Robin Buss's pick of the week
Go For It!Something Special
BBC2 Thursday and Friday, June 24 and 25, 2-6am
Special needs is the subject for the last of this year's overnight broadcasts on BBC2, starting with a number of programmes in the Go For It! strand. The first is a seven-parter on relationships, designed for pupils aged 12 to 16 plus with severe learning difficulties; it covers such topics as identity, feelings and sexual relationships. This is followed by Choices, a documentary-style series for the same age group about coping with everyday life: keeping clean, going out for meals etc. Teachers' notes are available for this and for Lifeskills on June 25 for older teenagers and should help them cope with everyday matters after leaving school. Also on June 25 is a new series, Something Special, to help teachers get much younger children with learning difficulties develop language and communication skills through rhymes, songs and sketches. This is followed by a 30-minute programme on Asperger syndrome and, finally, by Bini: four animated stories for pre-readers.
Primary Geography Shorts: Environmental Change
BBC2 Monday and Tuesday, June 21 and 22, 12-12.10pm10.40-10.50am
These two 10-minute programmes on environmental change go to contrasting locations. On Monday, we visit Kakonosze, a managed forest in the Sudety mountains on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. Some of the woodland here is very ancient and the birch forest has been exploited for timber, but not always with regard to the environment. On Tuesday morning, we look at the effects of human activity on the Colorado drylands and the techniques used by farmers in the area to prevent the topsoil from eroding.
You can get a video plus pack of all four programmes in the series (including Somerset and Berlin), available at pound;34.99 from BBC Customer Services, Tel: 0870 830 8000.
Word Games 2
BBC Schools Radio Tuesday, June 22, 3.45-4.30am
A series of word games, giving extra support in grammar to seven to nine-year-olds, and ending today with verb tenses, adverbs and a revision programme. If you missed the earlier parts, you can get all 10 programmes on tape, plus a teachers' activity book, for pound;2.15 and pound;13.99 respectively, from BBC Customer Services.
Twenty Minutes: Joyce and Homer
BBC Radio 3 Friday, June 18, 8.15-8.35pm
June 16 this year marked the centenary of "Bloomsday", a fictitious anniversary, since Ulysses was first published in 1922 and June 16, 1904 is the single day on which Joyce imagined the action taking place. One Joyce scholar, with a better sense of humour than some, is Senator David Norris, a member of the Dail, who here takes a sly look at the links between the novel and its predecessor, Homer's Odyssey. The mythical centenary will not be at all insubstantial if it brings new readers to a great novel.