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Black British Stories – Christina Shingler

Black British Stories – Christina Shingler: In this short film Felix, aged 10, talks to his grandmother Christina (Tina) Shingler, a writer who decided to do something about the lack of black characters in British literature.

Felix interviews Tina to find out what life was like growing up as one of the only two black children at her school in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

Tina was often teased and her ‘frizzy’ hair in particular, became a target. To deal with this, Christina lost herself in books and spent much of her time at Ripon library.

She always dreamed about was being a princess but she never found any princesses in books that looked like her. They all had “silky smooth, grade-A blonde, princess hair”; this was something that Christina could not identify with.

In 2004 Tina decided to do something about the imbalance of black characters in British literature and she wrote Princess Katrina and the Hair Charmer.

This film is from the series Black British Stories. A collection of short films for primary schools, exploring the experiences and contributions of people from communities across the UK, and celebrating the rich contribution of the black community to the culture, society and economy of the UK.

These short films are suitable for teaching history at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd Level in Scotland.

For teachers’ notes and more episodes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-black-british-stories/z3w84xs

As this film is embedded you will not be able to download it.

The TrueTube and CTVC team made this film for BBC Teach, so for more resources go to BBC Teach: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach

The Black British Stories series was commissioned by BBC Teach and produced by CTVC/TrueTube.

Centre Stage: Racism in the U.K.

Centre Stage: Racism in the U.K. – This film discusses the existence of racism in the U.K. and demonstrates healthy conversation and good communication skills when discussing challenging topics.

Doreen’s War: Keep Smiling Through

Doreen’s War: Keep Smiling Through – Doreen was only 8 years old when World War 2 began. While many children were evacuated from London’s east end, Doreen stayed with her family in Plaistow and was homeschooled – even during the deadly Blitz between 1940 and 1941. Her best friend Marjorie had been evacuated to a different part of the country, but their relationship stayed strong and they’re still friends 75 years later.

Just before VE Day in 2020, this interview with Doreen recounting her memories of WW2 was recorded during lockdown conditions due to the coronavirus. Doreen compares how the nation felt then to how it feels during the pandemic.

This film includes an accompanying worksheet that can be used by pupils.


Belong – Many children and young people have to move to a new school, a new city, or a new country. In this film, young people describe how it feels to start a new life and find a new home.

Courtesy of Coram.

This film was co-produced by Coram Life Education and Coram Young Citizens, an ambassador programme for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Free lesson and assembly plans exploring the theme of belonging can be found on their site here.

Hijab & Me

Hijab & Me – Three young Muslim women called Ambar, Ilhan and Athena give their personal (and very different!) opinions on what it means to wear hijab, and the status of women in Islam.

A film by Kim Roden

Created in collaboration with the Advocacy Academy

Shortlisted for Best Short Form Documentary at the Broadcast Digital Awards 2020.

Nominated for the Educational Film Award at The Learning On Screen Awards 2020.

Nominated in the Children’s Broadcasting category at the Sandford St Martin Trust Awards 2020.

Nominated for the Content for Change Award at the Children’s BAFTAs 2019.

The View from the Classroom – Intermarriage

The View from the Classroom – Intermarriage – What is intermarriage, and what do you think about it? Students from Key Stages 4 and 5 in schools all around the country give us the view from the classroom.

An Idiot’s Guide to Politics

An Idiot’s Guide to Politics – What has politics got to do with everyday life? Quite a lot as it turns out. Sophie takes a look at how our lives are shaped by what goes on in the Houses of Parliament, and why it’s important for everyone to get political.

Just So I Know

Just So I Know – When you’re taken into care it can feel scary and confusing. This animation was made by “looked after” young people who explain what happens, and share their feelings about the process.

Courtesy of Biomation.

Haringey People: Elaine

Haringey People: Elaine’s father came to Britain from Jamaica in the mid 1930s to play trumpet in a jazz band, and Elaine was born here in 1939 at the beginning of World War II. She talks fondly of her father’s achievements as a musician and describes how she followed in his footsteps to become an award-winning jazz singer.

This film was made by young offenders taking part in a film training course run by VividEcho and funded by The Big Lottery: Awards for All and Haringey Council.

Haringey People: Huseyin

Haringey People: Huseyin came to Britain as a refugee from Kurdistan in 1985 and found work as a teacher in a Kurdish folk dance school. He talks about the importance of keeping Kurdish traditions alive, both to preserve his culture and to educate the wider community.

This film was made by young offenders taking part in a film training course run by VividEcho and funded by The Big Lottery: Awards for All and Haringey Council.