Half term is approaching and it’s time to relax. Even if exams loom in June, your children will definitely have some time to put their feet up next week. So I have compiled a list of films which I've enjoyed and found thought provoking recently.
The films are mostly rated PG and 12A: PG films are for “general viewing” but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children, and films classified 12A contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. I have also included two 15 films for older children.
Read on for my list of family films for half term:
An inspirational true story based on a young boy’s experience of drought and hardship in Malawi. When he is thrown out of school because his family can no longer afford the fees, he goes to the library to teach himself. There he works out how to bring electricity to his village by building a windmill and he becomes … The Boy who Harnessed the Wind.
A true story set in the US in the midst of the Great Depression about a horse that becomes one of the most successful thoroughbreds of all time, inspiring a nation at a time when it needed it most.
An over enthusiastic guitarist who has been kicked out of his rock band is desperately in need of work. He finds a job as a substitute teacher at an elite private school and leads his students in creating a rock band.
This Oscar winning epic film tells the story of a Jewish prince who is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend in 1st-century Jerusalem. He regains his freedom and comes back for revenge, ultimately showing compassion and forgiveness. With a sea battle and a nail-biting chariot race, this is not a film to be missed but with a running time of 212 minutes, this should be scheduled for a lazy afternoon.
A biographical film about social scientist Stanley Milgram, perhaps best known for his ‘Six Degrees of Separation' theory. The motivation for many of Milgram’s experiments was the Holocaust, as he wanted to find out why so many people carried out dreadful acts while believing they were "just following orders".
This film is based on the true story of two teams climbing Mount Everest in 1996. A violent storm strikes the mountain and the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in a battle to survive against nearly impossible odds. And if you have’t read the book which tells this story, it's worth reading: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.
Based on a true story, we follow the journey of two sisters fleeing war-torn Syria as refugees. They embark on a harrowing journey putting both their champion swimming skills and their hearts to heroic use, fighting to survive and achieve the impossible.
Air follows the story of a shoe salesman who led Nike in its pursuit of the greatest athlete in the history of basketball, Michael Jordan. The film highlights the uncompromising vision of his mother who knew the worth of her son’s immense talent.
NB ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS read the Parent’s guide on IMDB for information about sex and nudity, alcohol, drugs, frightening scenes, violence, gore etc. It’s all too easy to miss some shocking details because your cousin, brother or best friend who doesn’t have children recommended a film they thought was great. They didn't watch it through the eyes of a junior school child.
And if films won’t fill all of your half term time and your child is in year 5, 6 or 7, why not try my fun maths and English puzzle books? The families who love these books recognise the importance of keeping their children’s brains switched on, but also the importance of having a break from traditional workbooks.
If you like the list of films please share this blog, and if you have any recommendations, I would love to share them with others, so please send them to me at email@example.com.
Next time, “What nobody will tell you about school entrance exams and the 11+", from parents who have been through it.