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The 25 best movies set in schools

F (2010)

The school: Wittering College, a London school with a particularly violent student body.

The staff: Headmistress Sarah Balham (Ruth Gemmell), PE teacher Nicky Wright (Roxanne McKee), librarian Lucy (Emma Cleasby), and disgraced English teacher Robert Anderson (David Schofield).

The students: Roberts daughter Kate (Eliza Bennett), plus a gang of faceless hoodies.

What weve learned: Schools should probably ban hoodies. And check students for weapons. And also that we never want to go near any school ever again.

Rushmore (1998)

The school: Thatd be Rushmore Academy, a posh private school.

The staff: Principal Dr Nelson Guggenheim (Brian Cox) and first grade teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams).

The students: Rich kids, mostly, plus Latin enthusiast Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), whos there on an academic scholarship until he gets expelled for trying to build an unauthorised aquarium, anyway.

What weve learned: Teenage boys are terrifying.

Donnie Darko (2001)

The school: Middlesex High School, a fairly unremarkable school in Virginia where some decidedly remarkable events play out.

The staff: Science teacher Dr Monnitoff (Noah Wyle), English teacher Karen Pomeroy (Drew Barrymore), and super conservative gym teacher Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant).

The students: Kids whod rather not be there, including Gretchen Ross (Jena Malone), and Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Samantha Darko (Daveigh Chase).

What weve learned: You really need to commit to Sparkle Motion.

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

The school: Buchanan High, a school with a long history, where nothing much has really changed for at least 25 years

The staff: Who remembers their teachers after theyve grown up and moved on?

The students: Peggy Sue (Kathleen Turner), who gets to revisit her high school years after fainting at a reunion; her boyfriend/husband Charlie (Nicolas Cage); artsy loner Michael (Kevin J. OConnor); and other assorted teenagers.

What weve learned: You cant go home again.

Dead Poets Society (1989)

The school: This ones set at the elite boys boarding school Welton Academy.

The staff: English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) is the only important one. A former Welton student himself, hes really into experimental teaching methods.

The students: New kid Todd (Ethan Hawke), smart but sensitive Neil (Robert Sean Leonard), plus a variety of other teenagers yet to discover their true potential.

What weve learned: Following your dreams is difficult.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

The school: Ridgemont High. Obviously.

The staff: Mostly ignored by their students, who are more interested in sex than studying, the only one who makes sure his lessons are received is Mr Hand (Ray Walston).

The students: Stoner Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn); nave Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh); popular Brad (Judge Reinhold); his sometime girlfriend Lisa (Amanda Wyss) and lots more.

What weve learned: Theres more to life than school, but you still have to get through it.

Battle Royale (1999)

The school: Shiroiwa Junior High School, though class 3-B spends much time there.

The staff: Okay, this is a bit of a cheat, since the movie isnt set in a school but its about a class of rebellious schoolkids and their teacher, Kitano (Takeshi Kitano).

The students: Recently bereaved Shuya (Tatsuya Fujiwara); his best friend Nobu (Yukihiro Kotani ); good student Noriko (Aki Maeda); the dangerous Mitsuko (Kou Shibasaki ) and transfer students Shogo (Taro Tamamoto) and Kazuo (Masanobu Ando).

What weve learned: Behave yourself, or your entire class might find themselves shipped off to an island and made to fight to the death.

Election (1999)

The school: Carver High School, Omaha.

The staff: Principal Hendricks (Phil Reeves), and pupil favourite Mr McCallister (Matthew Broderick).

The students: The usual assortment with one student in particular, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) standing out thanks to her hard-headed determination to succeed at any cost.

What weve learned: That people with drive ultimately reach their goals, while being likeable isnt a necessary ingredient for success.

Heathers (1988)

The school: Westerburg High School, another of those all-American schools run by a strongly defined clique system.

The staff: No-one relevant to the story, really.

The students: The Heathers of the title are the popular girls: Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), and Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk). The other member of their group is Veronica (Winona Ryder), but theyre not exactly friends..

What weve learned: Teen angst is deadly.

Carrie (1976)

The school: The scarily named Bates High.

The staff: Gym teacher Miss Collins (Betty Buckley), who cant stop her pupils tormenting one another, and Principal Morton (Stefan Gierasch), who can barely remember their names.

The students: Sheltered and shy Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), cruel bully Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen), her more sympathetic friend Sue Snell (Amy Irving), and her boyfriend Tommy Ross (William Katt).

What weve learned: Dont be a bully. Especially to girls with latent telekinetic powers.