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A short film following the experiences of two young women’s neurodivergence (Autism and ADHD) and the difficulties they encountered in the education system as they journeyed to understand themselves. This documentary highlights the issues surrounding diagnosis for women and girls in the UK and was created in partnership with the BFI during the BFI documentary residential 2024.

Not So Typical

Ruby: As a kid, I didn't really realise that I thought differently and I felt differently. I just felt like a bit of an outsider at times, and I felt like I didn't fully have control in how I was behaving and how I was feeling as much as other people did.

Eva: I had so many friendship issues in school. Um, primary school and secondary school specifically because I wasn't diagnosed, I ended up calling myself a nomad friend. I would move from group to group. I actually struggled really badly with bullying. That period of my life of just being like, I can't change who I am and you're bullying me for it. I got really upset.

Ruby:  I remember always feeling like I couldn't settle into a group in school. I got bullied quite badly through like year 7 to year 9 and that was all surrounding, like how I was like, and I never really fully understood it. But people were just always like, you're too much like you're too loud. You're too intense. If I didn't do my homework, it was because I was lazy or my attendance was really low because I couldn't be bothered to come into school kind of thing. Whereas there was actually like an issue that was going on that was just completely undetected. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 17 years old. I think when it came to getting my diagnosis, it took quite a long time. There's always waiting lists. I started looking into getting the diagnosis at around 15, and I didn't actually get my formal diagnosis and assessment until I was 17.

Eva: I was diagnosed with autism when I was 16, a month before my 17th birthday. My brother's diagnosis was the spurring point of mine. Girls are diagnosed later than boys, especially with autism and a lot of medical conditions. When they first did the research on the topic, they only did it on white boys. They only use them as their subject, and so their symptoms, in a way, are the ones that they look for.

Ruby:  I actually don't really know how I got through school with it being undetected by teachers, because I think, to be honest, like when I look back, I was quite textbook ADHD. I am someone that can't sit still. I've always been fidgety. There's a lot of issues with concentration. I've just felt very misunderstood at school and feel like when you're not made for the society that we live in, you are isolated within such a massive group of people and it can feel like so detrimental to like your mental health. When I think about it, it makes me feel really sorry for that girl, because at the time I was only like, you know, 14, 15 and when you feel like you don't fit into like society, like society was not built for you, you like, you have no other place to go.

Eva: Primary school. I used to cry in a corner when I was overwhelmed, and it was a corner because no one could come behind me. I was safe, no one could touch me. I was there, but it was a lot of almost loneliness. At secondary school I just hated the noise. It was always really loud and so I liked to sit outside, even if it was raining, because it's not noisy outside.

Ruby: When I actually got my diagnosis. I remember speaking to my mother was being like, it's crazy that that was never suggested to us. I got tested for bipolar, I got tested for all sorts of things, but they never even thought about it.

Eva: I find with a lot of people I've spoken to, they're like, oh, they said I had borderline personality disorder. They said I had bipolar. Um, and they get all these misdiagnoses because everything had been done for men. Why aren't we talking about something that half the population of the world goes through or will go through in their life?

Ruby: I think when it comes to women, there is a lot of issues when it comes to getting diagnosed because women's ADHD can manifest in such a different way. I think because women in general kind of have to put on a facade anyway. We're used to performing. That's constantly what I've been doing my whole life. When I was a child, I was always told I was bossy. So then I think I then internalised that and I was like, I can't be that because people don't like bossy women. So yeah, I definitely tried to be something I wasn't, but then that made it so that I was just struggling inside. Whereas now, like I viewed the world just completely differently after I got my diagnosis.

Eva: My diagnosis did empower me. It kind of gave me a reason, and with a reason I could go about doing the things I wanted to do. It definitely gave me freedom, and I feel like I found empowerment in the freedom.

Ruby: I'm so much healthier with my mind. I'll take up however much space I need.


Not So Typical

Video length - 06.03
Published date - Apr 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

This clip comes from the BBC series: Pilgrimage – The Road to Rome.

Over an evening meal, Stephen tells his fellow Pilgrims that – as a gay man – he doesn’t feel accepted by any religion. Dana talks about the problems that many Roman Catholics have, being caught between compassion for their gay friends, and the Church’s definition of marriage which is only between a man and woman. Mehreen talks about her belief that it is wrong to judge others, and Brendan stresses the importance of respect and discussion, and his belief that it isn’t the religions that cause problems, it’s the people within them!

 Watch full episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Pilgrimage Moments: Discussing Homosexuality and Acceptance

Narrator: At the end of a long day, and in keeping with good pilgrim tradition, it's time to break bread together.


Les:         Should do the Italian way where we just chuck all the sauce into the pasta.


Lesley:    Yes.


Stephen:  Can I just ask a question, guys? Oh, guys, I thought this was a great opportunity tonight with such a diverse group to have a talk about religion. Great idea and I want to see if I can be enlightened.


Lesley:    Wowser.


Lesley:    Friends. My family.


Stephen:  One of my main problems seems to be this word intolerance. I don't think for me there is any organized religion or faith that embraces me.


Katy:       Do you mean as a gay man?


Stephen:  Absolutely.


Brendan: If I'm gay in the churches sense Catholic church, that is fundamentally wrong. Now, I know so many gay people. My brother is gay. If that is the case, if that is the Catholic Church belief, then surely my brother is screwed. Stephen is screwed because of one belief of of of the faith. How do you feel about that?


Dana:      I, I also have many friends who are gay that I love very much. Compassionate because I think the gay community suffered greatly. Even among the gay community, there are different ideas, there are different thoughts. I have friends who are gay, who are married because they want to be married. I have friends who are gay who feel that the term marriage or the sacrament of marriage shouldn't be shifted from where it has been between a man and a woman. It's also very difficult if, say, a Catholic, if you believe that a gay person should be given every respect and every protection under the law, but that marriage should be as it has always been, between a man and a woman. And yet, if you say that you're suddenly identified as being homophobic, which is not right either, and even within our church, it's a very contentious issue at this time.


Stephen:  The way you said that so eloquently, if that was the message given out by the church, then people would understand. But if people's kneejerk responses, a marriage between a man and a woman end of, then you're going to upset a lot of people.


Dana:      Yeah. And that's why it's so hard for me to speak on behalf of a church which is already in tumult, you know, trying to sort this question out.


Mehreen: You've been talking about homosexuality, and I don't have enough of an in-depth knowledge about it to make any certain statements. I can't say all Muslims are going to say, yeah, it's cool to be gay at all. I know that I've got friends who are Muslim and gay, and I know that they will probably explain a lot better than me of the reasons why they don't think the two are mutually exclusive. What I can say is that for someone to tell you, you're going to hell. That is a bigger sin than homosexuality. That is the biggest sin. Right.


Stephen:  And that is why this has been a wonderful experience thus far. Because whatever faith or religion you have or you practice, if you don't allow me to ask questions. Yes. And be inquisitive about it. Yeah. And then you reasonably respond to me with something as opposed to rejecting me. We ain't going to get on. Yeah.


Brendan: Uh, I hate to get all lovey dovey and everything, but we're a group of really different faiths and backgrounds. Yet we've all been able to to spend a week in each other's company and have incredible conversations, complete respect for the most part of our different faiths and things. And if you said to me at the start of this week, uh, there's going to be I feel like there's a joke, a muslim, a Jew and a and I've actually learned a lot. And what I've recognized is that it's not the religion that's that's the problem. It's the people within it that create the problems. Because actually the whole party, how can we all get on so, so well with our different backgrounds? Because we're hopefully, for the most part, really genuinely decent people. It's not the religions that define us, it's the people within the religions that create the problems.


Pilgrimage Moments: Discussing Homosexuality and Acceptance

Video length - 04.47
Published date - Mar 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

What are British Values? What do they mean? The government says they are: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, respect for different beliefs – and that they should be taught in schools. TrueTube took to the streets during the late Queen’s Jubilee to test who actually even knows that (?!), in a series of voxpop interviews. But before revealing the answers, we asked the people what they personally think defines ‘Britain’…

British Values

Great Britain. The British Isles. Britannia. We all know what it means to be British. And of course, we all share the same values.


Whoa, hang on. Do we, though? It seems to me there's a lot of debate about that.


Well, you can't get more British than Shakespeare.


What about music festivals?


Bangers and mash.


Barbecues in the rain.


Seaside holidays.


Chicken tikka masala.






Royal Guards.


Folk music.


British bulldog. Taxis.


Carnival. Bowls. British Values. What do you think they are and what do they mean? We sent a film crew out onto the streets of London during the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee to ask random people some key questions about Britain's identity. Are you British?


I am. Yes.


Yes. Yes.


Yes recently. This is the fifth year that I'm living in the UK and I am applying for becoming British. That's why I am still learning from it. I'm from Iran.


I'm as English as they come.


Yes. In education. In values. And in understanding the system. Yes.


I'm Welsh, actually, I'm from Wales. I now live in Newcastle. But yeah, British through and through.




No. We are from India. And we are just students here. Master students.






I am British, born in Scotland, but I classify myself as British. British subject.


What do you think of when I say Britain?


The Queen, the castle and the corgi.


Uh... good humour.




Rain. Although it's not raining.


The bus. The red bus. Of course. Yeah.


You have a pretty flag.


Traditional royal telephone. I mean, not royal.


Number one is the monarchy because there is no other country on the planet Earth that has a constitutional monarchy that has that unique arrangement between parliament, the ministers and monarchy.


What do you think Britain's values are?


There ain't any - that's the problem eh.


With things like democracy, it's obviously really important for our country. And we see around the world where that isn't the case. You know, and how sad that is.


Fairness. That means everybody has a say. Everybody has a part.


Hospitality. Accommodating all people from all around the world, I mean me as well. And the second thing is that they're very kind and very warm.


Today everyone's out being patriotic, isn't it? But yeah. Any other day. No, no one's too English are they.


Being kind? Um, help each other and go to the pub and have fun.


British values used to be according to scripture, according to the Bible.


When we talk about British, we're talking about generosity. Caring. And consideration for other people. Humanity. Humanity. Everything. Multiculture. Multiculture. Yes, of course. Yeah.


I think there's a stigma with British. I think for a lot of people it's probably being well spoken. I think it's being quite upper class, and I think that stigma hopefully has now gone.


Um having your own individual views. Teaching children that they should have a right to be heard and we should listen to them and respect their views and they should therefore respect the views and the rights of other people that they're growing up with.


Next, we told them the government's four official British values: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.


I think they're very good. They should stick to them.


Yeah, I see it in everyday aspects of my life. I can feel it and touch it. Yeah. All these four values, especially democracy.


Are the British living up to those values?


Tries to.


Yeah. Yes they are. Yeah.


No. Do we hell. No, no, not at all, I don't think so.


I think generally the majority of people want to. Whether our leaders do is another matter.


Well, you can't live up to them if you forget God, see if you forget God in your life, you live a life of sin.


They've been supportive for us. And they are always ready to accept everyone from any country or anything like.


I wouldn't agree to that.


Yeah. No, I don't think fully.


Yeah. Rule of law, I think that's a difficult one. I think you should learn enough I think this day and age, and especially down to being able, like, competent when you leave school, to be able to say, well, what is right and wrong?


Not, not every member of the country is equal under the law. And especially those in power. Which is quite hypocritical of them.


You can't preach something and then not do it.


Democracy can be quite a big thing in terms of what we have that other countries necessarily don't. And I think sometimes that can be in a positive or a negative manner.


Sometimes there are only poor choices, but we still have to make a choice.


The actual concept of monarchy is completely contradictory to democracy as a sentiment. It's just one person who has arbitrary power.


We're supposed to be the United Kingdom, but in my opinion, we are now the perverted kingdom. The situation is now that lying has been institutionalised in the political realm.


You definitely feel that our British values have been lost. It seems.


Not lost, destroyed.


What examples are there of British values in action?


I got a neighbour. She's almost about 70 years old, and she told me that she's going to throw a party for the elderly people that are living in the care house - care homes. And she's doing very much in order to prepare food for these parties, for the platinum Jubilee parties. And I'm so excited to see how she's keen to prepare everything for people.


Where we live near Tynemouth, the north coast, there's some groups that support people who are struggling with mental health and they do that by going wild swimming early in the morning. So there's groups for children and for adults to get into the water on the North Sea. Right. Pretty cold and doing that, fresh, in the morning, in the middle of winter, is really helpful for your mental health.


Through work, you know we have the values of treating everyone fairly, making sure that, you know, that we take everyone at face value, that nobody, you know, like pre-judging or down to, you know, anything to do with religion or ethnicity or anything like that. And I think you need to have those values going forward because everybody's equal on that point. So hopefully that's what the next generation will see.


Any country's values change with time and vary from person to person. Traditions matter more to some than others.


Ha! Indeed they do.


But new traditions need the chance to evolve. What do you think of the government's official values and what makes Britain 'Britain' in the 21st century?


British Values

Video length - 7.27
Published date - Apr 2023
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Gay Adoption Attitudes – Gay couples are legally allowed to adopt children in the UK, but it’s a still an issue that provokes strong views in some people… and here they are.

Gay Adoption Attitudes

Video length - 2.27
Published date - Feb 2013
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Gay Marriage Matters – Should gay people have the right to get married? And what’s the point of marriage anyway? Here’s what the people out there are saying.

Gay Marriage Matters

Video length - 2.42
Published date - Feb 2013
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Favourite Teachers

Vox pops on what makes a good teacher. The film asks whether young people agree with recent news articles on needing more male and black teachers to act as role models.

Favourite Teachers

Video length - 02.45
Published date - Oct 2008
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Female Genital Mutilation

Nagla, once a refugee from Djibouti, but now a lawyer in London, talks about this ancient tradition, its place in modern society and why it continues.

Female Genital Mutilation

Video length - 04.46
Published date - Sep 2008
Keystage(s) - 4

Fighting Suppression

Wai Hnin is an asylum seeker from Burma, who fled to England for the chance to study freely. Her father is a political prisoner in Burma, because of this she is constantly under threat in her homeland.

Fighting Suppression

Video length - 04.37
Published date - Aug 2008
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Human Rights: The Global Outlook

Eulette Ewart, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International, sets out their global vision for universal human rights. She explains how the organisation puts its beliefs into practice.

Human Rights: The Global Outlook

Video length - 03.51
Published date - Aug 2008
Keystage(s) - 4
Downloadable resources

People on the street give their views on human rights: what are they, who has them, who enforces them, what do they mean for us and where does the media fit in?

Human Rights: What Do You Think?

Video length - 03.35
Published date - Aug 2008
Keystage(s) - 4