Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane direct this spritely and thoroughly entertaining documentary about two eccentric teachers who have been educating children at a primary-age boarding school in rural Ireland for more than 40 years. The film covers a year of their unconventional and thoroughly charming approach to education.
Since they have heard and seen it all, John, who is the Latin Master, and Amanda, who teaches English, give their students plenty of time to explore on their own the knowledge to be discovered and the creativity to be released through their classes. John has a soft spot in his heart for music and spends the year working with a rock band he has assembled; they are often off tune and not particularly skilled, but they have a lot of fun. Amanda loves sharing literature with her classes. She rejoices in the social blooming of Ted as he shows his stuff in a school performance of Hamlet.
John and Amanda smoke up a storm in their quaint little cottage on the school grounds and share stories and responses to the emotional, mental, and physical progress of the children spending five years at this progressive prep school. One girl, who stands back and rarely speaks, catches their attention, and they seek ways to encourage her to participation; we are as thrilled as they are as she slowly blossoms. The kids at this school come across as a cheerful band of enthusiastic learners who appreciate what their teachers do for them.
It is a rewarding privilege to watch the boys and girls in their classrooms, the school's staff meetings, and those rare moments when two girls abandon themselves to spontaneous play on a swing. School Time is one of those pleasurable movies that sends you from the theatre with a smile on your face!