Saturday 1st December
- About a Boy
ITVBe, 9pm – Recommended for… English Literature
Looking to jump-start your GCSE students’ interest in Nick Hornby’s novel? This adaptation, starring Hugh Grant, Toni Collette and Nicholas Hoult could provide a good base layer of knowledge about the plot and its themes.
- Darcey Bussell: Dancing to Happiness
BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Dance and Sport
Current Strictly judge and former Royal Ballet dancer Darcey Bussel goes out to investigate the usefulness of dance for not just physical health, but also mental health and well-being.
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Channel 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Film Studies
Tom Cruise’s fifth outing as IMF agent Ethan Hunt sees him trying to eradicate an organisation called the Syndicate. Skyfall may be on your A Level syllabus, but why not check out this other iconic spy thriller as a point of comparison within the genre?
ITV2, 7:50pm – Recommended for… Film Studies
Picking up the Rocky franchise is Michael B. Jordan, who plays aspiring boxer Adonis Johnson, son of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)’s ex-rival. Balboa trains him up, but will it be enough for Adonis to beat his opponent? A popular choice on the Film Studies A Level syllabus, this is a great opportunity for students to catch the film again.
Sunday 2nd December
- Tomorrow’s World: Spider-Man Special
BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Media Studies and Biology
We get a flash from the past in a re-run of Tomorrow’s World episode about Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. The team chat to the directors and stars, as well as investigate the science behind the superhero’s iconic powers, exploring their plausibility in the real world.
- Secrets of British Animation
BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Art and Design
This intriguing documentary looks into the history and development of animation styles over the years – from silhouette artist Lotte Reiniger, who ran from the Nazis, to the modern-day work of Ardman animation studios, the creators of Wallace and Gromit.
- Animation 2018
BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… Art and Design
Following up on the previous programme, Osbert Parker presents 13 of the best new animated films from the UK.
Monday 3rd December
- X-Men: Days of Future Past
Film4, 6:20pm – Recommended for… Physics, Art and Design, Sociology
Bear with me, here. At first glance, this superhero flick starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence might not seem like a particularly obvious choice for teaching, but there are plenty of themes and scenes that could be useful. The tension between mutants and humans, which often manifest in anti-mutant protests, is a perfect reflection of human prejudice and sociology, whereas a particular scene involving the super-speedy Quicksilver (Evan Peters) could be great for sparking a physics or maths debate.
- Food Unwrapped
Channel 4, 8:30pm – Recommended for… Catering, physics
In this latest episode, Jimmy Doherty tries to harness the fizziness of certain drinks to power a rocket, while Matt Tebbutt investigates whether or not kale really is really all it’s cracked up to be.
- Nadiya’s Asian Odyssey
BBC 1, 9pm – Recommended for… Catering, Geography
In the first episode of this two-part show, Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain begins her food journey to Cambodia, Thailand and Nepal, making fish paste in Cambodia, tasting professionally-cooked insects in Thailand, and learning how to make a curry paste that is special to a local Muslim community.
Tuesday 4th December
- Rise of the Clans
BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… History
Presenter Neil Oliver looks into the history of Scotland’s ancient clans, providing a mockumentary-style outlook on reenactments of famous battles. This week’s episode focuses on Robert the Bruce, who led the clans in guerrilla warfare against the English.
Wednesday 5th December
- World’s Weirdest Homes
Channel 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Architecture and Engineering
Habitable giant sandcastle? Check. Floating farm? Check. Billionaires and scientists? Check. Charlie Luxton checks out these bizarre and clever structures which have popped up around the world.
- North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State
Channel 4, 10pm – Recommended for… Politics and Journalism
North Korea is notoriously secretive, the lives of its citizens controlled by the state. However, members of the Dispatches team have managed to get into contact with a handful of individuals, who open up here to reveal what life is like under the rule of Kim Jong-un.
- Draining the Sunken Pirate City
Channel 5, 10pm – Recommended for… History, Archaeology, and Media Studies
Pirates – an almost sure way to capture a student’s attention. In this documentary, Dr Jon Henderson explores Port Royal, a pirate city that now lies in ruins beneath Kingston Harbour. If you’re teaching about the late 17th Century, why not look into this and compare it to popular representations of pirates and their world?
Thursday 6th December
- The Secret Life of Farm Animals
BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Agriculture, Biology, and Animal Care
Lambs are the focus of this week’s adorable series about farms up and down the country. This episode looks into their highly sociable nature and how this develops over time.
- Gravity and Me: the Force that Shapes Our Lives
BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… Physics
Prof. Jim Al-Khalili returns to investigate gravity and how it affects us, recreating Galileo’s experiment for measuring gravity and attempting to find the place on Earth with the weakest gravitational pull.
Friday 7th December
- Tom Jones’s 1050s: the Decade that Made Me
Recommended for… Music and Welsh
Welsh teachers, rejoice! If you’re looking to give students a starting point for writing a profile on a Welsh celebrity, then this documentary into Tom Jones’ past is certainly a great way to learn about the singer’s past.