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As part of ERA’s commitment to helping licence holders make best use of the material available to them, we have decided to start highlighting our ‘top pick’ each week. We’re hoping to reveal multiple educational uses for a single episode, series, or film with enough time to act as a ‘heads up’ for teachers to be able to record, or access the material.

This Wednesday sees the launch of a brand new series on BBC2 which asks us to, quite literally, “watch the skies!” Skies Above Britain (17th August, 9pm) gives a fascinating look into the lives of those who work in the air. This programme could provide a great way to introduce aeronautical engineering to your class, as well as providing great visuals for teaching physics.

From the BBC:

In the first episode, Skies Above Britain explores how our skies are safeguarded – air traffic controllers deal with an unidentified aircraft flying across Gatwick’s flight path, and the RAF scramble a typhoon jet to intercept an unresponsive plane.

We follow the RAF pilots training to fly Britain’s front-line combat aircraft – the Typhoon. The supersonic jet flies at twice the speed of sound and becoming a Typhoon pilot is the pinnacle of the RAF. Trainees face a gruelling series of mental and physical tests, including being subject to high gravitational forces in a centrifuge and experiencing rapid air decompression and training for emergency scenarios, like ejecting over water.

In Humberside, the helicopter crews of HM Search and Rescue are often the only aircraft that fly when the skies are treacherous. We follow the crew on a dangerous mountain rescue, flying through thick fog, just feet away from a mountain’s rock face to reach an injured hiker. When fog descends over London’s airports, NATS must rapidly cut the number of planes allowed to enter British airspace.

Elsewhere, two vintage plane enthusiasts – brothers Nick and Giles English – explore their continued passion for flight, despite having faced personal tragedy in the air.


Follow the hashtag #TVforTeachers or @EraResources for more lesson ideas.

You can also access curated clips through our new learning platform .To use the platform, you just need to email your request to era@era.org.uk and we will set-up a login so that you can access the site freely.