Teens on Trial
C4, Monday-Friday, May 9-13, 9.30-10am; Friday, May 13, 10-10.30am
Six programmes in which barrister John Cooper advises and presides over a court where teenage miscreants are prosecuted and defended by "barristers" of their own age before being sentenced by a jury of their peers. First up in the dock is 15-year-old Kirsty, a shoplifter with a taste for large earrings, who proves a tough case for her defence team as they try to prove that she has just been led astray by her friends. The jury looks sceptical.
She faces three possible verdicts: community service, counselling to help her resist peer pressure or an acquittal. As well as suspense, the series provides important lessons for 14 to 19-year-olds in PSHE and citizenship.
How We Used to Live: Tony Robinson's Local History
C4, Wednesdays, May 11-June 8, 5.30-5.45am.
Tony Robinson goes to four contrasting areas and activities in the UK to find out about local activities in the present and the past: farming at Cookstown in Northern Ireland; mining and steelmaking in Ebbw Vale, South Wales; transport in Perth, Scotland; and the defence industry at Portsmouth. Local experts and children from primary schools in each area tell us why particular industries were located there and how people's lives have been affected by them. Ultimately, 7 to 11-year-old viewers should be able to discuss how the places where they themselves live differ from those shown in the programmes, why their own localities were settled, how local industry has changed, and what evidence might be used to explore social history. All four programmes are also available on video with programme notes (Channel4 Learning, PO Box 400, Wetherby, LS23 7LG).
American Voices; Black People of the Americas; The World Since 1945 BBC2, Wednesday, May 11, 2-6am.
Black history is the central topic explored in these programmes for secondary students - though it is not the only topic in "American Voices", a remarkable anthology of testimony on modern America, from the immigration of the 1900s up to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, through the words of those who were there. The second series is a five-parter for younger students (14 to 16-year-olds) in which a British boy sets out to discover his roots, starting with the 18th-century slave trade. The series includes a rare interview with Rosa Parkes, the woman who led the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. Finally, as dawn breaks, "The World Since 1945" gives a brief account of South Africa under apartheid.
BBC2, Tuesdays, May 10-June 14, 5.30-5.45am.
The cartoon character Professor Allegro appears courtesy of the series Music Makers, for 7 to 9-year-olds, and takes us on five informative journeys to suitable locations where he can illustrate basic musical concepts: rhythm, pitch etc, in city, mountains, ocean, snowscape and fields. Each programme gives a new song to learn and features a particular instrument: piano, panpipes, percussion and strings.
Full listings can be found at: