Television: Pick of the term

5th September 2003 at 01:00
Schools broadcasting for autumn starts with a strong emphasis on citizenship and PHSE, including a new series on Teaching Controversial Issues (C4, from September 24). The main C4 strand for such issues is Life Stuff, which this term has new programmes for 14 to 19-year-olds on drugs, human rights, multiculturalism and other topics, as well as the results of a poll (September 24), investigating what Britain's teenagers think about life, controversial issues and the world around them.

The BBC continues with its excellent series Bitesize Revision, while on Channel Four, for secondary schools, there's lots of new work including five additional programmes for the modern language sitcom Extra, in French, German and Spanish (from October 1), a new series of Design Solutions (from September 23), a geography series on Natural Hazards (from November 5) and, for art, Self-Portrait UK (September 24-October 22), a spin-off from C4's invitation to all of us earlier this year to submit self-portraits for an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and other events.

For English, C4 is repeating its splendid adaptation of Twelfth Night (September 26), then showing a four-part series on the making of the film, in the Film Focus slot (October 3-24). Also for English and media studies, there is a kind of self-portrait by the channel itself, What's This Channel 4? (November 14-28), which describes a typical day in the work of C4, before looking at the processes of scheduling, commissioning and budgeting that allowed the programme to be made.

The Romans are all over the place in primary school history, with a new series for 7 to 11-year-olds on The Romans In Britain (BBC2, from November 21) and, for the same age group, When The Romans Came To Wales (C4, from September 23). For younger historians, the BBC's Magic Grandad meets some famous people, including that scourge of the Romans, Boudicca (from October 3). For 7 to 9-year-olds physics, BBC2 has a series called The Way Things Work (from November 13), which includes information on how to take a mammoth to water and other useful stuff. In What? Where? When? Why? environmental studies is the focus with new programmes on woodlands, schools and transport north of the border (BBC2, from September 11).

BBC Radio 4 has new programmes, too, particularly for English: World Writing (from September 25), stories and poems from different cultural traditions, for 7 to 11-year- olds, and Children of Winter (from September 26), an adaptation for 9- to 11-year-olds of Berlie Doherty's novel about a girl finding a mysterious connection to a family in the past. Finally, BBC2 offers a new six-parter called Citizenship: Thinking Skills (from November 6): 10-minute films designed to help 9 to 11-year- olds to apply their minds.

All these programmes are backed up by resources available from the usual outlets.

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