Pick of the week

24th March 2000 at 00:00
Quoting Roman philosophy to an enraged van driver might seem like the very opposite of wisdom, but Alain de Botton believes that great thinkers of the past still have something to teach us which may be of practical use in our everyday lives.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Stoic, wrote a treatise on anger, which is why de Botton believes he may have the answer to road rage (let's forget for the moment that Seneca's most famous pupil was the Emperor Nero, a fact which has always cast doubt on the practical value of whatever he had to teach). Seneca argued that the cause of anger is our surprise when life fails to live up to expectations.De Botton tries this out on van driver Wayne Allingham: "What Seneca would say to Wayne is that traffic jams are neither unfair nor surprising; they are a predictable featureof life."

Equally predictable, on the evidence of this first programme, is that de Botton's study of Montaigne, Schopenhauer, and the rest will prove an enjoyable and informative introduction to the subject, perhaps confounding Seneca's assertion that "philosophy is not an occupation of a popular nature".

PHILOSOPHY: a guide to happiness. Channel 4. Sunday March 26, 7-7.30pm


These five new programmes for KS1 deal in turn with five of the world's great faiths: Hinduism (water), Islam (moon), Judaism (candle), Buddhism (tree) and Sikhism (sword). Built around the experience of a child being brought up in the faith, each programme includes a story cnnected with it and explains one of its rituals. There is also an activity book with suggestions for additional work and photocopiable pages.

Stop, Look, Listen: Water, Moon, Candle, Treeand Sword. Channel 4. Tuesdays, repeated Fridays29 February to March 31 9.45-10am


After the collapse of the Ceausescu regime in 1990, some 600 Romanian children were adopted by British couples. Ceausescu's encour-agement of large families had produced a large population of unwanted children who were packed into state orphanages where they suffered the most appalling neglect, often being tied to their cots and left entirely without human contact.

The circumstances of these adoptions has formed the basis for a unique survey to analyse the effects of deprivation in early childhood. This moving film tells the story of three couples who are part of that survey, while also commenting on what they have learned from the experience. The outcomes have been very different: in the best case, two adopted children are growing up apparently well-adjusted (though with some learning difficulties); in the worst, there are severe behavioural problems.

There is nothing surprising in the interim conclusion of the study:that deprivation in the early years leads to behaviour and learning problems which vary in severity according to the extent of the deprivation - and that the damage is only partially reversible.

The Forgotten Children

BBC1 March 28, 10-10.50pm

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today