This is High School, a CBC-TV documentary shot at South Kamloops secondary in April, starts airing Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
The six-part series is set in a high school described as both extraordinary and ordinary, “where teachers, led by a passionate principal, go the distance to prepare their students for adult life. But when you're dealing with teenagers, nothing is ever straightforward.”
The show offers a fly-on-the-wall treatment of the subject, similar to that of Keeping Canada Alive, a CBC series on health care that aired last fall. Its aim is to capture the challenges of facing both educators and students in a 21st-century Canadian high school.
It’s not an exposé, though.
“If anything, This is High School is a love letter to teachers, celebrating the amazing work and downright heroism that educators bring to their job every day,” the producers say.
In each episode, viewers see two students struggle with fitting in, falling out, exam pressure, peer pressure, first love and last chances, and other pervasive issues facing youth today. In the end, they overcome their challenges with the help of the school's tireless staff. The students always come out having learned something--and often the teachers have, too.
The series follows in the path of recent education-focused British TV documentary programs examining the inner workings of schools. The mini genre was kicked off by Channel 4's hit, the award-winning series Educating Essex, which combined fly-on-the-wall footage from inside a secondary school with interviews of staff and students by the documentary's director.