Educational TV can be fun too

19th September 1997 at 01:00
Benjamina Avro, 9, is in Year 5 at The Royal School in Hampstead, north London

We watch TV programmes once or twice a week at school. Our teacher records science programmes to watch in lessons. They are on really early in the morning, so you can't watch them at home because most people want to sleep. We watch a French programme with a big, hairy creature from space. He has been put in prison by the king and he talks to the other prisoners about going home. He talks in French and then you hear it in English. The programme lasts about 35 minutes. Everyone enjoys watching TV instead of doing work.

I watch educational programmes because I like TV and it doesn't feel like doing work. We have to listen, though, because the teacher asks us all about it at the end. You get into trouble if you haven't listened.

TV tries to teach you in a nice and funny way. It's good for children who don't like studies.

At home I watch soaps and cartoons, but they aren't educational. Neighbours teaches you a little bit about real life but only how people who live on the street get on. You don't get to know much about the real world in school, but it's important. If you go on holiday you have to know about the world outside you. I think every school term there should be a programme on a different country so that you could learn about all kinds of cultures. If I see a history programme on television I watch it because it's educational.

I think that educational programmes should be on when you get home from school, not just cartoons and soaps. Educational programmes are interesting because they are on all different subjects. I think we should watch educational TV in school - not every day, but three times a week. I learn from educational TV, but if you don't understand you can't ask the presenter to explain it. When it's a teacher you can put up your hand and they'll explain it to you. TV is more fun but it doesn't always answer your questions.

Anoushka Thomas, 8 is in Year 4 at St Luke's C of E Primary School in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

We watch programmes to help us with our school projects, like the one we did on India. They help us to learn about different subjects. My favourite was a cartoon on Ancient Greece.

I like to watch educational programmes. Sometimes you can have fun when you're working on them. But there are boring programmes too. I still like them because they help you learn more and the teacher doesn't talk that much. They help you to study, and when the programme's finished you have to study even more. We have to write about it, read a book and do a worksheet. I think it's important to study them because I won't get an education otherwise.

When I'm at home, I never get to watch what I want on TV. My Mum, older sister and I all want to watch different things and end up fighting over the channels. It's always my sister who wins. Her educational programmes are boring; mine are much more interesting. I only get to watch Fifteen to One and Countdown. They help me with my spelling and maths.

Cartoons are fun. The characters always get blown up and then they come back to life. I don't think it's real. I watch EastEnders, but it's not educational. They don't do the things that real people do. They're always in the pub and they're always kissing. I don't think it's like real life. Not like my life!

I would like more educational programmes on maths and science. When we come home from school, its just rubbish on TV. If information programmes were on all day and on all the channels, I could write stuff down and then study from them. I'd like to be able to do that.

Interviews by Jack Stevens, 16, and reporters Chris Fletcher, 11, Cenk Ceki, 10, Eugene Asare, 12. Edited by Julia Press, 17

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