About this site
This website is all about TV and radio programmes broadcast especially for use in schools. Even though they are for schools they are not only watched & heard in schools - because they are broadcast they can be enjoyed by anybody!
This website is only about programmes in Britain at the moment. That is still a massive area with over 80 years of history, and it can only hope to scratch the surface.
- See the copyrights page and the disclaimer page.
- Some areas of this site use the Fugue Icons, Copyright © Yusuke Kamiyamane. All rights reserved. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
- Software details and copyright information is on the Special:Version page.
There are three types of pages on this site.
Articles covering individual TV and radio series, and units from series, based on research and a bit of analysis, plus episode guides and pictures. Some pages are quite detailed and others are very basic at the moment, just to get the programme mentioned on the site. Detailed article titles are highlighted in bold text when you browse the programmes.
Overviews of all the schools programmes that there have ever been on a certain school subject. So far there is only detailed information about maths, but you can still see basic lists of programmes available on the site when you browse the subjects.
Historical, current and future schedules for schools' TV and radio programmes in Britain. The schedules are detailed and wherever possible cover the regional variations in all of Britain. There are at least three sample schedules from each decade, so you can skip forward ten years at a time to compare details if you wish as you browse the schedules.
How to read the schedule pages
Each main schedule is presented in a grid, with individual programmes in boxes. The colour of the box shows the basic school subject covered by the programme, and the length of the box shows roughly how long the programme lasted (but beware, the grids are not completely to scale and they might get stretched out if there is a lot of text in the boxes). At the moment there is nothing to indicate the age group each programme was aimed at, so an infants or pre-school programme can't really be distinguished from a school-leavers or college programme.
The main schedule is usually the schedule for England, or specifically for London - this ensures consistency across the decades. Different programmes broadcast in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the regions of England are listed underneath, wherever they are known. These are much harder to research and I haven't always managed to find out all of the regional variations.
These schedules are only intended to give a general overview of schools broadcasts during each term. They should not be taken as a definitive source that, for example, a particular series was broadcast during every week of the term, or that it was always shown at the same time, or that a series which is not shown on the grids was definitely not broadcast during that term - it may have been on for a week or two, but not long enough to make it worth showing in the grids.
The "(rpt)" flag means that a programme is a repeat screening of a programme already shown within the same term, and normally within the same week or fortnight. There is no effort to show whether programmes were being broadcast for the first time ever, or repeated for the 8th year running (this would be a spurious distinction before the 1960s anyway, as scripts were 'repeated' but the production was new). However I will try to highlight newly-launched and noteworthy programmes in the text accompanying the schedule grids.
At the top of each page is a small gallery of publications which accompanied the schools broadcasts in that term. These should help to set the scene, especially for the very old historical schedules. They are not meant to be a representative sample of publications, they were simply chosen because I had them available to scan.
If you spot any problems with these schedules, or if you can fill in any missing information, please get in touch by email.
There are also hundreds of images on the site. They are all here to support individual articles, but you can browse the images separately if you like.
This entire site is written, researched, designed, administered etc entirely by me, Ben Clarke. I am not a teacher, nor involved in broadcasting, I am just a bloke who is interested in this stuff. I am about 40 (depending when you read this) so I don't remember most of the programmes covered by the site!
You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This site started out as a small fan site dedicated to the schools TV (and occasional radio) programme Look and Read.
It began in May 2000 (when there was still loads of schools TV and radio being broadcast during daytime as well as overnight hours) as www.lookandread.fsnet.co.uk. During the first few years I managed to get lots of details, pictures and videos going back to the 1980s and even the mid-1970s, and celebrated with absolute incredulity the BBC's decision to repeat lots of the really old stories on the CBBC Channel in 2003.
In early 2006, to make it easier to keep updating the site, it changed to www.lookandread.myby.co.uk. The site began to look at wider aspects of schools TV including the story of its early beginnings in Britain and schools broadcasting services worldwide.
In late 2007 it changed again because I lost the old ISP web space that it used to be hosted on. This time it was officially expanded to cover potentially all of schools broadcasting, not just Look and Read, and after a fairly fruitless search for a decent name I settled on www.lookingandseeing.co.uk, named after the first schools TV programme broadcast in the UK, Looking and Seeing. A lot of the old material from the Look and Read website was not carried forward because I thought it needed re-writing and updating which I didn't have time to do (still haven't!) and also because there were lots of downloads like video clips, story books and computer games which I never had permission to distribute and which I may have been able to get away with in the frontier intenet days of 2000(!) but which would get me in trouble these days.
In mid-2009, after a series of problems which it is probably best not to go into here, the site moved to www.broadcastforschools.co.uk, where it still is, which is a much better and more representative title anyway. For nearly 15 years it was hosted in the US by DreamHost, and then in 2023 it was moved to UK hosting by Hostinger, which has made it much faster and more responsive.
The old Look and Read sites were completely hand-coded in HTML (with a little bit of php magic to make things easier in the later days) but the Looking and Seeing and Broadcast for Schools sites use MediaWiki software, albeit with a custom skin that I have put together and some complicated templates. That is the same software that they use for Wikipedia, and in fact you can make this site look like Wikipedia if you really want to (how it is now or how it used to be).
In mid-2011 the site was rejigged to use the Semantic MediaWiki extensions to manage the data and automatically set up navigation and update links and things so that I could focus on writing content instead of updating menus & writing update logs. Speaking of which...
Here are all of this site's update messages since it started.
- You can also see an automatically-generated list of individual page updates
- Or a log of all changes to the site
27th November 2023: A few months after ITV & Channel 4 were done, we now have guides to all of the German language programmes for secondary schools made by BBC Schools TV, most of which basically show life for contemporary teenagers in Germany. That experience changes quite a bit from Treffpunkt: Deutschland in the 1970s to Alles Klar in the 1980s, Lernexpress and D-Mag in the 1990s and German Shorts in the 2000s, especially with the fall of the Berlin Wall, documented particularly by The German Collection.
And in response to votes for pages people would most like to see updated, I have had a go at updating information about both the Maths Challenge TV and radio series from the 2000s, and the 1970s-80s Ulster TV primary schools series Hop, Skip and Jump.
25th August 2023: Oh look, that schools TV website has been updated but it's just some random programmes that I'm not interested in at all.
Perhaps that can change! Every programme covered on the site now has a
green voting box voting star at the bottom (the technology has been changed as the first one with green boxes only allowed each page to be voted for once). If you would like to see that programme updated please vote for it and I will do my best to prioritise it. Even better, if you know something about it or have old books or pictures to share you can get in touch by email too.
There is a page showing all the votes so far, and I have cheekily started things off by voting for some programmes that I'm already planning to update soon anyway.
(P.S. there's schools radio programmes here too as well as TV)
24th August 2023: Guides to all of the German language schools programmes made by ITV and Channel 4 have been added over the last few weeks, including Thames's long-running The German Programme and all of its individual units, 1960s dramas Wir Waren Vier and Karl und Christa, and more modern series like Hennings Haus and the sitcom Extra auf Deutsch.
Also you may notice that the site now works properly! After 15 years it's moved to new hosting and it's quite fast and responsive. You can search and suggestions come up quickly, you can load a page and actually read it in less than 15 seconds of waiting. Hurray!
11th July 2023: A complete (but sometimes cursory) guide to the entire series of Words and Pictures, from 1970 to 2007, through stories such as Sam on Boffs' Island with Tony Robinson (an existing page refreshed and updated with better pictures) through presenters including Henry Woolf and Vicky Ireland with animated assistant Charlie, Sophie Aldred and the magic pencil.
- See the broadcast history and different styles of animation used
- Search the list of all the stories and letters featured over the years
- Read about how the series was used in the apocalyptic drama Threads, and then got a visit from a Threads actor in return
- Marvel at how one episode was accidentally repeated 10 years after it was supposed to have finished being shown. Not once but twice!
Also over the last few months I have updated all of the series beginning with Ca-, including detailed guides to...
- Capricorn Game, the 1980s series about a magician's quest to mend an umbrella
- Cats' Eyes, the 1990s science series about puppet cats tormenting a pizza man
- Cashk@tz, and ©opyk@tz Beware!, the 2010s animations about a band grappling with copyright and budgeting issues
- Caraidean, the 1990s series about young presenters making a Channel 4 Schools programme whilst being taught Gaelic by a man in a dog suit
... and various other TV & radio programmes.
20th March 2023: more programmes being updated at random or just because they interest me today! There are hundreds of programmes still to cover, but the ones updated recently include...
- 1990s history quiz Living Proof
- 1970s maths sitcom Everyday Maths and its 1980 sequel Maths Counts
- 1980s reading fun Story World
- and all of the 1990s French language programmes which made up the Etoiles scheme, including the drama Le Café des Rêves as well as Quinze Minutes, Ici Paris, Jeunes Francophones and Satellites Français.
Want to know the real name of the thin space-man that only the other aliens knew? see 1980 episode 4.
Interested in not just what happened in the teaching sections of the black-and-white version of the unit, but what was cut out during production too? see 1971 episode 8.
Ever noticed that Wordy has lights installed on his head in this story, which never work? see 1980 episode 8.
And throughout the guide to the 1980s series, an attempt to translate everything that the space-men say, with audio snippets so you can see for yourself, and if you can work out better translations than mine please get in touch by email. What was the space-men's way of saying hello? see episode 9. Who said "these aliens have upset your plans?" see episode 10.
In the making since I wrote an article for the Boy from Space DVD booklet 8 years ago, and using original production paperwork and scripts from the BBC Written Archives, a full episode-by-episode guide to the classic science-fiction serial is now going up here.
In fact it's two guides at the same time:
- the original, black & white version of the story from the early 1970s includes details of all the teaching sections (which no longer exist) such as presenter Charles Collingwood's battles with an annoying space-bug, and how the story was actually about 15 minutes longer in the 1970s than the version we know today.
- and the revised version first shown in 1980 presented by Wordy, with new music and new cliffhangers (which is available on DVD!). Read about what was changed and why, and listen to reversed clips from the soundtrack where you can actually make out what the alien characters are saying to each other!
Did you know that the evil thin space-man had an actual, alien name in the original scripts which was never learnt by the human characters or given in any of the books about the series. All will be revealed when the guide gets as far as episode 4! (It is going up episode by episode and at the time of writing has got as far as episode 2)
Meanwhile in New York, Jamal, Lenni and the Ghostwriter team pick up clues and solve 1990s crime mysteries that involve reading and writing, to the delight of UK children but the general bemusement of their teachers!
18th May 2022: I'm updating various different programmes without a common theme, just selected for fun or using the site's random programme chooser. Details in the list of updates down below.
Some highlights include the BBC radio series of English for immigrant children in the early 70s, Hello! Hello!, the miscellany series of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Springboard, and Granada TV's 1970s geography series The Land.
Where have I been for the last few months? I've been writing a big and detailed guide to the Look and Read story The Boy from Space. Both the 1980s version (which is available on DVD!) and the original 1970s version (which isn't!).
There's some really interesting production details - but I need the BBC to approve it before it appears here, and that is going to take a few more weeks. Watch this space!
26th October 2021: A guide to the terrifically fun BBC school radio series Music Makers which ran from 1975 to 1990, including an overview of every one of the 23 comic, musical plays produced (one of which got performed by Prince William!) with storylines, credits, song lists, and lots of pics of the publications including every pamphlet cover.
Remember the kazoo-playing pop star Kornkrake Katastroffy, the sneaky tricks involved in Pedro's Revenge against the gangster Rocadura, or the tribulations of put-upon Herbert Pringle, The Park Keeper?
Also recently added was a comprehensive guide to the 1988 Music Workshop comic production, Bowater Merryweather and the Chemifizz Catastrophe, about a mild-mannered bottle-corker who gets involved in corporate espionage shenanigans in the fizzy drinks business.
One day I'm hoping to cover all of the school radio music productions in that much depth. One day!
28th August 2021: For this update you will need a notebook, a pencil and a stopwatch, and you must be ready to take readings from the screen. A complete guide to the classic ITV Schools series
Look Around You Experiment has been written and added to the BroadcastForSchools website. It contains an overview of all of the episodes, broadcasts and credits, as well as quotes, memorable moments and theme music. Write that down.
P.S. complete episode lists have been added over the last few weeks for the 1990s Channel 4 series Book Box and all 40+ years of the BBC School Radio series Time to Move, plus presenter and producer details.
9th August 2021: I have been picking programmes fairly randomly and updating them with episode lists, and background information, music, credits and more. Recently updated:
- From BBC Schools TV: La Marée et ses Secrets (basically Look and Read but it's in French and people die!), Twentieth Century History and Today and Tomorrow (it's from the 80s and about the future)
- From ITV Schools: A Place to Live, Work, Today and Tomorrow (it's from the 60s and about social problems), Ways with Words from the 1980s, Ways with Words from the 1960s, and Talk, Write... and Read
- From Channel 4 Schools: All About Us
- From BBC Schools Radio: The Machine Gunners from 2002, The Machine Gunners from 2017, and A Christmas Carol
18th July 2021: first update in 8 years!
Introducing a guide to the long-running ITV Schools series Stop, Look, Listen of almost-hypnotically entertaining documentaries for junior pupils about baked bean factories, trainee policemen, living museums and coal miners. There is a detailed overview of how the series developed from 1971 to 2009, and an in-progress episode guide with historical Midlands location-spotting on an interactive map! This is a very tricky series to nail down (old TV Times listings are too basic to be much use) and these pages are the product of almost 20 years of research to make sense of everything.
Did you know...
- ... that those terrifically catchy traffic light-coloured opening titles, that you definitely remember if you're the right age, were broadcast a staggering 640 times between 1981 and 1993?
- ... that before he was famous and going on Extreme Railway journeys, Chris Tarrant narrated a documentary film in which children bought their tickets in 1975, travelled on a train in 1971, and disembarked back in 1975 again without anybody noticing - all through the magic of re-editing old programmes to make new ones?
- ... that Central TV inadvertently made a documentary for 7-year-olds about an international drug smuggler?
All this and more in the BroadcastForSchools website's new Stop, Look, Listen guide!
Also: the site has a completely new, modern layout, and more updates are coming.
Back in 2013 the site got a bit stuck in software that I couldn't update and kept bringing down its server, I also got busy doing other things - this website is a one-man band operation (like Mr Boom!). Now finally in 2021 I have rebuilt it on modern software that hopefully works properly so it can be updated again.
Lots has happened since 2013 that still needs to get updated here.
- All schools TV and radio broadcasts in Britain have ended after 58 and 94 years respectively (though BBC Alba muddied the water a bit with an extra repeat run of A' Bhùth in 2020-21). Lots of programme entries across the site need to be brought up to date.
- There are new websites, wikis and Wikipedia pages about schools programmes, and lots of example episodes of old schools TV (and some radio) programmes available unofficially on YouTube, to see what they were actually like.
- The BBC Genome project has been published and old BBC listings are easily available online, though not always for the schools broadcasts. Meanwhile the online archive catalogues for most ITV companies have gone offline.
- The Look and Read story The Boy from Space has officially come out on DVD (I wrote one of the articles in the DVD booklet)! This website you are reading now grew out of a Look and Read fan website which I started over 21 years ago in early 2000, and it badly needs better coverage of Look and Read programmes. It used to have a detailed episode-by-episode, behind-the-scenes guide to Through the Dragon's Eye, a walk through all of the filming locations for Geordie Racer, a scene-specific comparison of Sky Hunter and Sky Hunter II, and loads more. Don't bother looking for those things here now, they are lost to the mists of internet time. But they will come back, along with loads more...
- The forum for this website went offline in 2015. Don't ask me what happened there, I wasn't paying attention! It probably became incompatible with the server software or something. I do not intend to bring it back because I cannot be trusted to look after it properly.
14th July 2014: Well this site seems to have ground to a halt and the Music Time project never got very far! That is partly because I have been busy doing other things, but mainly because the site is so slow and annoying and often doesn't work at all.
So I am planning to change it to use different software and simplify it a lot, which should make it work properly. Then updates can resume...
17th August 2013: This year's summer holiday project for the website is a complete guide to the junior music teaching series Music Time, which ran for a quarter of a century from 1970 to 1994.
Music Time is notable not only for its deliberately catchy songs, with which viewers could join in while watching or perform in a concert afterwards, but also for the graphics and games encouraging children to compose and play their own music, for its original musicals for schools to perform, and for its animated versions of well-known pieces such as Peter and the Wolf, Coppélia, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.
If all goes to plan this site will soon have a complete guide to every unit, every song and every episode.
The Scene Project
24th August 2012: Scene is one of the highest-profile, longest-running, most diverse and significant schools programmes of all time. It has produced some absolutely remarkable plays, serials and documentary films for teenagers, many of which were later repeated for an adult audience.
When this website started five years ago it included a brief overview and episode guide to Scene with a promise of more detail to follow, but nothing did follow... until now! There is now a separate page covering (pretty much) every single episode of Scene ever - that's well over 300 new pages. The content includes...
- episode descriptions (but only for about 100 episodes so far, there is a lot of work still to do!)
- excerpts from the teacher's notes giving insight into the educational aims the programme hoped to achieve, or background to the production
- credits (so far, only the writer credits for the dramas, and there are 3 or 4 whose writers I don't know)
- the archive status of every episode made prior to 1975, as everything from 1975 onwards safely exists in the BBC archive. There are 19 "missing" episodes of Scene from the 1960s and 70s, and 2 more where I am not quite sure whether they exist or not.
- a complete list of all broadcasts for schools, by term, for every single episode without fail, including repeats as part of other series like Lifeschool and broadcasts on Teachers' TV. Plus notes about all evening repeats for an adult audience
- video clips for all episodes for which they are legally available from the copyright holders! The BBC has released quite a lot of clips from 1990s episodes of Scene online.
- plus all of the usual details of episode length, exact first & last broadcast dates, companies, related programmes and links to the IMDB, Wikipedia, BFI & BBC websites for every episode which is covered there.
...because the 300+ Scene updates have pushed everything else off of the Latest Site Updates list, here are some of the other recent changes that you may have missed...
Links were added to online video clips from some older ITV Schools series from Scotland - Past and Present (from the 1960s), What is a Town? (from the 1970s), and Time to Think (from the 1980s) - plus The Complete Cosmos (from the 1990s) and Space Files (from the 2000s). The BBC has also (basically) put 30 episodes of the lovely Gaelic infants series Baile Mhuilinn online.
All of the remaining new programmes shown on BBC2 during spring and summer 2012 have been added, such as Ask Lara, The Approximate History of Maths and Seeking Refuge. So the site is still the most comprehensive possible directory of schools programmes broadcast from 1924 right up to the present.
Plus I have been able to sort out age ranges for lots of recent BBC Schools TV series (bizzarely, the BBC keep the target age ranges of their schools programmes top secret these days, just describing them as "primary" or "secondary"), added pictures for some older series such as Issues, Modern China and Reviewing the Landscape, and more...
You can tell it's the summer holidays!
Almost every schools TV & radio series ever...
For some there are only basic details - broadcast dates, subject, age range, companies and so on. But many include notes about the content, and links between similar series, or series which replaced one another.
Highlights include full programmes lists for the Drama series produced by the BBC and ITV in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the school radio series Listen!, all the dramas from Middle English, all of the individual units from How We Used to Live and The French Programme (and its predecessor French Studies), and all of the presenters from the BBC infant series Watch (yes there were more than 2 presenters!). Coverage stretches all the way back to 1924, including guides to the 1920s series Natural History and the 1940s series Citizenship
You can use the Browse Data pages to look through all sorts of lists of programmes, for example...
- Channel 4 & ITV schools programmes from the 1990s
- science programmes for primary schools from the 1970s and 80s
- programmes produced by Grampian Television (there are quite a lot of them!)
Over 700 of the newly-added series have a screenshot or a picture of a related booklet included. As well as English-language programmes there are over 200 Welsh programmes, over 50 in Scottish Gaelic, plus many other languages including Russian, Cornish and Klaptonian!
All this new material is the result of years and years of research and several intensive months of putting it all together! It is not copied from any reference books, databases, catalogues or websites because as far as I know this information has never been put together before. There are still some series missing, especially those not broadcast in England (the site has virtually no Scottish or Welsh programmes from before 1933, for example) so if you know about any that are not on the site please get in touch by email
The next update in progress
31st December 2011: As promised, pages covering well over 2,000 new schools programmes are being added to the site now, and should all be online by midnight! It will probably take until tomorrow morning for all of the lists and filters to be updated, but check the automatic Recent Changes page to see all the new material. Happy New Year!
The next update update
19th December 2011: The big, BIG site update is still on track to be released before the end of 2011 - just a few final things to sort out. Come back next week!
The next update...
October 2011: I am currently working on a big project to add a lot more programme details to this site. A very big project, to add an awful lot more programme details! It is taking a while but I promise it will be worth it, and if everything goes to plan it will all be online right here by the end of 2011.
In the mean time don't forget there is now a forum where you can ask questions and discuss schools TV and radio programmes.
21st August 2011: This site now has it's own forum! You can ask questions, give answers or just discuss anything about schools TV and radio programmes. Plus you can point out bits of the site that are out of date or wrong.
If there is anything you wanted to say but couldn't be bothered emailing me (or you emailed me and I didn't bother to reply, sorry about that) then go and post it now!
The site also now has icons for Facebook and things like that up in the top right-hand corner and it is using Google Analytics (because Dreamhost turned off easy access to server logs). Hurrah!
Lots of maths
17th July 2011: Over 25 new maths programmes added to the site this weekend, with basic details and a quick write-up, including It's Maths! and Figure It Out from the 1970s and Basic Maths and Mathspy from the 1980s. Plus radio classics Maths with a Story, Calculated Tales and Johnny Ball's Maths Games, and the very first maths series Games with Numbers from 1942.
Quantity over quality!
12th June 2011: This site has been running for 4 years in its current form, and it still only covers about 80 programmes, out of thousands. So to speed things up a bit I am going to start adding programme pages with just basic details: a sentence of two of description, a simple episode list and possibly cast & crew credits. Then later I can go back to add more details.
So there should be lots more programmes covered on the site in the coming months, but not with very much detail.
Change is coming...
27th April 2011: Please bear with me while this site is given a massive, super-duper upgrade to make it much nicer to explorer and much easier to get information out of it. It may appear that some areas are empty (e.g. the TV and Radio links at the top of the page are empty) but all of the content is still here and in fact there is a huge amount of extra behind-the-scenes data already in place.
Time and Tune again
12th April 2011: Ferdinando the Donkey, the Play of Daniel, Voyage to the Lands of the Midnight Sun... starting in 1964 each term's broadcasts for the BBC schools radio music series Time and Tune had a particular theme, but before 1971 those themes are difficult to come by because they are not evident from the pupils' pamphlets, the annual programme guides or the Radio Times. You have to find each term's teachers notes to discover details of the themes.
This site now presents the theme or title for every term's Time and Tune broadcasts since 1964 - except one! If you can confirm the theme in autumn 1966 then please do get in touch by email. I would hazard a guess at insects or minibeasts, but I'm not sure.
8th April 2011: Megamaths was a favourite maths TV series for 7-9 year olds in the 1990s and early 2000s.
From the 1990s, meet the Joker, the other Joker, the extravagent royals and other playing cards characters who live in a castle on top of table mountain, and join their world of acrobatics, songs, and mathematical escapades!
And from the 2000s, meet Maths Man, and the other Maths Man, trainees at Superhero School eager to improve their mathematical knowledge!
There was also a Megamaths radio series, which is not yet covered.
More maths to follow...
19th March 2011: A complete outline guide to every schools TV and radio maths programme in Britain -- all 70 years worth from the experimental Games with Numbers in December 1942 to the psychedelic Quiff and Boot in March 2011.
How many of the pictures at the top of the page (covering more than 50 years) can you identify without clicking on them to find out which series they're from?
13th March 2011: Inspector Newton of the Maths Squad, time- and space-travelling adventurer Doctor Where, the dastardly Mathia, and a whole host of other characters appeared in the BBC's maths sketch show Mathshow in the 1970s. This site now has a complete guide to all of the sketches in every episode.
Also this weekend the spring 2011 schedule page has been updated with the latest changes to this term's Learning Zone TV schedule, and several new book covers have been added to the Time and Tune guide. Please do get in touch by email if you can add any of the missing covers.
22nd February 2011: introducing Leapfrog, a highly unusual maths series from ITV Schools in the 1970s, which teachers hated! A comprehensive guide to all 28 episodes and full background on the series including the reactions of pupils and teachers, and the origin of its unusual name.
Also recently updated the spring 2011 schedule page with more details of the Learning Zone and School Radio broadcasts. Prepare for what I believe to be the longest ever school radio broadcast with nothing actually scheduled in it, with 40 full minutes of filler on 31st March!!
More maths to follow...
13th February 2011: A guide to the Maths Challenge schools radio series with fun mental maths quizzes, and the Maths Challenge TV Workout schools TV series with mental maths quizzes wrapped up in animated spy adventures.
More maths to follow...
30th January 2011: The autumn 2010 schedule page is now up-to-date with everything that actually went out last term and a full, detailed Learning Zone schedule.
1st December 2010: Two more maths series added.
Summing It Up was ITV's second attempt at a school mathematics series, produced by ATV in the early 1960s, aiming to show the real-world application of mathematics.
Mathematical Eye also aimed to show the real-world application of mathematics. Produced by Yorkshire Television in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it could be said to be ITV's final attempt at a school mathematics series, as it was on the air as Channel 4 took over schools broadcasting from ITV.
More maths to follow...
20th November 2010: Throughout the 1970s, five-year-olds in the north of Scotland gained their first mathematical experience from the adventures of a good-natured robot, a wicked witch, a wise frog and a little girl.
A guide to Grampian Television's Mathman, including every episode, and a ropey recording of the theme tune.
Full preview & schedules for Autumn 2010
7th September 2010: This site now has (exclusive!) full details of all schools broadcasts for the autumn term, across radio and television. There are still quite a lot of new schools programmes being made, even though it's harder to find them now that they are all shown overnight.
Time and Tune guide begun
20th August 2010: A new page about the BBC school radio series Time and Tune, which has been running for almost 60 years with over 1,300 episodes. There is a complete term-by-term overview of the entire series, and more details about each term will be added later.
- 21st August 2010: Detailed guides to the Time and Tune units Hassebu, Flight and Over the Moon.
- 23rd August 2010: Guides to the Time and Tune units The Magic Music Shop and Sleeping Beauty.
- 28th August 2010: A guide to the Time and Tune unit Alvida and the Magician's Cape.
- 29th August 2010: Guides to Time and Tune's two adaptations of the same story: Scenes from The Wind in the Willows (1986) and The Wind in the Willows (2003).
9th August 2010: A preview of schools broadcasts next term, including (exclusively!) full broadcast dates, but few details about the actual programmes yet. The preview will be updated as more details become available.
The schedules from summer 2010 are still not on the site, but will be added soon.
5th August 2010: Le Butin de Colombert (The Colombert Booty) was a French-language thriller serial for secondary schools in the early 1970s - the first and only such series made by Thames Television.
This site now has a full account of the series, including the full plot from beginning to end.
The mysterious Magic Grandad
23rd July 2010: I think I have finally identified the mysterious sixth actor to have played Magic Grandad.
Geoff Leesley provided the character's voice in the CD-Roms and E Big Book classroom resources, and I believe the same actor appears in photographs throughout the electronic resources. If you can confirm or deny, please get in touch by email!
Autumn 1972 Schedule
21st July 2010: A complete guide to the schools TV and radio schedules from autumn 1972, including pretty much all regional variations.
Plus a full explanation of why many of the promised ITV schools programmes failed to be broadcast this term!
Use your imagination, jump Over the Moon
19th July 2010: A guide to the BBC Scotland infants series that conquered the whole of the UK in the 1990s.
Over the Moon with Mr Boom, about a one-man-band living on the moon, observing life on Earth and singing Scottish folk songs, will celebrate its 20th anniversary later this year.
3rd May 2010: Meet Bill and Penelope, stars of the 1970s learn-to-read series It's Fun to Read, from Granada Television. This site's new page about the series includes full details of all the episodes, all of the tie-in books, and all of the broadcasts in the 1970s (when it was brought back by popular demand) and the 1990s.
Schools broadcasting in wartime
2nd May 2010: an in-depth look at the schedules for autumn term 1939, when Britain went to war with Germany. Including all of the originally planned schedules which were torn up when war was declared, as well as the real schedules which went out that term, and several of the pamphlets which were never officially published. Autumn 1939 saw the start of the tremendously long-running series Singing Together, it was the first time that schools programmes were broadcast multiple times during the same week, and marked the return of Walford Davies to school radio.
Schedules up to date
4th April 2010: Schedules section brought up to date with detailed grids & notes...
- Autumn 2009 - the last term with regular schools programmes on Channel 4.
- Spring 2010 - the last term with daytime schools programmes on BBC 2.
With all these services now ended, future Schedule pages will be quite sparse. All that's left is the BBC Learning Zone, which I'm told will continue with just 8 hours per week for all of the BBC's programmes for primary schools, secondary schools and home learners; BBC school radio which is scaling back to just 6 hours per week in the summer term; and any continuing Scottish Gaelic programmes. Teachers' TV programmes are not covered here because I just can't understand their weird scheduling.
Good news though, that means I can concentrate on putting more historical schedules on this site in the future!
Tiki tiki tox, it's Maths-in-a-Box!
8th November 2009: A full guide to the BBC's infant maths series Maths-in-a-Box from the early 1980s. Two children meet a "leprechaun-like creature" called Powka, who travels around in a small magic box, and teach him and his computer all about basic maths.
August/September/October 2009: Summer schedules
Over the coming weeks the Schedules section will be updated and expanded with new schedules and updates to existing ones.
- 25th October: Summer 2001 added. That completes the latest complete batch of summer terms from each decade!
- 20th October: Summer 1971 updated with further notes and pictures, ATV Midlands schedules, and Out of School details for both ITV and the BBC.
Also: Summer 2009 completely updated to show the schedule-as-broadcast (previously the page had the planned schedules announced before the start of term) for all major channels with full notes. Autumn 2009 will be up here soon.
- 18th October: Summer 1941 added.
- 17th October: Summer 1971 added.
- 27th September: Summer 1991 added.
- 31st August: Summer 1951 added.
- 26th August: Summer 1961 added.
- 19th August: Summer 1981 added.
- 15th August: Autumn 1958 updated with more programme details and full notes.
- also 15th August: The BBC have removed loads of Magic Grandad clips from their Learning Zone Broadband streaming video service. There is a basic explanation on the Toys and Famous People 2 pages.
- 10th August: Summer 1931 added.
- 2nd August: Spring 1944 updated with images of the very rare BBC schools pamphlets published under wartime economy.
Many other schedules already on the site have been updated with extra programme information and some new images, and where relevant even more ITV regional schedule variations - autumn 1938, spring 1944, autumn 1948, spring 1954, spring 1964, autumn 1968, spring 1974 and autumn 1978 have all been updated today.
July 2009: Programme updates
This site has now moved to broadcastforschools.co.uk - I have proper control over it again so there can be new updates with pictures, and proper backups are taken so it hopefully won't ever fall offline again!
There should be lots of updates and new pages about schools TV, and possibly radio, series this month.
- Update 2nd August: OK, actually there weren't very many programme updates at all, but the big Magic Grandad section which was added is pretty good (but not quite finished). Next there will be more new and updated schedules.
- 7th July: A whole brand new section about the infant history series Magic Grandad, part of Watch. These pages cover all six incarnations (yes, 6) of Magic Grandad to date, including the brand new series which was first shown a couple of weeks ago. Every episode is covered and, shortly, all of the Big Books, CD-ROMs and other resources will be too. The resources and broadcasts sections will be filled out over the next few days.
- 2nd July: La Chasse au Trésor page updated with several new photographs, including one of the production crew on location.
February/March 2009: Schedules updates
I am rebuilding and expanding the schedules section. These are schedules for all schools broadcasts in a particular school term, throughout all of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales, mostly presented in nice colourful grids! Unfortunately I can't add any pictures yet.
- 26th March: some early details for Summer 2009 now available. This page will be updated over the next few weeks as more information becomes available.
- 8th March: added spring 2004 and updated spring 2009 to the end of term.
That completes the current Schedules project for the site, as we now have a complete set of schools TV & radio schedules for every spring 'x4 term and autumn 'x8 term since schools broadcasting began in Britain 85 years ago (except for spring 1924, which isn't worth doing as there was only 1 unscheduled, experimental programme which will be covered elsewhere). There will be another Schedules project later in the year, but for now I will go back to adding coverage of individual schools TV & radio series.
- 22nd February: added spring 1984
- 15th February: added spring 1964 and spring 1974. 1974 is most extensive and comprehensive schedule on the site yet, with complete regional information!
- 8th February: (almost) all of the termly schedule pages now have pictures of pamphlets which accompanied the term's broadcasts. These set the scene for the historical schedules very nicely, I think.
- 5th February: added spring 1944, spring 1954 and spring 2009
- 3rd February: restored autumn 1978, autumn 1988, spring 1994, autumn 1998 and autumn 2008
- 1st February: restored autumn 1928, spring 1934, autumn 1938, autumn 1948, autumn 1958 and autumn 1968
January 2009: Words and Pictures again
The site disappeared from the web on 13th January 2009, I don't really know why (or at least I can't say why at the moment). It is now back but using an old backup from last year. I am trying to rewrite everything that was lost, then add more new stuff. I am still unable to add pictures to the site.
Coverage is now available (again) of the long-running BBC series Words and Pictures. It was a companion to Look and Read for younger children, beginning in 1970 with Up in the Attic, followed by the fondly remembered story of Sam on Boffs' Island. Both of these are covered in great detail. There is also an outline of the rest of the series, with presenters including Henry Woolf, Vicky Ireland, Sophie Aldred, the little man Charlie, and the famous Magic Pencil - full details of all these later programmes will be filled in at some point. Words and Pictures, with a new format, is still running on BBC2 and Cbeebies today.
The following updates were lost when the site got knackered:
22nd August 2008
There haven't been many updates recently, I have been having terrible problems with the hosting, and also having a summer break. There will be some nice updates starting from September all being well. There is a list on the right of programmes I am working on which should be on the cards for the autumn.
24th February 2008
Two French-language mystery serials from the 1960s, one made by the BBC and the other by ITV. The pages are written entirely in English and translations are given for the slightest bit of French!
25th November 2007
This website is all about schools broadcasting - programmes on the TV and radio to be used in schools. It is only about programmes in Britain at the moment. That is still a massive area with over 80 years of history, and it has to start somewhere.
So this website starts with covering the very long-running and popular BBC series Look and Read. It is based on my old website about the same programme, www.lookandread.myby.co.uk, which went for years and years but got shut down in 2007. But this new website has loads of new content that the old site never had. If you want to see what, just start reading about the first Look and Read story, Bob and Carol Look for Treasure and keep going.
(A tip about how this website works - if you click on a picture you will just get a bigger version of that picture. To find out about it, you have to click on the text links near to a picture, like the picture above is about the story Tom, Pat and Friday.)
Before Look and Read there was another schools TV series showing exciting dramatised stories to children to encourage them to learn. This series was called Television Club and there is full coverage of the early years of that programme on this site now. I will fill in details about the later years as soon as I can. Before Television Club there was Friday Magazine and before that there was the radio series The Jacksons - both are also covered in depth on this site.
But the BBC weren't the only ones making schools programmes, ITV have been very productive too. And starting at the very beginning, this site has full coverage of the first ever ITV schools programme in London, Looking and Seeing (after which this site is named!), as well as the first ever ITV schools programme in the North of England, Discovery. The reason for the different programmes in different parts of the country is explained on the Discovery page.
Finally, for now, I have started a section about one of the highest-profile BBC schools series, Scene, which has presented some absolutely remarkable plays and documentaries over nearly 40 years. For now all the Scene page really has is a list of all the episodes (over 300 of them!) but in time I hope to cover the individual programmes in detail.
For a list of all the main series currently covered on this site, visit the list of all series link. And please explore because there are lots more pages about individual stories and units of programmes within each series as well.
This website is only just beginning, there are loads and loads more schools programmes I want to cover. If you are able to help with any material - books, articles, pictures, programmes, memories or just information - I would be very pleased to hear from you, please get in touch by email.
- Ben Clarke (this is my website!)