Looking ahead

Term ends and Teachers' TV is in the mood for reflection, so it drops in on newly qualified teachers to discover how they managed during their induction year. In Testing Times and Passing Out (November 29 and December 2), Sara Bubb watches some NQTs in primary schools, while a bit later, on the same days, in Survival Secrets and First Year and Beyond, Elizabeth Holmes does the same for NQTs in the secondary sector. The theme, in all cases, is learning from experience.

Teachers' TV likes to remind us why we went into teaching in the first place, something that is easy to forget at the end of a hard year. Michael Rosen's new series, Reading Aloud, is about how people learn to love books.

On November 28, Anne Diamond describes how a teacher inspired her to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and what the book has meant to her since. Teaching With Bayley this month suggests some ways to deal with an unresponsive English class (Teachers' TV, December 7).

Television and even radio can be helpful, particularly in small chunks, for some unlikely subjects. Numbertime (BBC2, Thursdays, to December 15; BBC Radio 4, Wednesdays, to November 30) is about counting, adding and subtracting, for Years 1 and 2. The maths jogs along, assisted by songs, music and rhymes.

Radio is a brilliant medium for exercises of this kind that require concentration: as one Numbertime presenter, reminded her audience: "If you find it easier, you can close your eyes... "

You can keep them closed, too, for A Christmas Carol. The radio series for seven to nine-year-olds, Words Alive!, has just started a seasonal three-part adaptation of Charles Dickens's story (BBC Radio 4, November 17 to December 1), which examines the structure of the narrative and elements such as character and plot. May it haunt your house pleasantly, as its author wished.

Remember that the BBC schools radio website (www.bbc.co.ukschoolradio), as well as providing useful programme notes, has an "audio on demand" service that allows you to listen to new programmes after their first broadcast; and the whole series is available on cassette and CD (Tel: 08701 272 272, to order).

Robin Buss

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