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You are the censor

Giving the students some hands-on experience of what the BBFC does is a good way of getting pupils talking about this issue, as well as highlighting how subjective some of these judgements are.

Teacher's preparation


1-2 hours

Age range


You will need

Internet access, DVD player, DVDs, BBFC guidelines

How to do this activity

Put the students into groups and show them a selection of clips from a range of different genres. Ask them what age they think they are suitable for. Some interesting choices might be violence in cartoons/family blockbusters, also shocking images in documentary and the news.

Good starting point films

  • The footage depicting the aftermath of the American invasion of Iraq in Fahrenheit 911
  • The 'torture' in The Incredibles
  • The Sandman could spark interesting discussions about classification in secondary schools.

And to finish

Repeat the exercise, giving the students copies of the BBFC Guidelines for each certificate - ask them to use the BBFC guidelines to judge what certificate the film 'should' receive. You can then reveal how close they are to the original certificate.