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Netflix In The Classroom: Top 10 Educational Shows (Updated June 2019)

Published on 10/06/19

The use of visual resources in the classroom has repeatedly been proven to aid the learning process because of the link between imagery, the memory function and recall of knowledge.

Therefore, the use of video in learning environments has been increasing in recent years, and thanks to streaming platforms such as Netflix, this has never been easier. That is why we have devoted our latest blog post to looking at some helpful educational shows on Netflix.

What Is Netflix?

Netflix is an online streaming service that, for a small monthly fee, allows subscribers to watch a wide variety of TV shows, films and documentaries on a range of devices. With no caps on how much content can be consumed, no advertisements and lots of original content, Netflix can be fully utilised in the classroom.

Please note: Although every care has been taken in our selections below, we would advise that the ultimate decision on the suitability of a show is determined by each school on an individual basis, based on the needs, requirements and maturity of their students.

Where a show has been given an age guidance certificate rating - we have included this in the title for your reference.

Our Top Picks – For Younger Students

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That

Travel around with the Cat in the Hat and learn about many subjects ranging from the creatures of the deep to the seasonal changes.

If I Were An Animal

If I were an animal...

This is a series of nature documentaries for children in which they can find out what life is like for a wide range of animals such as hedgehogs, penguins and elephants. 

StoryBots Super Songs

Storybots Super Songs

Join in with Beep, Bo, Bang, Bing and Boop as they answer children’s questions on a vast selection of topics such as space, emotions, animals and shapes.

Treehouse Detectives

Treehouse Detectives

Children can work alongside brother and sister detective duo Toby and Teri as they work to solve mysteries in their back garden. This show is perfect for downtime in the classroom, as it is very engaging.

The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus

Travelling around on the Magic School Bus with Ms. Frizzle, children can get to grip with scientific concepts. The adventures include travelling to space, under the sea, through an anthill and even inside the human body!

Our Top Picks – For Older Students

BBC Earth Series (PG) 

Frozen Planet

David Attenborough narrates a close-up look at life for animals in the toughest climates on earth. Recent series include environmental segments with shocking, real life evidence of the effects of climate change. Series such as Frozen Planet, Blue Planet and Africa are all available to stream on Netflix.

The Netflix created ' Our Planet' has also recently been released. This series, narrated by David Attenborough, shows just how much the planet has changed in recent years and what we need to do to ensure the survival of Earth, before it's too late. 

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (12)

Lo and Behold

This documentary is a fascinating look at the life of the Internet from its birth, through highs and lows of its use, to now. The current generation of school children have had access to the Internet for the whole of their lives and this documentary will teach them about its origins and the journey it has taken.

Please Note: Due to the occasional expletive, we would recommend teachers watching this prior to showing it in the classroom to determine if it is suitable for the students they teach. To help with this, Common Sense Media have created a parental guide to this documentary, to highlight the concepts and topics covered, as well as any themes to be aware of.

Secrets of Great British Castles

Secrets of Great British Castles

If your history syllabus covers knights, castles and the like, then this documentary would be helpful in giving students an overview of the history they are studying. Presented by Dan Jones, each episode delves into the history of British castles to discover the secrets they hold.

The True Cost (12)

The True Cost

In the wake of fast fashion, this eye-opening documentary film gives an insight into the journey of fashion, from the design phase, to the travesty of sweat shop workers, and finally to our wardrobes. This film will teach students about their role as a consumer in this industry.
(Removed from Netflix in late 2019)

Islands of the Future

Islands of the Futures

This docu-series discovers how smalls islands off the coast of Europe such as Madeira are fighting back against rising oil prices and diminishing resources by rethinking the way they produce energy – helpful for any lessons considering renewable energy resources and how we, as humans, are impacting the planet.

Olivia Robertshaw

Olivia is currently studying English at Loughborough University. She visited us in the Summer of 2019 to experience life at e4education within our Production and Marketing Teams.