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Summerhill (TV series) facts for kids

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Summerhill titlecard.png
The opening title of Summerhill.
Genre Children's drama
Written by Alison Hume
Directed by Jon East
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 4
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Tiger Aspect Productions
Distributor Endemol UK
Original network CBBC Channel
Original release 21 January (2008-01-21) – 29 January 2008 (2008-01-29)

Summerhill is a British children's television drama about the famously radical Summerhill School. written by Alison Hume and directed by Jon East. It was first broadcast on the CBBC Channel in January 2008 and was subsequently nominated for three children's BAFTA awards: Best Drama, Best Writer (for Alison Hume) and Breakthrough Talent (for Eliot Otis Brown Walters). It won the awards for writer & breakthrough nominations. The show launched the careers of a number of young actors, most notably Jessie Cave who went on to star as 'Lavender Brown' in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and also Olly Alexander, Eliot Otis Brown Walters, and Holly Bodimeade.

The series was also shown on BBC One, and as a feature-length film on BBC Four.


  • Eliot Otis Brown Walters as Ryan
  • Holly Bodimeade as Maddy
  • Jessie Cave as Stella
  • Olly Alexander as Ned
  • Sam Hoare as Phil


Episode Title Original airdate
1 "Episode 1" 21 January 2008 (2008-01-21)
Welcome to Summerhill, a school where pupils make the rules and are encouraged to play. 11-year-old Maddie is sent to Summerhill after collapsing from exam stress. When she arrives, she can't believe it is true – a school where you don't have to go to lessons, where you're encouraged to play, where you make all the rules yourself and where climbing trees and building boats are definitely part of the curriculum. When 14-year-old Ryan is sent there after no other school can contain his disruptive behaviour, he thinks he has gone to Heaven.
2 "Episode 2" 22 January 2008 (2008-01-22)
New pupils Maddy and Ryan switch roles as Maddy becomes a rebel and Ryan submits.
3 "Episode 3" 28 January 2008 (2008-01-28)
Maddy admits that she, not Ryan, caused the fire at the school.
4 "Episode 4" 29 January 2008 (2008-01-29)
The pupils of Summerhill take the government to court to fight the closure of the school.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipients Result
2008 British Academy Children's Awards Children's: Drama Alison Hume, Stephen Smallwood, and Jon East Nominated
Children's: Writer Alison Hume Won
Royal Television Society Awards Writer of the Year Won
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