TV and and radio

15th April 2005 at 01:00
Robin Buss's pick of the week

KS3 Bitesize Revision: English

BBC2, Wednesday, April 20, 2-4am

Eleven to 14-year-olds have their own BBC Bitesize programmes and website, and should find both useful in preparing for exams this term. Here the subject is English non-fiction, starting with purpose and audience (what is the text trying to do and to whom), then tactics and techniques, and hints on checking your work. Information is clearly presented and well-designed for the age group.

GCSE Bitesize: Human Geography

BBC2, Wednesday, April 20, 4-6am

This week's GCSE Bitesize goes over the key elements of human geography: cities in more and less economically developed countries, economic and industrial change, weather and climate. A basic skill is learning to read and interpret statistics, and this suggests how you can anticipate what examiners expect and where they will give the highest marks. The website even has a handy countdown calendar, showing how many days are left until the exam.

Foundation: Listen and Play

BBC Radio 4, Tuesdays to May 24, 3-3.15am

This is the third batch of programmes in the foundation series for three to five-year-olds which helps develop literacy through songs, rhymes, stories and games. The programmes in this group have titles like "Ishy Fishy" and "Oggy Dog", and they are linked to "Razzle Dazzle", the new Cbeebies television series which is being broadcast on Thursday and Friday mornings from 10.45-11.05am.

The Fugitives

CITV, Thursdays, April 21-May 26, 4.30-5pm

This new children's drama started last week, but will not be too hard to pick up if you missed episode one. That ended with our nerdy young hero, Jay, telling his friend Melanie: "I think I may be a clone!" As if that wasn't enough, his sinister father seems to be in league with the scientists from the EmbroGen laboratories who want to track Jay down and get back the top secret papers he is carrying. Exciting stuff, with a scientific background and a good script by Harriet Warner.

Trains with Pete Waterman

Discovery Channel, Wednesday, April 20, 8-9pm

Pete Waterman, that scourge of would-be pop idols, is also a railway enthusiast - not one of those characters in anoraks who collect numbers in little notebooks, but a student of railway history and worshipper of steam.

In the first of these programmes, he traced the history of rail travel from the 19th century. This week, he recalls the glory days of the Flying Scotsman and other mighty engines in the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. He explains it well, providing us with useful material for social and industrial history.

Dickens in America

BBC4, Tuesday, April 19, 8.30-9pm

Miriam Margolyes continues her journey, following the young Charles Dickens around America. Not everyone will like her idiosyncratic style, but she has an enthusiasm for her subject that might inspire you to go back to her guidebook, Dickens's American Notes.

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