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ERA’s Top TV Picks 20th – 26th July 2019

Welcome back to our TV Picks of the Week! There’s a really broad range of programmes available to all subjects this week, so whether Brexit or Victorian farming in your thing, then there’s something for you.

Saturday 20th July

  • The Lorax
    ITV2, 4:45pm – Recommended for… Geography and English
    This adaptation of Dr Seuss’ classic is not only great for encouraging pupils to read, but it makes some bold statements about looking after our environment too – definitely worth a look!
  • Zootropolis
    BBC1, 5pm – Recommended for… Sociology and PSHE
    Another animated film with a deeper meaning. The tale of Judy Hopp, the first bunny police officer in an animal city, could work as a good example of discrimination in the workplace.
  • All-Star Netball for Sport Relief
    BBC2, 7pm – Recommended for… PE
    Netball enthusiasts will love this round of of celebrities playing for charity. Perfect for showing pupils what (or not!) to do during a match.
  • Moon Landing Live
    Channel 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Physics, Astronomy, and History
    On the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, why not take the chance to catch this documentary about communications on that historic day? It also focuses in on Andrew Collins’ mission that he completed whilst Armstrong and Aldrin went down to the surface of the moon.

Sunday 21st July

  • Imagine… Hitler, the Tiger and Me 
    BBC1, 10:30pm – Recommended for… English and History
    An odd title at first sight, but this programme about author Judith Kerr, who unfortunately died earlier this year, should be incredibly insightful. As this was first broadcast in 2013, we spend plenty of time with Kerr as she recounts the ups and downs of her life.
  • Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand
    BBC4, 11:35pm – Recommended for… Drama and Music
    Brand is back for the final part of this series, discussing the surge in musical theatre’s popularity. He also goes behind the scenes and meets the songwriters who bring our favourite musicals to life.

Monday 22nd July

  • America’s Abortion War: Panorama
    BBC1, 8:30pm – Recommended for… PSHE, Sociology, Politics, and Religious Studies
    It’s a topic that has been all over the news recently, so this Panorama report from Hilary Anderson as she visits Alabama might help to consolidate knowledge of the situation.
  • The 250 Million Pound Cancer Cure 
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… Medicine
    We’ve seen quite a few documentaries recently about new cancer treatments, but this one focuses specifically on a cutting-edge treatment for inoperable types of cancer. The treatment in question is Proton Beam Therapy, so medical students might find this informative.
  • Life After WWI: in Colour 
    More4, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    The first of two war-based documentaries this evening examines what life was like in Europe following the end of World War I.
  • Living in the Shadow of World War Two
    More4, 10pm – Recommended for… History
    Jumping a bit further ahead in time, this second series uses archive footage to explore what life was like during World War II.
  • Art of France
    BBC4, 11pm – Recommended for… Art & Design, Art History, French
    The final episode in this series sees Andrew Graham-Dixon discuss impressionism in France and how it paved the way for movements such as surrealism and abstract expressionism.

Tuesday 23rd July

  • Revolutions: Ideas that Changed the World 
    BBC4, 9pm – Recommended for… History and Architecture
    No, this is not about the type of revolution that we’re all thinking about. Actually, it’s explores the six inventions that made a huge contribution in the development of our modern world. Examples from Leonardo Da Vinci and Otto Lilenthal are among those featured.

Wednesday 24th July

  • Orangutan Jungle School 
    Channel 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Biology and Zoology
    This new series follows a team as they rescue and rehabilitate young orangutans and prepare them for their release back into the wild. It’s an old formula, but it might definitely be worth a watch for students looking to get into a similar line of work.
  • Animal Babies: First Year on Earth
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… Biology and Zoology
    As if one documentary about young animals tonight wasn’t cute enough, this one tracks baby animals of various species as they make (and stumble) their way through the first year of their lives.
  • Mary Beard’s Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit
    BBC4, 10pm – Recommended for… Ancient History, Historiography
    The historian is back to talk about ancient Rome, exploring its myths and legends and how this contributed to its inhabitants’ way of thinking.

Thursday 25th July

  • Victorian Farm
    BBC2, 2:45pm – Recommended for… History and Agriculture
    Steam trains and sheep shearing are on the cards for this episode, which explores how farm life was run before the invention of time-saving technology.
  • Ross Kemp: Living with Homelessness
    ITV, 7:30pm – Recommended for… PSHE and Sociology
    Kemp goes out to find out more about the homelessness crisis and what people sleeping rough have to do to keep warm during the cold winter months.
  • Portillo: the Trouble with Tories
    Channel 5, 9pm – Recommended for… Politics
    Ex-Conservative politician Michael Portillo examines the divisions in the party due to Brexit, which might be useful to help politics students understand the structure of a political party.

Friday 26th July

  • Hidden Wales with Will Millard 
    BBC2, 7pm – Recommended for… Geography and History
    The adventurer sets his sights on Wales, in  this episode visiting a a mine, a mansion, a decommissioned nuclear power station, and a sunken invention.
  • Hippos: Africa’s River Giants 
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… Biology and Zoology
    This Natural World film with Sir David Attenborough follows the day-to-day life of the hippopotamus and how the different seasons affect them.
  • The Martian
    Film4, 9pm – Recommended for… English, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Psychology
    Andy Weir’s novel about an astronaught stranded on Mars is adpated here by Ridley Scott. It’s not all a flight of fantasy though – the story actually includes a lot of scientific detail, especially in regard to outer-space survival, which makes it an interesting way to teach these concepts.