Movies for Half Term

In the last few days, most people I have spoken to teachers included, are ready for a little break from routine. If you have just been through the 11+ process, this is your time to settle back into normality after the sometimes frenzied and anxious moments of the last few months. Half term can’t come soon enough.

You might be heading somewhere warm and fabulous - in which case lucky you - braving the cold, fresh, mountain air of the Alps .... or like me, catching your breath at home and counting your blessings that you don’t have to rise in the dark hours before dawn to get your people out of the house and off to school. The change will do us all good.

I am back with the oft requested movie list, films for the whole family that will give you the chance to sit down together and relax, laugh and contemplate the meaning of life.

The films are rated U, PG and 12, by the British Board of Film Classification. Click here for more explanation on ratings. Remember, what’s fine in one house might not be fine in another so the bottom line with this list: you have to call the shots depending on the age of your children and what you think is suitable.

My top tip here: ALWAYS read the Parent’s guide on IMDB for information about nudity, sex, sex references, violence, gore etc…It’s all too easy to be happily watching a film when suddenly, up pops a scene you weren’t expecting! Awkward.

Prepare the viewing area, make some popcorn and  settle down to enjoy the feature.


 7 Family Movies to Watch with your Children this Half Term

1. Paper Planes (U)

12 year old Dylan has a passion for everything that flies, and when a regional paper plane tournament is announced at his primary school, he soon discovers his natural talent for creating the ultimate paper plane. A whirlwind adventure takes him all the way to the world paper plane championships in Japan where he learns that if at first you don’t succeed, fly, fly again! Watch the trailer here. 

2. ET (U)

After a gentle little alien becomes stranded on Earth he is discovered by a young boy called Elliot. The alien is named ET (extra terrestrial) and having been smuggled into Eliot’s home in suburban California, his life comes under threat as a result of Government intervention.

3. Sabrina the Teenage Witch (U) - Box Set - Seasons 1-7

Sabrina lives with her otherworldly aunts and their talking black cat. Long ago, the witches council ordered Sabrina’s aunts to teach her witchcraft when she reached her 16th birthday. In this box set, the life of a teenage girl at school is combined with the supernatural world of magic!

4. Miss Potter (PG)

The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the best-selling children's book, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", and her struggle for love, happiness and success. Watch the trailer here.

5. Blast from the Past  (12)

In 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, an eccentric scientist who thinks that a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union is possible, builds a bomb shelter in his basement. When a plane flying above their house loses control and crashes into their shelter, the locks are activated, not to open for 35 years. The inventor's wife gives birth to a son named Adam who is then brought up imprisoned in the shelter. When the locks open after 35 years, Adam must venture out into Los Angeles and obtain food and supplies for his family. Watch the trailer here.

6. Hunt for the Wilder People (12)

Foster child Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family, but when his foster aunt dies, he and his Uncle go on the run in the bush. A national manhunt ensues and the newly branded outlaws must assess their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family. My friend Priya recommended this one. We loved it! Watch the trailer here.

7. Lion (PG)

A 5-year-old boy called Saroo gets lost on a train and is stranded away from home. He manages to survive living on the streets of Kolkata, before ending up in an orphanage. Eventually he is adopted by an Australian couple, finding love and security, but suppressing his hope of finding home. With just a small store of memories Saroo embarks on a truly epic quest for home. Watch the trailer here.


"That’s all folks", as they say in the movies. Enjoy the half term break with your people and if you find this list useful, please share it with your friends and relatives. 

Until next time, good bye.