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ERA’s Top TV Picks 25th – 31st May 2019

Welcome back to our TV Picks of the Week! There’s some great stuff for all of your educational needs this week, from programmes for music to veterinary science!

Saturday 25th May

  • Inside Out 
    BBC1, 5:45pm – Recommended for… PSHE
    This beautifully-animated Pixar adventure about the emotions living the mind of a young girl named Riley could be great to help pupils understand more about and accept their feelings.
  • Supercharged Otters 
    BBC4, 7pm – Recommended for… Geography and Veterinarian Science
    This Natural World documentary sees Charlie Hamilton James travelling to the US to meet some orphaned river otters that are being nursed back to health.

Sunday 26th May

  • Tennis: French Open
    ITV4, 9:30am – Recommended for… Sport
    One of the biggest events in Tennis returns this week, with daily coverage over on ITV4. Perfect for inspiring budding tennis players.
  • West Side Story 
    BBC2, 2:35pm – Recommended for… English Literature, Music, and Drama
    If you have pupils struggling to grasp in the ins and outs of Romeo & Juliet, then why not show them this loosely inspired musical? Set in the 1960s, this version sees two members of rival gangs falling in love –  you know the rest. The score and dramatics also makes it a perfect choice for those interested in musical theatre.
  • Les Misérables 
    Channel 5, 5:10pm – Recommended for… English Literature, French, Music, and Drama
    Another musical here (sorry!), this time bringing Victor Hugo’s classic and its musical stage play to the screen. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are among the cast of this one, which could make for a great introduction to the text.
  • Equator from the Air
    BBC2, 8pm – Recommended for… Geography and Geology
    Starting in Africa, Gordon Buchanan journeys along the equator, viewing the world around it from the sky and on the ground.
  • Arrival 
    Channel 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Linguistics
    This may be a bit far-fetched, but stay with me. Amy Adams stars here as a linguistics professor who is called in to help decipher an alien language when a spacecraft lands on Earth. Though the situation may seem ridiculous, students could perhaps learn about language formation and translation technique from this film.

Monday 27th May

  • Springwatch 
    BBC2, 7:30pm – Recommended for… Geography
    The team returns for a glimpse into what Spring holds for the UK’s plant and wildlife. Accompanied by the other series throughout the year (e.g. Autumnwatch), this could be really useful in teaching about how the change in season affects the world around us.
  • Templars: the Last Stand 
    National Geographic, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    This is definitely one to check out if you’re studying the Crusades! This particular documentary focuses on a team of archaeologists who believe that they may have uncovered some evidence relating to the Templars’ demise.

Tuesday 28th May

  • The Great Flood of London
    Channel 5, 8pm – Recommended for… Geography, Construction, and Civil Engineering
    As if that famous fire wasn’t enough of a strain on London! This programme focuses on the possibility that rising sea levels may render the Thames Barrier ineffective.
  • The Planets 
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… Physics and Astronomy
    Professor Brian Cox returns to our screens in a new programme that explores the lives and evolution of our solar system’s planets. This first episode focuses on Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. A must for physics lovers everywhere!
  • Bread: a Loaf Affair: Timeshift 
    BBC4, 10pm – Recommended for… Catering and History
    This is very niche, but could be really useful for those interested in the history of food. Here we track the evolution of the humble loaf, from developing techniques to the nutritional value of the bread that we eat.

Wednesday 29th May

  • The Sweet Makers
    BBC2, 3:15pm – Recommended for… Catering and History
    The second food/history related programme we’ve highlighted this week focuses on the manufacturing and opinions of confectionery during the Victorian period.
  • Victorian Sensations with Paul McGann 
    BBC4, 9pm – Recommended for… History, English Literature, and Sociology
    He may have dressed like a Victorian gentleman during his time as the Doctor, but tonight Paul McGann is actually here to learn more about the 1890s. There’s a heavy focus on writers such as Oscar Wilde, Audrey Beardsley and HG Wells, but their stories and motivations are all told in relation to the social context of their period.
  • Bloody Queens: Elizabeth and Mary
    BBC4, 10pm – Recommended for… History
    It seems that we just can’t get enough of learning about the royal cousins who fought over the throne. This particular documentary highlights the correspondence between the two women, examining how a friendship turned into a bloody feud that ended in Mary’s death.

Thursday 30th May

  • Big Animal Surgery 
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… Veterinary Science and Biology
    This should be a really interesting one for those looking to work as a vet with larger animals. Here, presenter Liz Bonnin visits an animal sanctuary in Sierra Leone, where surgeons are borrowing techniques typically employed for human surgery to help save the life of a chimpanzee.

Friday 31st May

  • Elton John at the BBC 
    BBC4, 8pm – Recommended for… Music
    With Elton John biopic Rocketman hitting cinemas now, this programme, consisting of archive clips from performances and interviews with him, is perfectly timed.
  • The Yorkshire Steam Railway: All Aboard
    Channel 5, 8pm – Recommended for… History and Engineering
    Now, here’s something that you don’t hear about so often these days. It’s been 50 years since steam trains were generally retired, but this well-known vehicle is still struggling along. Here, we take a look into life on the rails, especially following 18-year-old twins Edward and Matthew, who are super enthusiastic about their future with it.
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