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The 25 best movies set in schools

Detention (2011)

The school: Grizzly Lake High School. Its mascot is a stuffed bear, which has pride of place in the hall.

The staff: Principal Verge (Dane Cook), himself a former Grizzly Lake student.

The students: Outcast Riley (Shanley Caswell), hipster Clapton Davis (Josh Hutcherson), cheerleader Ione (Spencer Locke), and various other heightened high school archetypes.

What weve learned: Time travel is creepy, the 90s were great, and Clapton Davis dont dance.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

The school: Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois.

The staff: The only one around to supervise a Saturday detention is angry vice principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason).

The students: Again, all stereotypes are present and correct: theres athletic Andy (Emilio Estevez), nerdy Brian (Anthony Michael Hall), delinquent Bender (Judd Nelson), popular Claire (Molly Ringwald), and outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy).

What weve learned: Each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Though some of us more than others.

Dazed And Confused (1993)

The school: Lee High School.

The staff: Dazed And Confused focuses on the transitional periods in the school year moving up from one school to the next, or leaving school altogether so staff are mostly out of the picture. Except Coach Conrad (Terry Mross), who mostly exists to be defied.

The students: Where do we start? There are the athletic seniors, like Pink (Jason London) and OBannion (Ben Affleck) and the popular girls, like Darla (Parker Posey) and Jodi (Michelle Burke). Then there are the nerds, Cynthia (Marissa Ribisi), Tony (Anthony Rapp), and Mike (Adam Goldberg). And there are the new kids, like Mitch (Wiley Wiggins) and his friends. Plus the ones who never moved on, like Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey).

What weve learned: High school in the 70s was awful. AWFUL.

Grease (1978)

The school: Rydell High, as if you didnt already know that.

The staff: The only ones to get a look in, really, are Principal McGee (Eve Arden) and Coach Calhoun (Sid Caesar).

The students: Its another school split neatly into factions, as new girl Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) struggles to find her place among the Pink Ladies while trying to date the leader of the T-Birds, Danny (John Travolta).

What weve learned: You better shape up, you better understand, to our hearts we must be true. Or something.

Clueless (1995)

The school: Bronson Alcott High School, in Beverly Hills.

The staff: Mr Hall (Wallace Shawn) and Ms Geist (Twin Caplan), teachers whose grading curve can be skewed by some well-meaning romantic advice.

The students: Ultimate Valley Girl Cher (Alicia Silverstone), her BFF Dionne (Stacey Dash) and arch enemy Amber (Elisa Donovan), plus new girl Tai (Brittany Murphy) and super cool Christian (Justin Walker).

What weve learned: Jane Austen knew the score, and not much has changed since the 1800s.

Mean Girls (2004)

The school: North Shore High School, a typical American high school that comes with all the unspoken rules and regulations youd expect total gibberish to homeschooled new girl Cady (Lindsay Lohan).

The staff: Maths teacher Ms Norbury (Tina Fey) takes a particular interest in Cady while Principal Duvall (Tim Meadows) takes a particular interest in her.

The students: Cadys torn between two factions: the Plastics, led by head mean girl Regina George (Rachel McAdams), and the cool kids, Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese). Though maybe where she really belongs is with the Mathletes, Kevin (Rajiv Surendra) and Tim (Wai Choy).

What weve learned: Weve all been personally victimised by Regina George, somewhere along the line.