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Harvey likes to thump things. Doors, walls, noticeboards – he kicks and bashes them, sometimes swearing as he does so. This presents problems as he arrives at the Rosebery School in Kings Lynn, which provides short-term places for children like him who have been excluded – often repeatedly º from their original primary schools.
As Harvey prepares to join Rosebery full-time he has a one-to-one with his teacher. The cameras capture his anger as he recalls how kids at his last school called him “dumb”. “I want to punch stuff and break stuff,” he says, roaring like a lion and thwacking the desk. Then, after kicking the door for a bit, he terminates the interview with a curt, “Leave. Me A. Lone.”
The teachers respond with patience (mostly – even they get tested) and faith in the kids’ ability to change. But repeated cutaways of a tortoise crawling on the classroom carpet suggest, subliminally, that progress is bound to be slow. And as the number of primary pupils being excluded continues to rise, the programme makes us wonder about all the Harveys who won’t get this much help.
In 2017, record numbers of children are being permanently excluded from primary schools. Filmed over two terms at The Rosebery - a short stay school in Norfolk - this Cutting Edge documentary follows six excluded primary children who make up its youngest class.
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