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Television: Pick of the week

The Illustrated Mum

C4 Friday, December 5, 9.30-11.15am

Michelle Collins stars in this outstanding, six-part adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson's novel; she plays Marigold, a single mother with two children by different fathers who is having a hard struggle to cope with her mental problems as well as with unpaid electricity bills and other everyday matters. This is a warm, believable story about family relationships, love, caring and mental illness that shows understanding and evokes sympathy for all those involved. It will provide work in English for its target audience of 11 to 16-year-olds, but could also be relevant for citizenship and PSHE.

Mapping of Crime

BBC2 Tuesday, December 2, 2-3.30am

Geography Week here on BBC2 starts with a fascinating new four-parter on patterns of crime, looking at the distribution and detection of criminal behaviour. It is followed by a unit on globalisation and, on Wednesday night, by "World Physical", a unit on physical geography dealing with topics such as plates, rivers, coasts and rain. Finally, on Thursday, "Geography in Animation" examines coastal erosion, hydrology, climatic change and the woodland ecosystem. All for overnight recording.

Transport in Scotland

BBC2, Mondays, December 1 and 8, 12.10-12.30pm

These three new programmes for 10 to 12-year-olds in the series "Around Scotland" explore transport matters, in a Scottish context; they began on November 24 with the urban environment: what should be done about cars in towns? This week, we turn to the needs of country dwellers, which are not always met by a dwindling network of public transport. Finally, on December 8, the programme looks at some options for the future.

New Kid in Class

BBC2 Mondays, December 1 and 8, 11.50am-12.10pm

These two films for PSHE and citizenship for seven to 11-year-olds are about children who have to move schools - a girl whose father is in the Army, a trainee circus clown and others with complex family backgrounds.

The second part concerns those who change school and country - like Jack, who has moved from Scotland to the USA, Dubai and England. All the participants emphasise the difference that even one friendly person at a new school can make.

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