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Summer School

19 timeless shows to keep teens learning this summer (without them even noticing)


With summer break fast approaching, parents may be wondering how to keep their teens engaged and learning during the long school holidays. One great way to do this is by introducing them to engaging and educational series available on Netflix that cover a wide range of subjects relevant to GCSE-level study.

By watching these shows, teens can continue learning in a fun and interactive way, all from the comfort of their own homes.

1. The Crown

Watch The Crown | Netflix Official Site

Genre: Historical Drama Series

Relevant to: History

"The Crown" is a captivating historical drama that offers a deep dive into the intricate tapestry of the British monarchy, with a keen focus on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It stands as a brilliant tool for GCSE History students keen on exploring the nuances of modern British history and the evolution of the monarchy through the years.

What sets this series apart is its masterful combination of factual accuracy and engaging narrative, striking a balance that makes it both informative and utterly compelling. 

Through "The Crown," students are not only treated to a dramatised glimpse into significant events and personalities that have shaped the monarchy but also get to appreciate the intricate dynamics of governance under a royal system.

2. Our Planet

 Genre: Documentary Series

 Relevant to: Geography, Biology

"Our Planet," featuring narration by the legendary David Attenborough, is a breathtaking exploration of Earth's natural wonders and pressing environmental concerns. 

This series is tailored for students of Geography or Biology, and it showcases the rich diversity of ecosystems worldwide while delving into crucial topics like climate change and the importance of conservation efforts. 

With stunning visuals and insightful commentary, "Our Planet" offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to gain a deep understanding of the natural world and the challenges that it faces.

3. Explained

Genre: Documentary 

Relevant to: General Studies

"Explained" is a captivating TV series that covers a wide range of fascinating topics, from tech to culture. Each episode serves as a rich source of information, and it effectively simplifies complex subjects, making them both accessible and engaging. 

Therefore, it is a prime tool for GCSE learners who want to explore current topics and ideas spanning different areas in detail. From examining new technological developments to investigating cultural trends, "Explained" provides important perspectives that can deepen students' comprehension of the global landscape.

4. The Last Dance

Genre: Sports Documentary Series

Relevant to: Physical Education, Psychology

"The Last Dance" provides an in-depth look at the ascent of Michael Jordan and the legendary Chicago Bulls of the 1990s, delivering valuable lessons in teamwork, leadership, and resilience along the way.

This series is perfect for students interested in sports or psychology. It offers an engaging narrative that combines inspiration with a behind-the-scenes exploration of professional athletics.

By depicting iconic sports moments and delving into the psychology behind them, "The Last Dance" is an excellent educational tool that provides insights into the dynamics of success in the competitive world of sports.

5. Abstract: The Art of Design

Genre: Documentary TV Show

Relevant to: Art & Design

"Abstract: The Art of Design" is a fascinating series that explores the minds of creative individuals across various disciplines, such as illustration and architecture. It provides valuable insights into the creative process and showcases the impact of design on our daily lives. 

This series is highly recommended for GCSE Art & Design students who can gain a deeper understanding of the vital role that design plays in shaping our world. Through in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpses, students can get inspiration for future artistic endeavours.

6. Roman Empire

Genre: Historical Drama TV Show

Relevant to: History

"Roman Empire" is a documentary series that transports viewers back into the world of ancient Rome. It combines engaging storytelling with well-researched historical information to create an immersive experience for its audience.

This TV series is a great resource for History students. It provides a fascinating insight into Roman society, politics, and important historical figures. By blending storytelling with accurate historical accounts, "Roman Empire" helps students better understand the complexities of ancient Rome, its cultural dynamics, and the significant events that shaped its legacy.

Through this informative series of episodes, one can learn about the social structures, power struggles, and enduring legacies of a significant historical civilisation. This can be particularly helpful for students seeking insights into the topic.

7. Chef's Table   

Genre: Documentary TV Show

Relevant to: Food Technology, Geography

This engaging series transcends the typical boundaries of cooking shows, inviting viewers into the personal stories and kitchens of globally renowned chefs.

It offers teenagers a unique opportunity to explore diverse culinary traditions and grasp the significant role food plays in shaping societies. "Chef's Table" distinguishes itself with a unique mix of cultural, geographical, and historical insights related to cuisine, all presented through compelling narratives and stunning visuals.

8. Dirty Money

Genre: Documentary TV Show

Relevant to: Business Studies, Citizenship

"Dirty Money" is a TV series that exposes the negative aspects of corporate greed and financial misconduct. It sheds light on the ethical challenges within the business world. The series is an excellent educational tool for GCSE Business Studies and Citizenship students. It emphasises the importance of ethics, transparency, and accountability in corporate governance.

The series features real-life cases of corporate malfeasance, including fraudulent schemes and environmental exploitation. It uses gripping storytelling and investigative journalism to offer valuable insights into the consequences of unethical business practices on society, the economy, and the environment.

"Dirty Money" also prompts critical reflection on the role of regulation, corporate responsibility, and ethical decision-making in shaping a fair and just business landscape. 

It explores the repercussions of corporate scandals, highlights whistleblowers and advocacy efforts, and fosters a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding corporate accountability and the pursuit of justice in modern society.

9. The Social Dilemma

Genre: Documentary-Drama

Relevant to: Digital Literacy, Sociology, Psychology

"The Social Dilemma" is a cool show that talks about how social media can be bad for us. It's great for students who are studying Digital Literacy, Sociology, or Psychology. They talk about how we can get addicted to social media, how our privacy can be at risk, how it can affect our mental health, and how we can be given false information. It's a good way to start thinking about how technology affects us and our society. 

You can watch it in class and discuss it. They use real-life stories and experts to help us understand how social media works. Your teen(s) can learn how to think for themselves and be smarter online. "The Social Dilemma" will help them know how to be safe when they use social media and make the internet a better place.

10. Night on Earth


Genre: Nature Documentary TV Show

Relevant to: Biology, Geography

"Night on Earth" brings the hidden nocturnal world to life, showcasing the secret lives of animals after dark. Tailored for Biology and Geography students, this series provides a rare peek into animal behaviour and the ecosystems that flourish at night.

Combining scientific insight with compelling visual narratives, the show invites viewers into the enchanting world of nocturnal wildlife. It sheds light on the critical relationships within ecosystems and the importance of conserving these dark habitats.

As the series navigates through intimate encounters with nocturnal predators, scavengers, and their prey, it offers viewers a deeper understanding of nature's complexities and the delicate balance that sustains life beyond dusk. 

11. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Genre: Documentary Series

Relevant to: Physics, Astronomy

"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," guided by the charismatic Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a journey through the marvels of the universe, tailor-made for high school students with a curiosity for Physics and Astronomy. 

This show demystifies the vast complexities of space, from the birth of galaxies to the Genesis of life on Earth, with clarity and captivating visuals.

12. The Mind, Explained

Genre: Documentary Series

Relevant to: Psychology, Biology

"The Mind, Explained" delves into the mysteries of the human brain, covering everything from the nature of dreams to the complexities of anxiety. This series is an excellent resource for students engaged in GCSE Psychology or Biology, offering straightforward explanations and intriguing perspectives on human behaviour and cognitive functions.

By breaking down sophisticated psychological and biological concepts into accessible insights, the show enhances understanding and fosters an interest in the scientific study of the mind. 

It's a great way for students to gain a deeper appreciation of the factors that influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions, all while being drawn into the fascinating world of brain science.

13. Bill Nye Saves the World

Genre: Talk Show Series

Relevant to: General Science

"Bill Nye Saves the World" is an entertaining and educational series where the iconic Bill Nye tackles a wide range of scientific subjects and global challenges. Designed to resonate with GCSE Science students, this program merges wit with wisdom, bringing complex scientific ideas down to earth.

14. Connected

Genre: Documentary Series

Relevant to: General Science, Sociology

Connected reveals the surprising ways everything in the world is interconnected. This documentary is great for GCSE students studying Science or Sociology, offering unique perspectives on how different aspects of the world affect each other.

15. The Universe

Genre: Documentary Series

Relevant to: Physics, Astronomy

"The Universe" is an enthralling series that launches viewers into the vast expanse of space, uncovering the mysteries of celestial phenomena and uncharted territories beyond our planet. It's an invaluable resource for students delving into GCSE Physics or Astronomy. 

The show excels in breaking down complex astronomical concepts with precision, complemented by stunning visuals that truly captivate the imagination.

16. Street Food

Watch Street Food: Asia | Netflix Official Site

Genre: Documentary Film Series

Relevant to: Geography, Food Technology

Street Food is a fascinating documentary series that delves into the world of street food and its cultural significance in different parts of the world. With its informative episodes, the show can be a great resource for students studying GCSE Geography and Food Technology, as it offers valuable insights into the diverse culinary traditions and cultures of different countries. 

By watching Street Food, students can broaden their horizons and gain a deeper understanding of the unique stories and histories behind some of the world's most beloved street foods.

17. Hip-Hop Evolution

Six Business Lessons from the Netflix's “Hip-Hop Evolution” Documentary

Genre: Documentary 

Relevant to: Music, History

Hip-Hop Evolution is a critically acclaimed documentary series that takes viewers on an in-depth journey through the history and cultural impact of hip-hop music. The series traces the evolution of hip-hop from its early days in the 1970s to the present, exploring the genre's roots in African American and Latino communities in New York City and its subsequent spread across the country and around the world.

Through interviews with key figures in the hip-hop community, including artists, producers, and DJs, Hip-Hop Evolution offers a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the genre's development. The series explores the social, political, and cultural factors that shaped hip-hop and its impact on society, including its role in the civil rights movement, its influence on fashion and language, and its ability to bring attention to issues affecting marginalised communities.

For GCSE Music and History students, Hip-Hop Evolution is an engaging and informative resource that offers a deep understanding of the genre's roots and its influence on popular culture. Additionally, the series is a valuable tool for educators looking to teach their students about the history of hip-hop and its significance as a cultural force.

18. Money Heist

Money Heist Cast, News, Videos and more

Genre: Documentary-Series

Relevant to: Spanish

A mastermind brings together eight skilled criminals for an audacious heist at the Royal Mint of Spain, creating a storyline that has captivated audiences worldwide. Known for its gripping plot twists, this show ensures that viewers remain glued to their screens through every episode.

Additionally, it serves as an excellent resource for those looking to enhance their Spanish language abilities. By choosing to watch with the original Spanish audio, viewers can immerse themselves in the language, picking up phrases and improving pronunciation. 

This method aids in boosting both listening and speaking skills. For an added challenge, turning on Spanish subtitles can further enhance language learning, making this show not only a source of entertainment but also an effective tool for language acquisition.

19. Call My Agent!

Call My Agent!': Watch the Original French Series Before It Gets  Americanized

Genre: Comedy-Drama Series

Relevant to: French, Business Studies

"Call My Agent!" is a French comedy-drama that explores the Paris film industry and agent life. Ideal for GCSE French and Business Studies students, it offers lessons in authentic French, cultural nuances, and entertainment business dynamics, blending education with entertainment.

Enjoy these suggestions!

This summer, keep your teen's mind active with educational and fun shows available on Netflix. There's a variety of series on history, science, literature, and languages to match any teen's interests at the GCSE level.

Incorporate these shows into their summer break, and they can keep learning while enjoying their time off.  So grab some popcorn, settle in for a binge-watching session with your teen, and watch as they absorb knowledge while being entertained. Who said learning couldn't be fun?


Author: MyEdSpace
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