Robin Buss's pick of the week

10th February 2006 at 00:00
Science: Curriculum Bites; Bitesize Science

BBC2, Thursday, February 16, 4-6am and Friday, February 17, 2-6am

Not everything goes into hibernation over half term: there are still exams to prepare for. Curriculum Bites are short gobbets for insertion in lessons, covering the sort of topics that students find hard to grasp and showing the relevance of science to everyday life (even that of a modern 11 to 14-year-old). Bitesize Science is more specifically directed at older students gearing up for GCSE, and offers short sequences, usually well-explained, with exercises, and can be used in class or by individuals working on their own.

How It's Made

Discovery Channel Sunday, February 12, 8am-7pm

Twenty-two programmes explaining how everyday objects are made: from holograms to peanut butter. Bits and pieces for science and technology.

Uncle Max

CITV, Monday, February 13, 3.45-4pm

Nine-year-old Luke (William Howe) manages to get into all sorts of scrapes with his Uncle Max (David Schneider) in this new ITV series of wordless slapstick comedies, meant for children of around Luke's age. In the first episode, the pair go out for a meal and end up behind the counter as the pizzas fly like custard pies. Later episodes take Max to the cinema, the launderette, the golf course and other danger spots, and should all carry the warning: "Don't try this at home (or anywhere else)." Viewers in the target age group will not be kept quiet, but they will be happy; they may, however, feel puzzled by their parents' ability to refrain from hysterical laughter. After all, didn't that man just get a pizza in his face?

Hop, Skip and Jump; Time to Move; Dance Workshop

BBC Radio4, Tuesdays, February 21 to March 21, 3.55-4.10am; Wednesdays, February 22 to March 22, 3.35-3.55am; Fridays, February 24 to March 24, 4.20-4.40am

There are new programmes coming up after the half term in all these music-and-movement slots for primary schools, designed for recording overnight or when you get in from a really wicked party.

Hop, Skip and Jump is aimed at five to seven-year-olds, who should learn to do what it says in a more co-ordinated and expressive way than they are hopping, skipping and jumping now. New programmes here are on the themes of growing up (Dilly Duckling), unexpected outcomes (Flora the Frog) and friendship (A Perfect Day for it).

Slightly older children (six to eights) have Time to Move which, in the second half of the term, is devoted to a five-part series on the circus, with clowns, tightrope walkers, a flying trapeze, jugglers and acrobats.

Then, for the 9 to 11-year-olds, Dance Workshop offers a five-parter on the Greeks, Odysseus' Voyage: pupils can collaborate in creating performances based on the adventures of the Greek hero. Teachers' notes for all the series online at, and programmes are available on cassetteCD (tel: 08701 272 272).

Full listings can be found at:

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