Robin Buss's pick of the week

24th March 2006 at 00:00
Curriculum Bites: Geography: Future Landscapes BBC2, Thursday, March 30, 4-6am

This new programme for 11 to 16-year-olds illustrates changes in the Earth's surface over time with the use of sophisticated animations and visual effects.

Drama: A structured Approach Teachers' TV, Tuesday, March 28, 11am-12noon

An hour about drama starts with a workshop in which teachers follow the stages that pupils go through in a drama lesson and see how to apply the techniques in the classroom. The same idea is carried on in "Focus, Freeze and Think", and directed more particularly at a primary school setting in "Primary Drama". Finally, in "Teaching with Bayley", John Bayley watches an experienced drama teacher in action and suggests how she might make her rehearsals more focused and better controlled.

Drama in the Curriculum Teachers' TV, Wednesday, March 29, 2-2.15pm

Kate Fanshawe, head of drama at Queensbridge School, Birmingham, argues in favour of introducing her speciality into many areas of the curriculum, and illustrates how it can help in the teaching of science.

Dancing in Science Teachers' TV, Tuesday, March 28, 1-1.30pm

Drama is not the only art than can be applied to science: Victoria Palmer is a primary school teacher who believes that you can teach the subject through dance and teams up with Rachel Freeman to plan and teach a lesson about the human body. The second half is devoted to a post-mortem of the lesson.

Don't Mess With Miss Beckles BBC2, Tuesday, March 28, 9-10pm

Yolande Beckles is an educational motivator, who believes that young people are not being pushed hard enough at school or at home: "Children are now in control!" she proclaims, like a prophet of doom. She is called in to help with three under-achieving teenagers, Luke, Josh and Tom, who are coming towards their GCSEs and liable to do less well than they could.

Yolande realises that the problems start at home, but her attempts to get the boys motivated lead to Luke leaving home, Josh lapsing into sullen revolt and Tom dropping out of the programme when, underestimating the power of love, she tells him to stop seeing his girlfriend. If there is one lesson we do learn, it is that problems in the classroom can extend much further than the school gates, so there is often little that teachers can do about them: a small improvement can be a big achievement.

The Hidden History of Egypt Discovery Civilisation, Saturday, March 25, 7-8pm

The Discovery Civilisation channel is devoting a weekend to Ancient Egypt, including this entertaining talk by Terry Jones on the lives of ordinary people at the time of the Pharoahs and lots more including titles like "Ancient Secrets" and "The Mysterious World of Mummies" abound. Other highlights include a two-part investigation into the death of Tutankhamun ("Who Killed King Tut?", March 26, 9-11pm), alongside biographies of Great Egyptians: Akhenaten, Sneferu, Rameses and the same King Tut.

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