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The Ups of Down’s – Oliver Hellowell is a wildlife photographer with fans all over the world. He also has Down’s Syndrome which means he has an extra chromosome in each of his cells. Chromosomes carry instructions for the way babies develop and grow, and most people have 46 in each cell. People with Down’s Syndrome have 47 – an extra copy of chromosome 21 – which can cause learning disabilities. In this film, Oliver’s mother Wendy describes what it was like to have a child with Down’s Syndrome, and how Oliver – and his photographs – have changed her life for the better.

A film by Kim Roden.

The Ups of Down’s

Video length - 05.58
Published date - Mar 2018
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

To Life – Tanwen’s father Gareth died when she was 19 years old. He was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease which was gradually taking away his ability to move, to speak, to swallow. And yet he remained positive until the end, and sincerely wanted Tanwen to continue enjoying life to the full. Tanwen talks about how her father died and how she dealt – and still deals – with her grief. He died before his time, but Tanwen now feels that it was the best thing that could have happened – that he died while he still had his dignity.

A film by Adam Tyler.

Nominated in the Factual category of the BAFTA Children’s Awards 2017.

To Life

Video length - 08.38
Published date - Jun 2017
Keystage(s) - 3, 4 and 5
Downloadable resources

The Five Pillars of Islam – It’s Ramadan, so Faysal and Jubayr are up at two in the morning to eat before the fast begins at sunrise. We follow the boys throughout their day as they explain the most important things they have to do as Muslims: The Five Pillars of Islam.

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:



Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teachings and practices- Islam -Practices and Duties - Five Pillars of Sunni Islam and the Ten Obligatory Acts of Shi’a Islam. Salah and its significance: how and why Muslims pray including times, directions, ablution (wudu), movements (rak’ahs) and recitations; salah in the home and mosque and elsewhere. Sawm: the role and significance of fasting during the month of Ramadan including origins, duties, benefits of fasting.



Area of Study 3 - Section 3: Living the Muslim Life - Islam - Sawm as one of the Five Pillars: the nature, role, significance and purpose of fasting during Ramadan and Salah



Component Group 1–Practices - Islam - Public acts of worship - Salah as direct communication with Allah. The importance of practices - Islam as a way of life, lived in total submission to Allah • The importance of the Five Pillars of Islam to Sunni Muslims • The meaning of the Five Pillars: •• Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith •• Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day •• Zakat/Zakah: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy •• Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan •• Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca • The analogy of the house and pillars



2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A Islam - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam -Prayer/ Salat  Adhan call to prayer, praying at mosque and Friday Jummah prayer (Qur'an 15:9899, 29:45)  Praying at home, private prayer (Du'ah)  The preparations and intention for prayer: wudu and niyyah  The significance and symbolism of the different prayer positions that make a rakat (sequence of prayer) Obligatory Acts  Shahadah: the Muslim profession of faith in Allah and the prophet Muhammad; occasions when the Shahadah is recited, e.g. aqiqah ceremony, conversion to Islam  Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit others, what zakat tax may be used for, and additional charity (saddaqah)  Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan. How and why Muslims fast during Ramadan and rules about halal and haram diet (Qur'an 2:183)



Component 3 (Route A): Study of a World Faith: Option 3: Islam:Practices: The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam: practices in Britain and elsewhere: Shahadah: the Muslim statement of faith: Qur'an 3:18 ➢ Zakah: How Sunni Muslims make payment of charity tax, alms and how zakat money may be spent ➢ Sawm: How Sunni Muslims fast during Ramadan: Qur'an 2:184. Issues relating to Muslims fasting in Britain ➢ Hajj: How Sunni Muslims undertake pilgrimage to the Ka'ba in Makkah; Qur'an 2:125. Issues relating to Muslims in Britain undertaking Hajj ➢ Salah: the practices of prayer in Islam in the mosque and at home, including Jummah prayer: Qur'an 15:98-99, Qur'an 29:45

The Five Pillars of Islam

My name is Faisal Bachani.

And my name is Jabarah Bachani.

We live in Beckenham. We're both 16 years old, and we're twins. Me, Jabarah, um, I'm older.

We live in Beckenham. We're both 16 years old,

and we're twins. Me, Jabarah, um, I'm older.

Well, Jabarah is older by one minute, but I'm still taller. We are both Muslims. My family is all Muslim.

We're quite religious. We practice a lot, especially my dad. At the moment we are in the sacred month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. Sacred because Prophet Muhammad received the first word of the Qur'an, the sacred book for Muslims. During Ramadan, Muslims are meant to fast. We're not meant to eat or drink from when the sun comes up to when the sun comes down. The first meal of the day before sunrise is called sehri. The Muslim year is shorter than the western year, and this means that Ramadan becomes earlier by ten days each year. At this present time, Ramadan is in the summer. Um, the days are quite long.

The most important things as Muslims we have to do are called the five Pillars of Islam. A pillar is a column that basically holds up a building. They support the whole faith, so without them it wouldn't be Islam. So the first pillar of Islam is the Shahadah. We have to say the shahadah. (Says Shahadah in Arabic) There is only one God and the Prophet Muhammad is his messenger.

The second pillar of Islam is Salat, which is a prayer. Muslims are expected to pray five times a day. Wudu is a way to cleanse yourself before prayer. You have to wash your face, wash your hands, wash your arms, wash your legs. The call to prayer is done just at the beginning of Fajr, which is the first prayer of the day.

My father usually leads the prayer. My grandpa usually prays with us as well. My mom and my grandma usually pray with the group, but because the camera people were here today, they prayed in a separate room. Muslims pray in the direction of the Ka'bah, a big cube shaped building which is in Makkah, because Muslims believe that the Ka'bah is the house of God. During prayer, you have to recite passages of the Qur'an and then you have to prostrate to Allah. It's when you bow to God. It symbolises that he is the one Lord. He created all of us and he alone deserves praise and we are his servants.

It is quite hard to concentrate in lessons. When you're fasting, you feel the urge to eat, your tummy constantly hurts and your mouth is quite dry all the time. I think you're exaggerating a little bit. If it's on the first day, yeah, it's going to be hard, but the other days you get used to it. Sometimes it's bad, but like, it depends on the day, really.

In school at lunchtime, we pray the Zuhr, the second Zuhr. We usually pray in the chapel, sometimes with friends or sometimes alone.

The third pillar of Islam is called Zakat, and it is where Muslims give charity to the poor. Instead of using my lunch money for lunch for Ramadan, I would save the money for charity. When we start earning, we will give Zakat, which is a 40th of our money left over when we've paid for our homes and food. Sadaqah is voluntary act of giving to charity because we don't earn yet we give to Sadaqah. We regularly go to a charity shop on the high street. I do ironing, I iron some clothes, we label clothes, we help out the reception area. It's better to go out and help others rather than sitting at home.

The third prayer of the day is called Asr.

The fourth pillar of Islam is sawm, or fasting, on the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims are meant to feel what it's like to feel poor. It's meant to make us grateful for what we have rather than wanting more. It's also meant to cleanse us because it is a holy month.

My mom and my grandma usually don't wear a headscarf in the house, but Muslim women usually cover their hair in the presence of strangers. When the sun goes down, we are free to eat. Usually we first of all have a date and a glass of water and then we pray Maghrib Salat, which is the fourth salat. And then after that we have a big feast. We, um, have our favourite food. My mom cooks a lot of food. That meal is called iftar. It feels great. You know, it feels great to, um, to eat again, you know, you feel, you feel for those who don't have enough food for for a day or for a year.

The fifth pillar of Islam is Hajj. It's a sacred pilgrimage to Makkah. You have to do a lot of rituals, and you have to also visit a lot of places where the prophets visited. The most important part of the Hajj is visiting the Ka'bah, which is the house of God. The hajj happens in a specific month, Dhu al-Hijjah, we ourselves haven't actually been to Hajj, but we've been to a minor one called Umrah. We didn't do it in that specific month, but we saw the Ka'bah. It's a lot different from the pictures, you feel in awe of it. Our dad wants us to go on the Hajj in two years time. He wants us to become a bit more mature first, you know.

Usually we pray Isha, which is the fifth prayer in the day, at home with our family, but because it's Ramadan, we pray Isha at the mosque. You see a lot of your friends, a lot of your relatives, you know, it's very happy sight in the mosque. Your, your mind is focussed on praying so you feel closer to God. Ramadan is quite an important part of Islam. It's quite special to me because I do a lot of different stuff in Ramadan. It brings our family together. It makes us all kind of come together and eat together. I think it's special because in Ramadan I feel closer to God. The five pillars are special to me because they are the most important part of Islam, without which you can't really call yourself a Muslim.

The Five Pillars of Islam

Video length - 7.00
Published date - Oct 2015
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Getting the Band Back Together – When a band splits up, it’s often up to the manager to get the members back together; but when a family falls out, what they often need is a Family Therapy session to help them listen to each other. This animation was made by a group of young people who have all benefitted from family therapy.

Courtesy of Biomation.

Getting the Band Back Together

Video length - 03.40
Published date - Jun 2015
Keystage(s) - 2 and 3
Downloadable resources

Psychosis – “I’ve stopped seeing friends, I can’t trust people, I don’t know what’s real…” How does psychosis make you feel? This animation helps you to recognise the signs so you can get the help you need.

Courtesy of Biomation.


Video length - 01.35
Published date - Feb 2014
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Christian Funeral – How do you want to be remembered? Since Romario’s grandmother died, he has been thinking about what happens at a Christian funeral, and the mark he wants to make on the world during his lifetime.

Christian Funeral

Video length - 7.33
Published date - Dec 2013
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Doorways: Kev – Thinking about leaving home? Kev is a Homeless Youth Specialist whose job it is to support young people and their families to help prevent homelessness. He takes us through what will happen if you go to the council for help, and what the reality is for young people trying to find accommodation.

Funded by Essex County Council.

Doorways: Kev

Video length - 04.52
Published date - Jan 2013
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Doorways: Sebastian’s father threw him out when he was just 17, so he went to the council for help. He thought that all he would have to do was fill out a form to get a council flat, but in reality he had to spend a difficult time in a mixed hostel and a houseshare. Sebastian shares his experiences and talks about his ambitions for the future.

Funded by Essex County Council.

Doorways: Sebastian

Video length - 06.07
Published date - Jan 2013
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Doorways: Holly left home at the age of 16 after a long period of stealing from her parents to fund a drug habit. She speaks frankly about her experiences in a “foyer” – supported housing for young people – and “sofa surfing” with her friends, and then back with her mother where she finally took the opportunity to turn her life around.

Funded by Essex County Council.

Doorways: Holly

Video length - 05.37
Published date - Jan 2013
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

I’m Sorry

When did you last say sorry? TrueTube takes to the streets and asks why saying sorry – and being forgiven – are so important to relationships of all kinds.

I’m Sorry

Published date - Sep 2012
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources