TV and radio

Robin Buss's pick of the week

See You See Me: Scottish Physical Features Part 3. BBC2, Tuesdays, January 10-24, 10.30-10.50am

This new set of programmes in the series on Scottish physical geography for seven to nine-year-olds takes us to the Southern Uplands. It covers the River Tweed's journey from source to sea; the weather and farming of the region; and the arrival of high-tech and tourist industries to join the traditional textile manufacturers . Teachers' notes for the series are available online at

Hop, Skip and Jump. BBC Radio 4, Tuesdays, January 10 to March 21, 3.55-4.10am

"Think Positive!" is the first title in this batch of programmes that use stories and specially composed music to get children of five to seven moving. We start with a story about Boris, a beetle who won't stay down.

Hopscotch. BBC Radio 4, Tuesdays, January 10 to March 21, 4.10-4.25am

More new radio for five to seven-year-olds. First up in this well-established slot for English and drama is "What Can I Buy?" The idea is to get the class talking about a particular topic, in this case money.

You can listen to the programmes and find teachers' notes and other resources at

First Steps in Drama. BBC Radio 4, Thursdays, January 12 to March 23, 4.30-4.45am This slot for seven to nine-year olds, with strong cross-curricular links, includes two new two-parters. "Silver Shores", by Gordon Lamont, supports work in history with a tale about a Scottish herring-fishing village threatened with economic ruin because the fish have gone. "The Wreck of the Zanzibar", for English and PSHE, is from a novel by Michael Morpurgo. Both use the strengths of radio, stimulating the imagination with voices, music and sound effects. Clear suggestions to use each episode are given at

Drama Workshop. BBC Radio 4, Fridays, January 13 to March 10, 4.05-4.20am

"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" takes place at Christmas, so it comes a bit late to this drama strand for 9 to 11-year-olds. No matter; it is still a great story, which raises questions of responsibilities and honour.

Another pair of programmes, in a few weeks' time, takes Seurat's painting "The Bathers" as the starting point for work in art and history, as well as drama. Again, the BBC website provides invaluable notes for teachers.

Pinocchio. BBC4, Sunday, January 8, 7.15-9pm

Will Tuckett's interpretation of the story about a carpenter and a wooden boy is to be broadcast from the Royal Opera House, and features an original score by Martin Ward. Billed as a family show, it combines music, dance, theatre and song, but claims to restore the darker themes of Collodi's original novel.

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