Getting animated about history

A new short animated film about the story of Hyde Abbey in Winchester, made by local schoolchildren, can now be viewed for the first time.

Back in the summer children from St Bede Church of England Primary School in Winchester were able to work with animators on a project organised by Winchester Museums as part of Hyde900, the celebration by the local community to mark 900 years since the foundation of medieval Hyde Abbey, which stood not far from the present school. 

The children had already learnt about the history of Hyde Abbey in school, and were given the opportunity to discover how to animate their very own film. They designed the sets, created their own cut-out and claymation figures and then animated them in a section of storyline to bring alive the story for others.

The film opens with children in Hyde Abbey garden wondering just what had happened on that site. Viewers then see the building of the Abbey and procession of relics, the everyday life of the monks, and the dissolution of the Abbey by a fiercesome Henry VIII.

The pupils saw the results of their work for the first time at a “World Premiere” at the school recently, and you too can now enjoy their film by visiting Winchester Museums’ online media webpage.

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, Portfolio Holder for Economic Prosperity at Winchester City Council said, “This project has allowed pupils from St Bede School to get involved in an important part of Hyde900, creating a legacy to last beyond the year’s celebrations. The children have produced a film which future pupils at the school and a wide audience online can both enjoy and learn from.”

Robin Iles, Education Officer at Winchester City Council’s Museums Service said, “In their film the children have told the history of Hyde Abbey in a refreshing way that is both fun and enjoyable to watch, as well as educational. This film suggests that St Bede School could contain a number of talented future animators”.

Louise Fitzpatrick, Headteacher at St Bede Primary School said, "The children thoroughly enjoyed the project and had great fun making the film. It has been a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about their local history and to work with members of the community."

The film can be viewed on the Winchester Museums web pages.