ClickView 6.2: Delivering ‘classroom-ready’ TV recordings to schools

This term, a big talking point concerning video in the classroom has been around delivering ‘classroom-ready’ TV recordings to teachers and students. TV is full of educationally-valuable content for your classroom. Whether it be a documentary, news story, or feature film, at ClickView we want to assist teachers in finding educational TV programmes and adding ‘classroom-ready’ TV recordings into their lesson plans.

Our recent focus has, therefore, been on how to enhance the ClickView product with features that will give teachers the best experience with our TV recording service, ClickView 24-7. Continue reading “ClickView 6.2: Delivering ‘classroom-ready’ TV recordings to schools”

Let’s Get Personal – New Release, ClickView v5.9

One of things I love most about my job is how we get to work closely with educators to ensure that our product is on the right track and going to meet the needs of teachers and students. In fact, just a week ago, I sat down and had a face-to-face chat at the ClickView office with two flipped teachers about ClickView. That one-hour meeting was extremely valuable because again we received direct feedback from educators and their suggestions have now influenced how we will further develop the product. Continue reading “Let’s Get Personal – New Release, ClickView v5.9”

What’s New in ClickView Online Version 5 – Interactive Videos and More

There’s been a lot going on recently at ClickView as our team busily prepared for the launch of ClickView v5. The good news is that the latest release is now available for all ClickView customers. As ClickView Online’s Head of Development, I wanted to provide a quick overview of the changes you will find when you now log into ClickView. Continue reading “What’s New in ClickView Online Version 5 – Interactive Videos and More”

Latest Updates to Interactive Videos, ClickView Exchange, and more

In my last post, What’s New in ClickView Online Version 5, I detailed some of the bigger, more notable changes that we have just released in ClickView, such as the new interactive videos.

In addition to this, the team have been hard at work on many other powerful feature additions and changes that deserve the light of day. Some have been requested directly from the ClickView Community, so I know you have been waiting for these and can’t wait to get your hands on them.

Without further ado, here is ClickView Online Version 5.2! Continue reading “Latest Updates to Interactive Videos, ClickView Exchange, and more”

Promote UNICEF's Day for Change with these Videos

UNICEF UK’s annual fundraising event occurs Friday 13 May. It is an opportunity for individuals and groups around the United Kingdom to come together and collect as much loose change as they can and raise money to help the United Nations Children Emergency Fund continue to undertake its vital work of keeping children safe around the world.

Too often the voices, experiences and struggles of children remain hidden despite the fact that 16 000 children die each day from preventable causes, nearly half of all deaths globally in children under 5 are due to malnutrition, and that every 10 minutes, somewhere on the planet, an adolescent girl will die as a result of violence. These shocking statistics are just the tip of the problem and speak to the urgent need for action.

For 70 years the UNICEF has worked hard to amplify the voice of children, aid the fight for children’s rights to be recognised and protected and tackle the causes of death, disease and poverty among children globally.

Below are seven videos available on the ClickView Exchange to help promote and mark UNICEF’s Day for Change in the classroom. From food-poverty in the UK to children making treacherous journey’s halfway across the planet by themselves, the videos cover a range of issues confronted by children both near and abroad.

If you’re already a ClickView customer you can access these titles in addition to over 10 000 more through the ClickView Exchange, copy them to your personal workspace and push them in to your school’s ClickView library. Otherwise, you can request a demo today.

To learn more about how you can contribute to and support the good-work being undertaken by UNICEF visit the UNICEF Day for Change website.

don't take my cchld

Don’t Take My Child

This film investigates the topic of forced adoption in the UK. Under the Children Act 1989 and the Children and Families Act 2014 the government of the United Kingdom, if it deems there is risk of significant harm befalling a child, is legally invested with powers that allow it to remove children permanently from their parents and subsequently adopt those children to other families. This legislation is extremely controversial its critics have pointed out that the term “significant risk” is undefined meaning it is up to courts to decide. This has led to inconsistencies in rulings, as well as significant difficulties for families trying to shield themselves from the practice. This programme draws on interviews with leading social works, barristers, families and a High Court judge to better illustrate and deconstruct this highly politicized and charged topic, in turn shedding light on how the UK’s legal system tries to navigate the rights of children. Watch it here.

Breadline Kids

A 2014 report by Oxfam has predicted that by 2020 5 million British children will be living in poverty, today 3.5 million already do. This episode of Dispatches dives into the tragic circumstances surrounding this issue by following the stories of three children who currently live in poverty. In turn, the programme reveals the dire daily struggle faced by young people trapped in poverty as they must queue at food banks to stave off hunger while their parents work zero-hour contracts to try and make ends meet. This is a raw and confronting look at the lives of children suffering from poverty and malnutrition in the United Kingdom and will spur important reflection and discussion about what we as a society ought to do in response to such a significant emergency. Watch it here.

America’s Medicated Kids.

Louis Theroux travels to one of America’s major children’s psychiatric centres as he looks at the impact of prescription medication on children diagnosed with a variety of disorders – ranging from ADHD to anxiety. This startling documentary sheds light on a society in which more and more parents are turning to psychoactive medication to help them cope with the challenging behaviours of their children. In turn, Theroux raises questions about our increasing use of psychiatric medication, the line between bad behaviour and pathology, and whether pharmaceuticals are replacing parenting. This is a thought-provoking programme that will elicit discussion about the rights of children when it comes to behaviour altering medication. Watch it here.


Children of the Gaza War

The BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, Lyce Doucet, travels to conflict riven border towns along the Gaza strip to investigate the impact of almost ceaseless war and instability on the lives of children there. In the programme we meet children on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the border. In turn, we hear stories from Palestinian children who have endured three major conflicts in six years, the most recent seeing almost 500 Palestinian children killed in airstrikes, while Israeli children live in constant fear of rocket attacks and underground tunnels. This tragic report examines and sheds light on the ravages of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts on the lives of children. Watch it here.

Children of The Great Migration

This episode of Panorama turns to childrens’ experience of one of the greatest challenges our planet has ever faced, the mass migration of humans across the globe. According to the United Nations the planet now hosts a population of 59 million displaced people who, due to war, poverty, or environmental degradation, have no home. In turn, there is a vast movement of people across the world towards the West, most commonly Europe. This programme looks at the experience of children, some as young as seven, as they seek to flee Sudan and Eritrea. Presenter Paul Kenyon reveals that the number of unaccompanied children embarking on this extremely dangerous journey is increasing, they face exploitation by people trafficking and find themselves in situations that no child, nor adult, should ever have to confront. This programme provides a sobering insight into the plight of the youngest members of Earth’s displaced population. Watch it here.

Children of World War II

Going back in time to World War II, this programme introduces three people who were children during World War II. Through interviews and archival footage the programme brings to life the experiences of young people: from air raids and evacuations to seeing family members go off to war. The programme will provide an excellent historical look at the lives of children during conflict historically as well as comparative material for thinking about the lives of children in contemporary conflicts. Watch it here.


The Secret Life of Books: Swallows and Amazons

Moving away from conflict, this episode of The Secret Life of Books follows host John Sergeant as he takes to the water to explore the world of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. Sergeant takes the viewer on a fascinating retrospective of the Ransome’s life and times, which resulted in the writer bringing us a new kind of children’s literature that moved away from the fantastical to focus on real children, doing real things in real places. This programme is a heart-warming and fascinating look at the life of children and the place of literature in nurturing and breathing meaning into the lives of children and, indeed, adults. Watch it here.

If you have any suggestions for programmes currently on free-to-air television that you feel would make a great resource for teachers and students feel free to contact: rupert.denton@clickview.co.uk

Videos to Celebrate Shakespeare’s Life and Legacy

April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The day was met with events around the world to celebrate his life and work including a parade at Shakespeare’s birthplace at Straford-upon-Avon and an enormous interactive event at The Globe Theatre.

From adaptations of Shakespeare’s classics to commentaries on particular features of his work, below are seven videos available on the ClickView Exchange that will help continue the celebration of the life and work of one of history’s most influential playwrights and poets in the classroom.

If you’re already a ClickView customer you can access these titles in addition to over 10 000 more through the ClickView Exchange, copy them to your personal workspace and push them in to your school’s ClickView library. Otherwise, you can request a demo today.


Romeo and Juliet

Buz Lurhmann’s searing adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most revered and ubiquitous plays, Romeo and Juliet, takes the audience to a gritty, sun-bleached re-imagining of strife-riven Verona where the themes of violence, fealty and love surge and course through the narrative of love doomed by circumstance. The film stands up as one of the most accomplished and most stylistic re-tellings of Shakespeare’s work while still managing to respect the timeless vivid beauty of Shakespeare’s writing, an outstanding resource that will serve any study of this play well. Watch it here.


This film adaptation of Rupert Goold’s critically acclaimed adaption of Macbeth presents an unsettling take on one of Shakespeare’s most psychological tragedies. Set in an unidentified central European country, the adaptation was shot entirely underground in Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire. This is an intensely claustrophobic, bloody and gripping presentation of Macbeth featuring performances and direction that reveal and grapple with many of the drama’s themes and motifs from the tragedy of Macbeth’s character to the inversion of moral order. Watch it here.

Julius Caesar, King Richard III and the Tempest

These three instalments of BBC 2’s  classic series, Shakespeare: The Animated Tales, are a perfect introduction to three of the playwright’s most significant plays: Julius Caesar, King Richard III and the Tempest. While the award winning animations have adapted all of the plays into half-an-hour versions for a younger audience this was done in conjunction with academic consultants to ensure that their central themes and characters remain intact. Watch it here.



Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet brings this classic tale of melancholy, paranoia and love to life in one of the most epic and complete screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s work to date. Nominated for four academy awards and featuring a star studded cast including Branagh as Prince Hamlet, the film is recast in an opulent 19th Century Castle which is matched by dazzling, stylistic direction and cinematography as well as luminous performances which serve to fill every scene and line of dialogue with an energy that juxtaposes, without diminishing, the darkness of Shakespeare’s writing with the incandescent pageantry of Branagh’s own vision for Elsinore. Watch it here.

David Tennant on Hamlet

In this episode of BBC 4’s Shakespeare Uncovered actor David Tennant meets with a range of actors who have played the role of the tragic Danish Prince Hamlet. Tennant who received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company meets with the venerable David Warner who played the character in the 1960s and Jude Law who took the role on more recently. In the process Tennat attempts to take the play apart and understand why it is Hamlet is often considered Shakespeare’s finest work. This resource is an excellent accompaniment to any study of the themes, characters and legacy of Hamlet. Watch it here.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Starring Imelda Staunton as Polly (or Hippolyta) and Bill Paterson as Theo (or Theseus) this episode of the BBC One series: ShakespeaRe-Told provides a comic take on Shakespeare’s complex comedy about love and the more festive side of human nature. The adaptation, created by screenwriter Peter Bowker, sets the tale within a Dream Park follows the trials and tribulations of the story’s vibrant characters as they are thrown into confusion by efforts by fairies in a nearby wood efforts to ensure a happy ending. This re-telling will be an excellent resource for teaching and learning about one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Watch it here.

twelth night

Joely Richardson on Shakespeare’s Women

Focusing on women in the Twelfth Night and As You Like It, actress Joely Richardson looks at Shakespeare’s approach to writing female characters and legacy of the playwrights characterizations. The documentary draws includes interviews with individuals like feminist and scholar of Shakespeare Germaine Greere and actress Vanessa Redgrave to weave a balanced and thought-provoking study of women in Elizabethan theatre. Watch it here.

If you have any suggestions for programmes currently on free-to-air television that you feel would make a great resource for teachers and students feel free to contact: rupert.denton@clickview.co.uk


Tackling Racism with ClickView

March 21 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Day was started by the United Nations in 1966 and is designed to remind us about the profound damage to individuals and societies caused by racial discrimination and spur people to work towards eliminating racism.
From investigations into British racism to documentaries about how racism is being fought in football, below are seven videos on the ClickView Exchange thatprovide examples of racism in the UK and abroad, spread awareness of this issue and elicit discussion about how it can be combated.

If you’re already a ClickView customer you can access these titles in addition to over 10 000 more through the ClickView Exchange, copy them to your personal workspace and push them in to your school’s ClickView library. Otherwise, you can request a demo today.

2016-03-16 15_03_18-ClickView Exchange - ClickView Online

Is Britain Racist?

In this programme Journalist Mona Chalabi explores people’s subconscious prejudices to reveal what British people believe about different ethnicities and religions. Chalabi reveals that three quarters of Britons claim they have no racial prejudices and seeks to test whether reality matches the statistics. The results paint a more complex picture than the statistical evidence suggests. In turn, Chalabi puts her own beliefs beneath the microscope before asking the important question: can people be trained to lose their prejudices? This programme forms an introspective look at the psychology of the British nation and will cause the audience to consider their own subconscious prejudices and beliefs. Watch it here.

Race Hate in Louisiana

Follow Tom Mangold as he visits the small town of Jena, Louisiana to investigate how race relations have changed since the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Mangold encounters some disturbing events, such as nooses tied to trees in school yards to threaten black students and the unofficial segregation that still exists in Jena, in turn this reveals the extent to which racism still pulses in places like Louisiana. This program provides an important reminder about the shocking ways in which racism can manifest itself even in democratic and multicultural societies and will provide a good comparative exercise for pupils thinking about how racism manifests itself in the UK. This programme contains some upsetting scenes. Watch it here.

Undercover: Hate on the Terraces

Join Dispatches reporter Morland Sanders as he investigates the extent of racism and homophobia in elite level English football. Sanders witnesses racist chants at some of the biggest football grounds in the country and online vilification on official football forums. In turn, Sanders raises questions about the commitment of official institutions and the authorities to try and combat and change this culture of discrimination. This is an important exposé into the darker side of this beloved sport and will raise discussions about what should be done about this problem and how we should conduct ourselves in such environments. Watch it here.


Reggie Yates: Race Riots USA

Actor and presenter Reggie Yates visits the small town of Ferguson, Missouri a year after unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot by a policeman. This startling and confronting program reveals the extent to which the shooting has politicised Ferguson’s community and created a new generation of activists. Yates also looks at how new police recruits are being trained and the ongoing extent of discrimination facing African-Americans. This is a timely program given the worldwide awareness of movements such as Black Lives Matter which are fundamentally recasting race relations and shifting the discussion about everything from police brutality to cultural appropriation. Contains strong language and some upsetting scenes. Watch it here.

Skin Deep: The Story of Sandra Laing

Skin Deep: The Story of Sandra Laing tells the moving and tragic tale of Sandra Laing, who fell victim to South Africa’s notorious apartheid regime. Laing was a dark skinned child, despite having two white parents. In turn, she was shunned and isolated by her white classmates and eventually imprisoned for marrying a black man. Through interviews with Laing and a variety of her contemporaries pupils will learn about the history of apartheid and the oppression and cruelness that it dealt to non-white citizens. The documentary also provides a stark illustration of how an entire country’s legal system can be devised not to unite and protect its citizens regardless of their backgrounds but divide and oppress based on their background. Watch it here.

The Secret Policeman

In the Panorama documentary that captured headlines around the UK, journalist Mark Daley goes undercover as a police recruit in Manchester to reveal the extent of racism amongst new recruits. The program captured police officers engaged in racist behaviour including one recruit’s now infamous comment that “Stephen Lawrence,” who was murdered in a racially motivated attack, “deserved to die.” The programme led to resignations, inquiries and condemnation from the Home Secretary. The documentary is still relevant today with Britain’s top police officer, Sir. Bernard Hogan-Howe, stating in 2015 that British police forces may be institutionally racist.  This disturbing investigation will raise serious questions about the extent to which race determines whether a citizen is a likely to be subject to protection or suspicion from the law. Watch it here.

Is Football Racist?

In this documentary Former Premier League defender Clarke Carlisle investigates how far his profession has come since the days of bananas being thrown on the terraces. Clarke sets out with the belief that racism is largely non-existent in football and that recent media coverage of racist incidents suggest authorities are coming down hard on racism. He gradually realises, however, that the reality may not be so clear cut. Carlisle offers an even handed and thoughtful approach to this troubling issue while highlighting the fact that football could lead the way in combating racism across Britain by setting an example that is watched by hundreds of millions of people from diverse backgrounds each week. Watch it here.

If you have any suggestions for programmes currently on free-to-air television that you feel would make a  great resources for teachers and students feel free to contact: rupert.denton@clickview.co.uk

Mark International Women’s Day with ClickView

Tuesday 8 March marks International Women’s Day. This year the Day’s theme is #PledgeForParity, while women continue to contribute significantly to cultural, economic, social and political achievements around the world there is still much progress to be made in reaching gender parity. In fact, in 2015 the World Economic Forum made the sobering projection that at its current rate of change gender parity would not be achieved until 2133.

From the pivotal women of the Middle Ages to the rise of contemporary feminism below are seven videos from the ClickView Exchange to mark International Women’s Day. We hope these resources can help you celebrate this important day in your classroom and highlighting the challenges and triumphs of women both today and throughout history.

If you’re already a ClickView customer you can access these titles in addition to over 10 000 more through the ClickView Exchange, copy them to your personal workspace and push them in to your school’s ClickView library. Otherwise, you can request a demo today.


One Hundred Years of the Women’s Movement

BBC Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney takes a journey through the history of the women’s movement beginning with the infamous death of the suffragette Emily Davison at the Epsom Derby. Cairney presents the viewer with a wide ranging overview of a century of landmark achievements by the women’s movement including winning the rights to vote and the sexual revolution in the 1960s. Beyond being a valuable survey of the history of the women’s movement this program illustrates the just how many challenges women have had to face and still do face today. Watch it here.

Girls Can Code: Part 1

As technology becomes a ubiquitous feature of our day to day life many of the jobs in the near future will belong to those who can code. At the same time, however, programming and coding is the site of a startling gender imbalance. In America for example, 74% of girls express interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, but when choosing a college major, just 0.4% of high school girls select computer science. The statistics will be similar in the UK. Girls Can Code, then, is an important program that sheds light on this imbalance and seeks to increase the visibility of female coders and in doing so encourage more women into the male-dominated field. Girls Can Code is an exciting program that also illuminates an incredibly important, and undertold story about the lack of women in the planet’s booming tech sector. Watch it here.

The Ascent of Woman: Power

Join historian Dr. Amanda Foreman as she ventures back in time to uncover the stories of women behind some of the most powerful empires in history. Travelling to Istanbul, Germany, Paris and India, Foreman challenges the male-centric theories about power in empires as diverse as Byzantium, the Mughal Empire, Medieval Europe and the Ottoman Empire. In turn, the program reveals the strength of exceptional women at the heart of power and influence in each of these empires. Foreman reveals to the audience the pivotal historical impacts these women have had and in doing so provides a corrective to accounts of history that too often forget the crucial role of women. Watch it here.

Joely Richardson on Shakespeare’s Women

Focusing on Viola in the Twelfth Night and Rosalind in As You Like It, Joely Richardson, looks at women in Shakespeare’s plays. She explains to us that the reason these Heroines spend much of their time dressed as men is because they were written to be played by men! At the same time Richardson also looks at Shakespeare’s approach to writing female characters and the impact that his characterization has had on drama since. The documentary also draws on insights from individuals like famed feminist Germaine Greere and actress Helen Mirren to create a balanced, engaging and illuminating study of women in Elizabethan theatre. Watch it here.


Divine Women: Handmaids of the Gods

Historian Bettany Hughes investigates the hidden and controversial history of women’s place in religion as she uncovers the lost era of the priestess. Hughes delves into the ancient Greek worship of the goddess of sex, Aphrodite, and finds out what this practice meant for women. She also heads to ancient Rome, where the fate of the civilisation lay in the hands of six sacred virgins. Returning to the crucial early years of Christianity, she finds evidence that overturns centuries of Church teaching and challenges the belief that women should not be priests. Handmaids of the Gods is a thought provoking look at the role of women in ancient religions and provides an addition to debates around the place of women in religion that are still raging today. Watch it here.


In this important program renowned filmmaker Vanessa Engle turns her attention to sexual politics, feminism and its impact on women’s lives today. In this episode Engle traces the rise of the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s. Drawing on interviews with Kate Millett, Germaine Greer and Marilyn French – her last before she died – Engle tells the story of this profoundly important movement in feminist politics, what drove it, what it achieved and how whether it remains a relevant aspect of feminist politics in the 21st century. Watch it here.


The Story of Women and Art: Episode 1

In this program Professor Amanda Vickery seeks to uncover the hidden world of female artists from the time. Exploring storerooms and basements Vickery brings into the light female artists from Renaissance Italy and the Dutch republic and tells their stories. In the process she sheds light on the insurmountable obstacles faced by these women and their courageous determination to forge careers in the male dominated world of 16th century art. Watch it here.

If you have any suggestions for programs currently on free-to-air television that you feel would make a  great resources for teachers and students feel free to contact: rupert.denton@clickview.co.uk

Celebrating World Book Day with ClickView

Where would we be without books?

In time for World Book Day on March 3 ClickView is celebrating all things books and writing in the Topics section of the ClickView Exchange. From fascinating investigations into historical texts to reflections on technology and its consequences for the future of books, we’ve gathered a diverse range of videos focusing on the world of the books. We’re really excited to share these to help you celebrate World Book Day in the classroom.

If you’re already a ClickView customer you can access these titles in addition to over 10 000 more through the ClickView Exchange, copy them to your personal workspace and push them in to your school’s ClickView library. Otherwise, you can request a demo today.


Beauty of Books: Paperback Writer

The Beauty of Books focuses on the power books have had to reach out to their audiences, capture the imagination and alter the course of history. This episode focuses on the advent of the paperback and its transformative impact on literature, reading, society and the economy. The program presents a fascinating account of the importance of the now ubiquitous paperback book. Watch it here.

Poetry Season: T. S. Eliot

Arena delves into the life of one of the most important poets of the 20th Century, T. S. Eliot. Through interviews with writers and including Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney the program traces the many faces of T. S. Eliot from banker to father to poet, while treating us to much of Eliot’s work. Poetry Season T. S. Eliot reminds us of the legacy of this pivotal figure for not just for poetry and literature but for also the way we see and think about the world around us. Watch it here.

A Million Books for Free

Historian and Art Critic Andrew Graham Dixon, takes the viewer through the cultural event of World Book Night. Dixon visits a number of World Book Night events where people exchange their favourite titles with other book lovers. A Million Books for Free is a wonderful exposé about how books can bring people, even strangers, together through their shared passion for reading. Watch it here.

Just Read with Michael Rosen

Children’s author and poet Michael Rosen visits a Primary School in Cardiff to investigate the attitudes of children towards books and their reading habits. Over ten weeks Rosen attempts to spark a reading revolution at the School through having teachers break with the set curriculum in favour of books and reading. The program highlights changing attitudes towards books and reading and tries to answer the question asked by many teachers and parents, “How can we kindle a love of books and reading?” Watch it here.

The Ladybird Books Story: How Britain Got the Reading Bug

This program tells the fascinating story of Ladybird books, which have become an iconic part of the British literary landscape. Throughout the documentary the audience is told the story of Ladybird Books and the impact the books had on the British consciousness and national image. The program serves as a reminder about the far reaching impact books can have on our imagination and our society. Watch it here.

Picture Book

This program tells the story of how our reading changes and grows along with us. This episode focuses on the children’s picture book and explores the way in which the picture book stirs the minds of young readers through sumptuous illustration and brilliantly simple story-telling. The program is a wonderful reminder of the pure joy that books can elicit in readers of all ages. Watch it here.

world brain

Google and the World Brain

Moving towards the future, Google and the World Brain looks at one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived on the Internet: Google’s plan to digitize every book on earth. This exhilarating and crucial documentary looks at Google’s gargantuan project and those who are trying to stop the project arguing that it undermines copyright, protection for authors and the privacy of readers globally. Watch it here.

Why Reading Matters

Science writer Rita Carter presents this timely story of how modern neuroscience has revealed the extraordinary power of books to help unlock the power of our brains. She focuses on the classic, Wuthering Heights, and its ability to have us enter other minds and understand the world from different points of view. Carter also considers whether the digital revolution may threaten the value of classic reading and impede us from accessing the powers gained through books. Watch it here.

The Secret Life of Books: Swallows and Amazons

The Secret Life of Books is a series in which classic books are considered afresh. Expert writers return to the original manuscripts and letters of authors to bring new insights to famous and iconic books. In this episode former journalist John Sergeant explores Arthur Ransome’s seminal work Swallows and Amazons. In the process he explores Ransome’s fascinating life as a foreign correspondent and friend of Lenin and Trotsky and how these experiences led to a new, authentic form of children’s literature. Swallows and Amazons captures the often exciting lives of authors and the ways in which these lives inform and influence their books. Watch it here.

If you have any suggestions of programs from free-to-air TV over the past week you think would be a great resource for teachers feel free to contact me at rupert.denton@clickview.co.uk