Channel 4 is lining up a real-life Grange Hill from the producers of its latest fly-on-the-wall series The Family.

Big School is the first commission from the broadcaster's new two-year£10m pilot fund for multimedia content for 10 to 16 year-olds. It will follow a year group of 11 year olds enrolling this autumn at Dixons City Academy in Bradford.

The series, made by Firefly, aims to capture a child's eye view of the fear and excitement of the first year at secondary school.

Filming has just begun on the 15 x 30-minute series, which is being directed by Ursula Macfarlane, whose credits include Abortion: The Choice and the divorce documentary Breaking Up with the Joneses.

It will broadcast next autumn and C4 is weighing up a 6pm weeknight slot, possibly stripped over three weeks. Alternatively the series could also form part of the channel's weekend morning schedule.

Online, the project will aim to establish a community of primary school students preparing to start at secondary school.

Firefly joint managing director Magnus Temple will executive produce the series, which was commissioned by C4 editor, documentaries Kate Vogel.

Details of the series emerged as Grange Hill ended on BBC1 after 30 years and 601 episodes.

C4 head of education Janey Walker said a key aim of Big School was to turn the observational documentary genre into something that children wanted to watch.

“It's very much about how school appears to these children,” she said. “The Family has shown that documentary and drama don't necessarily have clear delineation and this project will take that further.”

C4 plans to commission a -second factual show from the fund within the next month, with a decision due on a flagship drama by Christmas.

Among those vying for the C4 funds are Lime Pictures, Dubplate Drama producer Livity, Company Pictures in conjunction with Skins creator Bryan Elsley, plus a satirical show from Have I Got News for You Hat Trick producer Richard Wilson.