Schools television

16th April 1999 at 01:00

Summer's here and to a lot of people that means one thing and one miserable thing only. No, it's not hayfever or outdoor adventure weeks, it's exams. Be they GCSEs, A-levels, Highers or Standards, exams are going to turn the next few months into absolute purgatory for thousands of students.

But pity the poor parents who have to watch helplessly as their children go glassy-eyed in front of the reasons for the collapse of the Weimar Republic, or try to track down the precise location of the alveoli. In a one-day special, Radio 2 is offering concerned parents advice and information on how they can help their children.

Testing Times has Steve Wright with information on study techniques and how to give the best emotional support; Lynn Parsons has a special phone-in with experts on hand (the number to telephone will be 0500 288 291 from 10.30am). There's also a Radio 2 action line (0800 022 022) which will be dispensing free and confidential advice.

For the poor unfortunates at the coalface, it is also worth mentioning that the award-winning revision series, GCSE Bitesize, is being constantly updated. Three new programmes tackle Design and Technology (April 17 and 18); RE (April 24, June 13 and 10) and Spanish (May 1). All on BBC2 from 3-5am.

Testing Times. Radio 2Monday, April 19, all day.


Imagine Toy Story meeting Tomb Raider and you get a good idea of BBC Schools' brand new animated series for key stage 1 maths. Number Adventures revolves arounds the fantastical escapades of Didi and her favourite floppy toy in their amazing virtual reality quest to solve number puzzles and various other challenges.

The series reflects current numeracy initiatives and provides plenty of opportunity for children to put their knowledge about numbers to the test. It also looks marvellous.

Number Adventures. BBC2. Tuesdays, 12.15-12.30pm. Wednesdays, 11.05-11.20am. Block transmission: May 18, 2.15-4am and May 19, 2-2.45am.


History is currently enjoying such a renaissance on our television screens that the BBC has created a new "zone" in its honour. The History Zone starts broadcasting on April 17 and has a healthy archaeological fascination for all things dead and buried.

First unearthing is in the snappily titled Meet the Ancestors, in which Julian Richards disinters mysteries from the remains of Coventry's once-beautiful gothic cathedral.

Other History Zone programmes include Timewatch and One Foot in the Past.

History Zone: Meet the Ancestors. BBC2. Saturday, April 17, 8.40-9.05pm.

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