8th June 2001 at 01:00
PICK OF THE WEEK: Harrow: the school on the hill ITV, from Tuesday, June 12, 7.30-8pm

It costs nearly pound;17,000 a year to send a boy to Harrow, even before you have kitted him out with a boater and other essential items, so this eight-part Carlton TV series is going to make many parents - and teachers - feel like urchins with their noses pressed to a shop window. Some boys, imagining themselves in the place of young Harrovian James as he prepares for his first term, may feel less keen on the idea of life away from home, even in a barracks as well appointed as this one.

Every so often, a television company decides it's time to give a plug to one of the great public schools, so a camera crew is duly despatched to film the cadet force, the drama society, the orchestra, and a Latin lesson or two. The result is seldom unfavourable to the institution in question. Not that the material has to be manipulated too much. Harrow has no problems with class sizes, facilities or recruiting good staff; the pupils are well behaved, well adjusted and ready to take their place in society.

Harrow used to have a reputation for snobbishness; nowadays, says the head, Barnaby Lenon, parents send their children for the" life opportunities". But they don't come cheap.

* Cardiff Singer of the World BBC Knowledge, Monday, June 11 to Friday, June 15, 6.30pm.

The final of the Cardiff Singer of the World competition will be shown on BC2, on June 16, but for real enthusiasts BBC Knowledge is covering the preliminary rounds, in which young opera singers compete in front of a jury that includes Dame Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Home.

BEST FOR SCHOOLS History in Action: weapons of war C4, Mondays, June 11 and 18, 11.40am-12noon.

There are two new units to conclude this series for 14 to 16-year olds, which is designed for the history study unit "A World Study After 1900" and also for GCSE modern world history. After the First and Second World Wars, there is a unit on the development of superpower strategies in the Cold War, and the technology that kept a "balance of terror" between the US and the USSR. The second unit looks at Smart weapons, laser weapons and intelligence-gathering devices.

BEST FOR CHILDREN Against All Odds: BBC1, Tuesday, June 12, 5-5.30pm.

Kate Sanderson presents a new set of programmes in the series reconstructing real-life dramas in which children have saved the day "against all odds". In the first programme, a boy runs for help after a 13-year-old falls out of a tree, a girl's life is saved by her sister when she gets a lollipop stuck in her throat, and a rider with a broken leg manages to call for help on her phone.

Robin Buss

Full educational programme schedules can be found online at

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