Stop, Look, Listen: Series 1 (1971-72)

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companyATV
started21st Sep 1971
ended13th Jun 1972
last rpt6th Jun 1975
4 school years
episodes26
duration10 mins
subject 🏫MiscellanyStimulus
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English
Stop, Look, ListenNext series: Series 2-17 (1975-93)HierarchyNext.gif

Series 1 of the ITV schools TV series Stop, Look, Listen from the 1970s covering visual and aural stimulus for primary school pupils, featuring school teacher Harvey Higgins

Harvey Higgins telephoning his school

Stop, Look, Listen started life as a pilot film screened (not broadcast) to 1,500 children and their teachers in the Plymouth area in 1970[1]. The success of this pilot led to the first full series of 26 films being produced, and screened on ITV during 1971-72.

The first series explores the world through the activities of a young Birmingham teacher, Harvey Higgins, and his class of children. Higgins narrates and also appears on screen as the omnipresent teacher who introduces his class to the world, either by taking them out to look over a fire engine or go on a train journey, or because he has been roped into cooking the school meals, or meets some kids whilst doing his laundry. He explains what is happening using a carefully controlled vocabulary, to his class of children and to viewers at the same time. The children on screen are seen noticing and discovering what happens in the world around them, and in some cases later doing follow-up work in their classroom which might also inspire viewers.

These early programmes are based around sounds and sights which might interest children, such as a passing siren or digging up the road, and after first listening to them the programmes then investigate where they come from and what is happening. Often the basic sights and sounds are recapped at the end of the episode as a reminder.

Although the programmes encourage looking at the world and sometimes reading signs in the environment, episode titles were never seen on screen in this era. This was quite deliberate "as it was felt there would be a greater element of surprise without them,"[2] and the titles used on this page are those used only in the teacher's notes and listings magazines to indicate the programme content.


Reaction

As stimulus material the programmes were very successful, and in fact became used much more widely than the makers originally envisaged.

The stucture of a teacher on the television, separate from viewers' own teacher, explaining things to a class in simple and accessible language and often in the classroom setting, was sometimes criticised with a contemporary review concluding that "[t]he pace is leisurely and the visual presentation imaginative, but the classroom oriented situations and over-simplified commentary do not make for ideal communication."[3]

After 4 years the films were re-edited or completely replaced to remove the central teacher figure and replace them with a narrator. These later programmes are detailed on a separate page.


Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. Fire Engine #1971-09-21-00-00-0021 Sep 1971
2. Ambulance (1971) #1971-09-28-00-00-0028 Sep 1971
3. Police Station #1971-10-05-00-00-005 Oct 1971
4. Garbage #1971-10-12-00-00-0012 Oct 1971
5. Bricklayer #1971-10-19-00-00-0019 Oct 1971
6. Building Site #1971-11-02-00-00-002 Nov 1971
7. Road Repairs #1971-11-09-00-00-009 Nov 1971
8. Vehicles #1971-11-16-00-00-0016 Nov 1971
9. Rail #1971-11-23-00-00-0023 Nov 1971
10. Aeroplane #1971-11-30-00-00-0030 Nov 1971
11. Time (1971) #1972-01-11-00-00-0011 Jan 1972*
12. Launderette #1972-01-18-00-00-0018 Jan 1972
13. School Meals #1972-01-25-00-00-0025 Jan 1972
14. Growing Food (and Flowers) #1972-02-01-00-00-001 Feb 1972
15. Making Sausages #1972-02-08-00-00-008 Feb 1972
16. Bread #1972-02-15-00-00-0015 Feb 1972
17. Telephone (1972) #1972-02-29-00-00-0029 Feb 1972
18. Newspapers #1972-03-07-00-00-007 Mar 1972
19. Postcode #1972-03-14-00-00-0014 Mar 1972
20. Television Studio #1972-03-21-00-00-0021 Mar 1972
21. The Park #1972-05-02-00-00-002 May 1972*
22. The Wood #1972-05-09-00-00-009 May 1972
23. Combine Harvester (1972) #1972-05-16-00-00-0016 May 1972
24. Wool (1972) #1972-05-23-00-00-0023 May 1972
25. Cheese (1972) #1972-06-06-00-00-006 Jun 1972
26. Pets (1972) #1972-06-13-00-00-0013 Jun 1972
  • Time was first shown as an Out of School preview for parents and teachers on 28th December 1971. The Park was similarly previewed on 4th April 1972.

Episode Guide

Series 1 (1971-72)

1. Fire Engine

The children hear a fire engine going past their classroom and go outside to watch them putting out a nearby building fire and get to look at the fire engine. The busy crew is called away to another fire and the children go back into the classroom to talk about what they had seen. The teacher suggests that they look out for a hydrant on the way home, and there is a recap of the sounds from the day.

Children and teacher look over the fire engine

First broadcast: Tuesday 21st September 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 27th September 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Firemen (1975) ATV prod. no.: 3330


2. Ambulance (1971)

A girl called Pamela has been knocked off her bike and injured. She is looked after by the teacher, and then put in an ambulance and driven through the traffic to hospital where she is examined, x-rayed, and has her foot plastered. She goes to see her friend on the hospital children's ward, and is finally able to return to school where the other children are playing doctors and nurses.

  • Pamela was only slightly hurt at the start of the programme. Not only did the teacher's notes provide this reassurance so that it could be passed on to classroom viewers before they started the programme, but it was even included in the short TV Times listing to reassure viewers at home!

First broadcast: Tuesday 28th September 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 4th October 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Ambulance (1975) ATV prod. no.: 3328


3. Police Station

A girl finds a lost dog, which she takes to the police station where she meets the different types of officers who work there. Finally she meets the owner who comes to retrieve her dog.

First broadcast: Tuesday 5th October 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 25th October 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Police (1975) ATV prod. no.: 3336


4. Garbage

The class watch the school dustbins being emptied and wonder what happens next. When the lorry arrives at the depot the rubbish is sent down conveyer belts for the cardboard, rag and metal to be removed, and then burnt in the furnace.

First broadcast: Tuesday 12th October 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 1st November 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Dustman (1975) ATV prod. no.: 3335


5. Bricklayer

After watching a bricklayer mixing mortar, laying bricks and cutting bricks in half, the teacher and children try the same activities themselves and find it is not so easy.

First broadcast: Tuesday 19th October 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 8th November 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Bricks (1980) ATV prod. no.: 3337


6. Building Site

The children watch the foundations and concreting, then the cranes moving things into position, the services and decorating, as a high-rise block of flats is constructed.

First broadcast: Tuesday 2nd November 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 15th November 1974, 11:33am on ITV ATV prod. no.: 3333


7. Road Repairs

The children get a ride on the road roller

Some boys follow the sound of a pneumatic drill to see a road being resurfaced. They watch as the old surface is removed and the new materials laid down, before being given a ride on the road roller.

First broadcast: Tuesday 9th November 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 22nd November 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Roadmenders (1984) ATV prod. no.: 6225


8. Vehicles

The children are doing a survey of traffic going past and discover all sorts of different road vehicles. The goods vehicles deliver their loads to shops, including toys, pets and ice lollies, and we see how to work out what other lorries are carrying by looking at their loads and warning signs.

First broadcast: Tuesday 16th November 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 29th November 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Cars (1985) ATV prod. no.: 6227


9. Rail

Teacher and children disembark

The teacher takes a group of children to Birmingham New Street Station Violet-marker.png for a journey by railway.

They buy tickets, find their seats and watch the driver set off. They all watch the houses and fields, tunnels and level crossings going past - they even see some very naughty children playing by the side of the railway, which is dangerous. Eventually they arrive at their destination, Stourbridge Junction Violet-marker.png .

First broadcast: Tuesday 23rd November 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 6th December 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Station (1976) ATV prod. no.: 6228


10. Aeroplane

The children go for a flight in a small aeroplane, and look at all the things they can see below, including the airport, a farm, the roads and cities, and their own school.

First broadcast: Tuesday 30th November 1971, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 13th December 1974, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Airport (1976) ATV prod. no.: 6229


11. Time (1971)

Dropping in on a bus driver, the school children and a farmer at different times of day.

At eight o'clock in the morning people are going to work, the children are having their breakfast, and the farmer is already working.

At noon the bus driver and the children are going off for their dinner, and the farmer has a snadwich in his field.

At four o'clock in the afternoon another driver takes over the bus, the children are coming out of school, and the farmer is still working.

First broadcast: Tuesday 28th December 1971, 11:06am on ITV (in an 'Out of School' preview programme) Last broadcast: Friday 17th January 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Time (1976) ATV prod. no.: 6231


12. Launderette

The teacher goes to the launderette and finds some girls from school are also doing their washing. They go through weighing their laundry bundles, buying soap powder, and putting coins in the machines.

First broadcast: Tuesday 18th January 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 24th January 1975, 11:33am on ITV ATV prod. no.: 6232


13. School Meals

The teacher helps the cook to make the school dinners, separating eggs, stirring things, and keeping an eye on the time it take to cook different foods.

First broadcast: Tuesday 25th January 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 31st January 1975, 11:33am on ITV ATV prod. no.: 6233


14. Growing Food (and Flowers)

The childen plant vegetables and flowers in the school garden, and watch them as they germinate, and evetually pull up the fully grown carrots, radishes and potatoes.

Teacher and children looking after the garden

First broadcast: Tuesday 1st February 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 7th February 1975, 11:33am on ITV ATV prod. no.: 6234


15. Making Sausages

The teacher watches the butcher

The teacher watches his butcher making sausages, fetching the meat, mincing it up and packing it tightly into the skins.

First broadcast: Tuesday 8th February 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 14th February 1975, 11:33am on ITV ATV prod. no.: 7050/71


16. Bread

The children look at different shapes and sizes of bread in the classroom, and find out how the baker mixes, proves and bakes the dough to make bread.

First broadcast: Tuesday 15th February 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 21st February 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Baker (1975) ATV prod. no.: 7051/71


17. Telephone (1972)

The headmaster answers the school telephone and we see how it allows voices to be heard at a distance.

Then the teacher goes out to a phone box where he looks up the number of the school in the directory, calls in and is answered by a pupil.

First broadcast: Tuesday 29th February 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 28th February 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Telephone (1986) ATV prod. no.: 7056/71


18. Newspapers

We see newspaper bundles being delivered to newsagents shops, and then paper boys delivering them. The children look at some of the items in newspapers, and use old ones for craft projects in the classroom.

First broadcast: Tuesday 7th March 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 7th March 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Newspaper (1986) ATV prod. no.: 7052/71


19. Postcode

The children are writing to a classmate who is in hospital. The teacher collects them into a big envelope and shows how he adds the postcode.

We then follow how the letters is collected from the postbox and handled by operators and machines at the sorting office, eventually having invisible dots added to represent the postcode so it can be sorted by a machine.

  • At the time this episode was made the UK postcode system was a new innovation and presented as a novelty.

First broadcast: Tuesday 14th March 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 14th March 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Postman (1975) ATV prod. no.: 7053/71


20. Television Studio

We see some children dancing and discover that they are in a television studio. We see the different technical jobs at work in the studio and watch how the camera moves. The teacher explains how the best picture is selected in the control room.

First broadcast: Tuesday 21st March 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 21st March 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Television (1991) ATV prod. no.: 7054/71


21. The Park

The teacher goes to fly a kite in the park, and notices all the other ways that people enjoy themselves in parks, including hide and seek, football, model boats, swings and roundabouts.

First broadcast: Tuesday 4th April 1972, 11:21am on ITV (in an 'Out of School' preview programme) Last broadcast: Friday 25th April 1975, 11:33am on ITV ATV prod. no.: 7055/71


22. The Wood

The teacher recalls how he visited a wood with two children in the summer, and they saw insects, young birds and new shoots on the trees. In the winter they go back to see how the wood has changed.

First broadcast: Tuesday 9th May 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 2nd May 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Summer and Winter (1976) ATV prod. no.: 7057/71


23. Combine Harvester (1972)

The teacher takes two children to a farm where they watch how the combine harvester works. The teacher goes for a ride, and they observe some other aspects of farm work as well.

First broadcast: Tuesday 16th May 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 9th May 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Combine Harvester (1972) ATV prod. no.: 7058/71


24. Wool (1972)

Following traditional hand processes that take the wool shorn from a sheep, as it is bought, washed, combed and spun on a spinning wheel. In the classroom the children look at different things made from wool.

Spinning the wool on a wheel

First broadcast: Tuesday 23rd May 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 16th May 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Wool (1976) ATV prod. no.: 8921/71


25. Cheese (1972)

The processes of making cheese, from the cows being milked, the milk transported to a factory and treated by a cheesemaker. The curds and whey are separated, and in the end we see cheese being sold in a shop.

First broadcast: Tuesday 6th June 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 23rd May 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Cheese (1976) ATV prod. no.: 8922/71


26. Pets (1972)

It is nearly the summer holidays and the teachers is going to look after the school's pets: a rabbit, a budgie and a tortoise. They will get to know the teacher's own dog and parrot. The teacher's neighbour also keeps pigeons, a cat and a dog.

First broadcast: Tuesday 13th June 1972, 1:45pm on ITV Last broadcast: Friday 6th June 1975, 11:33am on ITV Replaced by: Pets (1990) ATV prod. no.: 8923/71

Locations

Loading map...

Currently I only know the locations of the Rail episode for sure, so the map is quite sparse!

Credits

Teacher Harvey Higgins
Adviser Ronald Gulliford
Script Glynn Christian
Film editor Brian Hollins
Director Dilys Howell
Producer Philip Grosset

Broadcasts

  • 1971-72 (autumn, spring and summer)
    • Tuesdays 1:45pm, repeated Fridays 11:22am
    • Fridays not in Border region
  • 1972-73 (autumn, spring and summer)
    • Thursdays 9:30am, repeated Fridays 11:33am
    • Thursdays 1:40pm instead of 9:30am in Border, Grampian & Ulster regions
    • Due to an industrial dispute the Thursday morning broadcasts did not take place for the first 5 weeks of the autumn term; in the regions taking the Thursday morning broadcasts these episodes were shown again on Thursday mornings in June & July 1973 to compensate.
  • 1973-74 (autumn, spring and summer)
    • Thursdays 9:30am, repeated Fridays 11:33am.
    • Due to the general election on 28th February the broadcasts planned for that week and subsequent weeks of the spring term were 'knocked on' by a week.
  • 1974-75 (autumn, spring and summer)
    • Thursdays 9:30am, repeated Fridays 11:33am
    • Due to the general election on 10th October the broadcasts planned for that week and subsequent weeks of the autumn term were 'knocked on' by a week.

Sources & References

  • Gulliford, Ronald Stop, Look, Listen teachers' notes 1971-72 to 1974-75. Birmingham: ATV
  • ITV Schools annual programme guides and wallcharts, 1971-75
  • Mares, Cherry (1975) 'Television and radio as resources in special education' in Educational Broadcasting International, June 1975
  • Visual Education (1971) 'Stop, Look, Listen' item in Visual Education, August/September 1971 p.3
  • Visual Education (1972) 'Stop, Look, Listen' item in Visual Education, March 1972 p.4
  1. Visual Education (1971) disclosed that "Stop, Look, Listen follows a pilot film shown to 1,500 children in the Plymouth area, which won wide acclaim from viewing teachers. The producers are confident that the programme will assist with general knowledge and vocabulary and stimulate thought and discussion among not only children who are backward in ability, but also those deprived of experience and language."
  2. Stop, Look, Listen teacher's notes 1971-72 p.3 state that "These titles (Fire Engine, Ambulance and so on) are used in these notes to indicate the programme content. They do not appear in the programmes themselves as it was felt there would be a greater element of surprise without them."
  3. "The pace is leisurely" quote from Mares (1975)


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