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Box of Delights: Soho Square (1992)
In the Classroom

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


QCA Unit 5: Living in a diverse world (Year 1-6)

Soho Square could be a park in any city in the UK and as such it reflects some of the diversity of our local communities. This film could be used to support Section 2: What are communities like?

Make a class list of all the communities and groups to which the children belong, identify which groups everybody belongs to and which groups only contain some people, talk about the places where different communities meet. A public park is a place that most people in a suburb, town or village visit, talk about how the community of people you find in a park is one that everybody is free to join.

Watch Soho Square and discuss all the different types of people that were in the film. Ask the children to close their eyes and imagine they are walking in their local park, who are they with and who else do they see there? In what ways are the people in a suburb/ town/ village community similar and different?

We don't see the faces or hear the voices of the people in Soho Square; working in pairs ask the children to create two very different characters they could see sitting on a bench in their local park, encourage the children to bring them alive by role playing what they might say to each other.

Curriculum links

  • NC Citizenship objectives: 2i, 4f


QCA Unit 6: A sense of place (Year 5/6)

Soho Square shows how the filmmaker Mario Cavalli manipulated the shape, form and colour of a park landscape to make a live action film look like a painted animation and is a useful resource for Section 2: Exploring and developing ideas (2).

Watch the film and ask the children to describe the setting of Soho Square as it is represented in the film. What colours can they see, how would they describe them? How has the filmmaker manipulated the images? Why do the children think the filmmaker chose to re-colour and manipulate the film, what does this tell us about the way he feels about Soho Square, is it a place he likes? What was the purpose of the work? Who was it for?

Use the pause button to select several shots that show different areas of Soho Square and/or use different camera angles or viewpoints. Discuss each shot in turn asking the children to identify and make notes on the camera angle and viewpoint, line, colour and pattern used in their favourite shot.

A note about viewpoint: Studying the different camera angles (long shot, medium shot, close up) in a film like Soho Square can help children think creatively about how to use their viewfinders to frame their own artwork. Viewpoint can also be explored by connecting a digital camera to your interactive whiteboard and experimenting with the camera angle and zoom!

Curriculum links

  • NC Art and design objectives: 1a, 1b, 3a, 4a, 4c, 5a, 5d