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Television: pick of the week

GCSE BITESIZE REVISION: Design and Technology. BBC2 Monday, May 27. 2-4am

Plenty to get your teeth into here - though food technology is only one of the six areas offering revision bites and test bites for GCSE students. The others are: electronics, graphics, resistant materials, systems and control and textile technology. Is a meringue a foam? What would be the most suitable process for printing a brochure in one colour? What on earth is an inverting amplifier? With thorough revision notes and multi-choice tests to check what you have learned, the programme and the accompanying website form an invaluable resource for anyone who is serious about GCSE.


The theme on the BBC Learning Zone this month is travel and tourism, with programmes about working abroad in the tourism business, setting up for yourself (for example, running a hotel), using computer skills in a travel agency or airline, customer care, communication skills, work experience (in which three young people do some research and writing for a series of travel guides) and other topics in an important and expanding area. Tonight's programmes concentrate on health and safety, with a guide to the safety priorities in jobs connected with travel and tourism and advice on finding the right career.

THE ENGLISH PROGRAMME: Gift of the Gab. C4 Video pound;19.99

The video of these five 25-minute programmes on literary genres is now available, together with online notes and other extras. Designed to introduce 14 to 16-year-olds to different types of literary texts, it gets authors to reveal how they achieve their effects and encourages pupils to develop skills in writing and studying literature. The authors on display include scriptwriter Graham Linehan (who talks about Father Ted), poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill (who writes in Gaelic) and music journalist Stuart Bailie, who quotes Frank Zappa to the effect that music journalists are people who can't write, writing for people who can't read. Needless to say, he disproves the assertion. Novelist Glenn Patterson, who introduces the series, contributes some reflections on his own craft as well as those of his fellow writers, and manages to get most of them to talk interestingly about what they do.

SCIENCE IN FOCUS SPECIAL: Time and Place in the Communication Age. C4 Video, pound;14.99

Two 25-minute programmes for 14 to 16-year-olds on measuring time, finding directions and related topics. The first programme looks at the history of time measurement. In the 21st century we all take it for granted that time can be measured with exact precision. However, only a short time ago the performance of athletes could not be measured in hundredths of a second, and not so long before that clocks were set by the Sun and the times by which people lived and worked were very approximate.

The same goes for people's sense of place and their maps of the world around them. Programme two shows how satellite technology and information technology have transformed our ability to situate ourselves on the Earth's surface.

Finally, the series considers how the next generation will exploit the achievements of technology in these fields.

Full educational programme schedules can be found online at: guide.shtml www.channel4.comlearningmainprogrammessummer2002.cfm

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