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Mary Gets Ready For School

Educational film from the early 1950's

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A girl gets ready for school. She is woken up and washes and dresses herself in her school uniform. She has a breakfast of porridge and milk and a piece of buttered toast with marmalade. She puts on her shoes, school bonnet, raincoat and satchel. She then cleans her teeth and leaves the house for school.

Educational film supervised by the Infants Panel.

Questions & Activities


  • Why does Mary put her socks on as soon as she gets up?
  • In what ways is her bedroom different to yours?
  • Is Mary's breakfast the same as yours?
  • Do you think Mary's parents are wealthy? What clues does the film give you to help you think this?
  • Why is milk so important to growth?
  • What happens if you do not brush your teeth?


Make a list of all the things Mary does when she gets up. List what you see in the different rooms in the house and discuss how they are different to today.

Write a script from Mary’s point of view and describe what she is doing or what she is thinking as she is getting ready.

Interview an older person and ask them about what their routine was as a child and what their house was like.

Children living in cities may have had more responsibility to get themselves to school in the past. Make a presentation or film on how this has changed today, or to show your journey to school.

Describe what you have for breakfast and use online resources to help you work out its nutritional value. Work out the nutritional value of what Mary had and compare the two.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-004-109-C
Project Ref 2771
Date c.1951
Genre Educational
School Subject Health and Wellbeing, Physical Education
Subject Matter Early Years, Literacy
Who Elder Film Productions Ltd., Glasgow (production company), SEFA, Scottish Film Council (sponsor)
Attributes Colour, Silent
Clip Length 8:58
Film Length 08:58