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TV and radio

Robin Buss's pick of the week

KS3 Bitesize Revision: Maths

BBC2, Wednesday-Friday, April 27-29, 2-4am

The key stage 3 overnight Bitesize slot this week is devoted to maths, starting with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percentages, and so on.

In "Maths 2", we move on to algebra, measures, shape and space, while "Maths 3" ties it all up with powers, co-ordinates, roots, graphs and probability.


BBC2, Thursday, April 28, 4-5am

L8r comes earlier with this night-time broadcast for the series of video dramas which all end in a question mark. After watching, 14 to 18-year-olds can make decisions about the lives of the six teenagers involved, through the website The problems facing this unfortunate crew concern sex, relationships, drugs and personal responsibility, and their lives are fraught with agonising dilemmas and spent against a background of Formica-clad coffee bars and dingy discos which, one hopes, may not represent the full panoply of modern teenage life; but it is just as well to be prepared for the worst. The series is designed for PSHE, citizenship and English in schools, as well as for youth and community programmes.

Scene Drama: Odd Squad

BBC2, Thursday, April 28, 5-5.30am

Zach, Ellie and Joe (actors Thomas Morrison, Rasmus Hardacre and Hester Ullyat pictured below), the central characters in this comedy-drama by John Godber and Jane Thornton, are three 16-year-olds in Hull, drawn to each other because they all feel a bit left out of the mainstream. With humour and feeling,, the film explores successes and failures in communication, and will provide material for 11 to 18-year-old students in PSHE, English and citizenship.

Focus: Substance Misuse

BBC2, Monday, April 25, 10.30-11.30am

Since we're on the subject of PSHE, here are three more linked dramas, this time for nine to 11-year olds, designed to stimulate debate about substance misuse, legal and illegal. In the first, Leanne decides to rebel against her mother by starting to smoke, but a number of things happen to make her question her decision. Then, in the second film, Danny risks missing a big opportunity because he has been persuaded to try drugs.

Finally, Eric and Deevo steal a bottle of whisky, and learn a lesson about the dangers that lie inside it. All films are available on video.

Word Games I

BBC Radio 4, Tuesdays, April 26 to May 24, 3.45-4.15am

A fun series for five to seven-year-olds which can be used for whole class, small group or individual work. The games, divided into small units, involve such activities as putting words in alphabetical order, identifying rhymes and spelling. All are available on a BBC School Radio tape and there will be a further batch for older pupils in the autumn.

Howard Goodall's Musical Zodiac

BBC Radio 2, Mondays to May 23, 9-10pm

Howard Goodall's space exploration started last week in Aries and Taurus, with violinist Vanessa-Mae's version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and a piece from Paul and Linda McCartney. Goodall continues to illustrate his journey through the signs of the zodiac over the next five weeks with music in a variety of styles from different periods. Based on past form, he is guaranteed to come up with some interesting pieces and observations.

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