Normal People is the critically acclaimed miniseries based on the bestselling novel by Irish author Sally Rooney. Set in Ireland, the story revolves a...
When it comes to capturing the essence of British school life, there aren’t many TV series in comparison to American TV shows but we’ve come up with this list for you to work through of classic 90s kids dramas to streaming favourites.
From awkward teenage misadventures to heart-warming tales of friendship and self-discovery, British TV shows have managed to offer a glimpse into the world of schools and classrooms with laughter and charm. If you're curious to experience what students and teachers in the UK experience, look no further.
The Inbetweeners is a comedy series that follows the lives of four awkward and socially inept teenage boys, Will, Simon, Jay, and Neil, as they navigate the ups and downs of high school. The show humorously depicts their attempts to fit in, impress girls, and deal with typical teenage challenges. It provides a humorous and unfortunately relatable portrayal of British school life, showcasing the awkwardness, peer pressure, and various misadventures that come with adolescence.
Waterloo Road is a drama series set in a comprehensive school in the fictional town of Waterloo Road. The show revolves around the lives of teachers, students, and staff, highlighting their personal and professional struggles. It addresses issues such as bullying, family problems, social inequality, and educational challenges. Through its diverse cast of characters, the series provides a realistic portrayal of British school life, tackling both the positive and challenging aspects of the education system.
Skins is a drama series that follows the lives of a group of teenagers living in Bristol, England. Each episode focuses on a different character, delving into their experiences, relationships, and personal issues. The show is known for its edgy and raw portrayal of youth culture, tackling sensitive topics like drug use, sexuality, mental health, and identity. Skins offers a somewhat controversial but realistic representation of British school life, showing the complexities and struggles faced by contemporary teenagers.
Bad Education is a comedy series centered around Alfie Wickers, an unconventional and often inept history teacher at Abbey Grove School. Alfie's humorous and unorthodox teaching methods frequently lead to chaotic situations, while he also deals with eccentric colleagues and mischievous students. The show offers a light-hearted and exaggerated take on British school life, emphasizing the humorous side of teaching and student-teacher dynamics.
Heartstopper is a drama series based on the webcomic and graphic novel by Alice Oseman. The story revolves around the evolving relationship between two boys, Charlie and Nick, who meet and fall in love at their all-boys grammar school. The series beautifully explores themes of friendship, self-discovery, and LGBTQ+ representation. It presents a heartfelt and touching portrayal of British school life, specifically focusing on the experiences of LGBTQ+ students.
Sex Education is a comedy-drama series that follows the life of Otis Milburn, a socially awkward teenager whose mother is a sex therapist. Utilizing his knowledge from living with a sex therapist, Otis starts an underground sex therapy clinic at his school to help fellow students with their relationship and sexual issues. The show addresses themes of sexuality, relationships, and identity, while also portraying the ups and downs of British school life, including the challenges and pressures that young people face.
Grange Hill is a long-running British drama series set in a comprehensive school. It originally focused on a group of students as they progressed from primary to secondary school. Over the years, the show tackled a wide range of social issues relevant to young people, such as bullying, drugs, relationships, and peer pressure. "Grange Hill" is considered a classic representation of British school life, offering a realistic and insightful portrayal of the experiences and challenges faced by schoolchildren.
Educating Yorkshire is a documentary series that takes an inside look at life in a Yorkshire secondary school. Each episode follows the lives of both students and staff, highlighting their achievements, struggles, and interactions. The show provides a genuine and candid representation of British school life, shedding light on the day-to-day realities of students and teachers in a real educational setting.
Ackley Bridge is a drama series that revolves around the merging of two schools – one predominantly white and the other predominantly Asian – in a fictional Yorkshire town. The show explores themes of cultural integration, diversity, and the challenges of bridging different communities. It presents a nuanced portrayal of British school life within a multicultural context, addressing the complexities and opportunities that arise from diverse student populations.
The School That Tried To End Racism
The School That Tried To End Racism is a documentary series that follows a school's experiment to address racism among its students. The series examines how racism can manifest in schools and the efforts taken by teachers and students to tackle these issues head-on. The show provides a thought-provoking and educational representation of British school life, focusing on the importance of understanding and challenging racism in educational settings.
Big School is a comedy series set in Greybridge School, where the unenthusiastic and socially awkward chemistry teacher, Mr. Church, secretly harbours feelings for the more upbeat and fun-loving French teacher, Miss Postern. The show follows the hilarious misadventures of the staff and students, often with Mr. Church's attempts to impress Miss Postern. It offers a comedic and light-hearted representation of British school life, focusing on the interactions between teachers and their idiosyncrasies.
Derry Girls is a comedy-drama series set in the early 1990s in Derry, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles. The show centers around a group of teenage girls (and one English boy) attending a Catholic girls' school. It humorously depicts the daily lives of the girls as they navigate adolescence, friendship, and school life amidst the backdrop of the political and social unrest of the time. "Derry Girls" provides a unique and culturally specific representation of Northern Irish school life, capturing the spirit and resilience of the characters in challenging circumstances.
Teachers is a comedy-drama series that follows the lives of a group of young and often immature teachers working at the fictional Summerdown School. The show offers a comedic portrayal of their personal and professional lives, including their relationships with each other and the challenges they face in the classroom. It provides a humorous and somewhat satirical representation of British school life, highlighting the humorous side of teaching and the dynamics between staff and students.
Byker Grove is a long-running British drama series aimed at a younger audience. Set in Newcastle upon Tyne, the show is primarily centered around the lives of the young people who frequent a youth club called "The Grove." While the series doesn't solely focus on school life, it does touch on the experiences and issues faced by teenagers, including friendship, relationships, and personal growth. "Byker Grove" is considered a classic representation of British youth culture and the challenges faced by young people outside of the classroom.
From the hilarious escapades of The Inbetweeners to the poignant coming-of-age stories of Derry Girls, each show has offered a unique perspective on the challenges faced by students and teachers alike in the UK. Unfortunately the closest to what it’s like in a British school still seems to be The Inbetweeners - we need some more school themed shows to come out of British TV in the next few years!
Thanks for reading "14 British TV Series To Experience What It’s Like At A Real British School" on January Media.