it was a newsreel made in 1921 when women's lives were very different to the way they are today. Watch the film together and then replay it and pause it on the first shot of the intertitle which says:

"Quite Unfit for Females"
Football Association's view of Women Players.
What do you think?

Ask them to imagine they had watched the newsreel in a cinema in 1921 and help set the mood using the film synopsis. Talk about how the women are portrayed in the film and ask the children to consider whether the film is supporting the women, the FA or is presenting a balanced argument, encourage the children to use examples from the film to explain their reasoning.

Tell the children to imagine that the film was not a silent one, what do they think the women in the film might be saying about the proposed FA ban to stop them playing on their grounds? Make a class list of questions you would like to ask the women footballers. Ask the children to work in pairs to role-play an interview between the newsreel reporter and one of the women footballers. Discuss how the women might be feeling about the ban. Consider the other side of the argument by hot-seating an official from the Football Association.

Now bring the debate up to date by asking the children to share their opinions about women and girls playing football today. Is there girl's football team at your school? Should girls be able to play football in the same teams as boys in competitions like they might do in the playground? How much women's football can you watch on TV? Is this due to discrimination or the popularity of the sport?

Now ask the children if they can think of any ways in which boys and men are discriminated against in society? You could watch Dance Lexie Dance, another film in the Box of Delights collection and consider the characters' opinions on Lexie getting involved in Irish dancing. Throughout the debates, encourage the children to consider the fairness of the situations that they are discussing and explain the reasons for their opinions.

Talk about other types of unfairness, e.g. racism, ageism, bullying. Discuss what children's responsibilities are if they know another child is being treated unfairly. Ask the children to work in groups to explore one of the examples of unfairness in more detail. They should think of scenarios and then find out what the law says, and what the school's policies are, checking whether these make it clear that in such situations rights are being infringed and that others have a responsibility to support them. They can find out what sources of help and advice exist - in school, locally and nationally and present their findings to the rest of the class.

Curriculum links

  • NC Citizenship objectives: 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2e, 4a, 4b, 4e, 4g, 5g, 5h