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ERA’s Top TV Picks 2nd – 8th February 2019

Welcome back to our weekly recommendations for teaching and learning coming in the next week! There’s a great wealth of geography-related broadcasts on this week, though history is pretty popular too.

Saturday 2nd February

  • Secrets of the Terracotta Warriors 
    More4, 8pm – Recommended for… History
    The Terracotta Army sculptures were discovered in 1974, but research on them continues to this day. This documentary reveals some of the things that have been uncovered in recent years.
  • Super Powered Owls
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Biology, Zoology and Geography
    Wisdom. Vigilance. Death. The owl is a bird that has been seen differently by many cultures over the years. However, despite its fame, it notoriously hard to spot in the wild. Here we discover the biological reasons why, and what makes owls so different to other birds.
  • They Shall Not Grow Old
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… History and Art & Design
    Here’s another chance to catch Peter Jackson’s documentary film, made to mark the 100 year anniversary since the end of World War I. This film colourises and adds sound to real-life footage of soldiers who fought for our country, bringing them once again to life before our eyes.

Sunday 3rd February

  • A Slow Odyssey: the Great Wall of China
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… History
    This beautiful-looking programme takes you on an aerial journey along the Great Wall of China, including facts about the wall and its history along the way.
  • Africa with Ade Adepitan
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography and History
    In this thought-provoking documentary, Paralympian Ade Adepitan takes a journey across Africa to find about more about the continent. In this episode he visits Fogo, Gorée Island, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria where he experiences both joy at revisiting his childhood home and heartbreak at discovering that in some areas, human slave trade is still rife.
  • Ovid: the Poet and the Emperor 
    BBC 4, 10:30pm – Recommended for… Ancient History
    Michael Wood, Simon Russell and Anna Friel all feature in this programme exploring the life and works of Ovid, the Roman poet and storyteller behind Metamorphoses.

Monday 4th February

  • Food Unwrapped Takeaway Special
    Channel 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Catering and PSHE
    We all love a good takeaway, but just exactly how much damage do they do to us? The Food Unwrapped team is here to answer that question. It’s not all bad news though, as they also discover the benefits of eating certain types of takeaway food.
  • Teachers Training to Kill
    Channel 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Sociology
    With mass shootings in the US reaching an alarming high, many teachers there are now choosing to take up arms training in order to protect their pupils. But is this the right approach to tackling the problem? Both sides of the argument are presented here, highlighting the impossible choices that many face in today’s modern society.

Tuesday 5th February

  • How the Other Kids Live
    Channel 4, 8pm – Recommended for… PSHE
    Many of our neighbourhoods are wonderful and diverse these days, but how many of us actually try to go out and meet people outside of our usual social circles? That is what this series is aiming to do, bringing together families from different social, economic and ethnic backgrounds and encouraging them to find out more about each other.
  • Paxman on the Queen’s Children
    Channel 5, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    Royal families of the past are well-documented (and thoroughly taught about), but how much do we know about our current Royal family? In this documentary, Jeremy Paxman investigates the lives of Queen Elizabeth II’s children.

Wednesday 6th February

  • How Green Was My Valley
    Film4, 11am – Recommended for… History and Welsh
    The first of today’s film choices is ideal for those teaching Welsh history, as it follows the Morgan family and how their life revolves around the coal mines where they live in South Wales.
  • Zero Dark Thirty
    Film4, 11:25pm – Recommended for… History
    This award-winning film follows the ten-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group al-Quaeda.

Thursday 7th February

  • Wonders of Life
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Science
    The final episode of Brian Cox’s series about life on Earth discusses what made Earth habitable and how this may have came about.
  • 12 Years a Slave
    More4, 9pm – Recommended for… History, Sociology, Film Studies and English Literature
    Chiwetel Ejiofor shines in his role as Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who faces challenges of survival and maintaining dignity when he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Based on Northup’s true story, this film provides an important and heartbreaking insight into the lives of 19th century black slaves in America.
  • Hospital 
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Medicine and Nursing
    It may go without saying, but working in a hospital is harder than anyone who does not work there can imagine. This episode of the eye-opening documentary follows doctors, surgeons and nurses at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital as they have to make a call about which of three kidney transplant patients they will prioritise for surgery.

Friday 8th February

  • The Land Girls
    Film4, 6:45pm – Recommended for… History
    Looking for more resources to teach about the World War II away from the front lines? This film might be for you then. It follows three young women – Stella, Ag and Prue (Catherine McCormack, Rachel Weisz and Anna Friel) – who are sent to work on farm in Dorset to help with the war effort.
  • Humpback Whales: a Detective Story 
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography and Biology
    After facing a near death experience alongside his friend Charlotte at the hands of a humpback whale, Tom Mustill has gathered together a group of people with similar experiences as well as experts to try and understand if these whales intend to hurt humans or not.
  • The Defiant Ones
    BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… Business Studies
    Interesting documentary here about entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre and their journey to becoming successful businessmen with the biggest name in headphones. It’s not all smooth sailing, but that’s what would make it relevant for business studies students.
  • Hits, Hopes and Hustle: an Insider’s Guide to the Music Business
    BBC 4, 11:25pm – Recommended for… Music and Business Studies
    A great show to watch after The Defiant Ones, this programme investigates just how fine the line between success and failure is within the music industry.