Hi Phill, and glad you are experimenting with NHSbuntu!
When you say movies, what format are they in? In general Ubuntu supports open movie formats quite well, although some multimedia content requires non-free non-open source plugins (MP3 being an example), which is why these are not distributed with the base Ubuntu image. For common video formats like AVI, MP4, etc you need only install VLC Media Player, which is a very capable cross-platform media player, and includes codecs and plugins for the formats you are likely to need.
We can’t include non-free code in an official Ubuntu variant however, hence the omission of VLC from NHSbuntu. Linux Mint (a non-official Ubuntu variant which I personally love) includes VLC out of the box, which they can do because they are not constrained by Ubuntu policy.
Some e-learning content I’ve seen has been in Adobe Flash format, which is so riddled with security issues that most browsers no longer fully support it. Apple’s iOS doesn’t support Flash at all for this reason, and we’re with them on that! Ubuntu has only sketchy support for Flash - it will run, but more often than not it crashes for some other (non-Ubuntu-related) reason. Flash code is semi-deprecated across the industry so is often not well maintained.
[ As an aside, there’s nothing (well nothing secure that is) that you can do with Flash that you can’t now do with HTML5 and JS. So let’s all stop buying Flash-based eLearning dross ]
Are there any other formats you are likely to need? Let me know and I’ll see if we can help guide you.