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26th February 2024: 100 years of schools broadcasts - including 25 years of Zig Zag!

One century ago on the afternoon of 26th February 1924, broadcasting to schools in Britain began at the fledgling British Broadcasting Company radio station in Glasgow, with an experimental broadcast officially designed to be heard in just one school a few hundred metres from the studio.

The talks on history, Scottish ballads, and a French reading could barely be heard in the large school hall, but a violin recital went down well. A few weeks later at the start of April 1924 the BBC London station made its own first schools broadcast (which is more widely recognised as the start of British schools broadcasting, perhaps because it was listed in advance in the Radio Times and designed to be heard by more than one school), and soon stations all over the country were putting together their own schools broadcasts.

But on the centenary of the beginning of the whole enterprise this site now has a page about the very, very first British schools broadcast.

Also underway is a complete guide to the BBC schools TV topics series for junior schools, Zig Zag, which was broadcast for a full quarter century including repeats, and included a couple of historical drama serials and plenty of interesting documentary units.

This was the next most requested series for an update in the site's voting.

Zig Zag title 1.jpgZig Zag title 2.jpgZig Zag title 3.jpgZig Zag Cathedrals presenter.jpgZig Zag Getting About presenter.jpgZig Zag Wildlife Safari presenters.jpgZig Zag Saga of Gunnar Goldhair sword.jpgZig Zag Tales from Europe 1992 Molly teddy.jpgZig Zag Walk Through Time Tony Roman.jpgZig Zag follows shortly slide 1988.jpgZig Zag teachers cover autumn 1988.jpgZig Zag teachers cover spring 1995.jpgZig Zag Norman Castles book cover.jpgZig Zag Greeks book cover.jpgZig Zag Canadians book cover.jpgBBC Fact Finders Wildlife Safari cover.jpg

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.

Along the way we also have a drama serial about a boat called Susanne, the adventures of a visiting alien called Globo, and the most remarkable dance moves ever seen, in Hallo aus Berlin.

Treffpunkt Deutschland Ines shopping.jpg Alles Klar Max Mason.jpg Unter Uns zoo ticket.jpg A Level German debate.jpg Lernexpress Sonja dock.jpg German Collection checkpoint.jpg Globo waving.jpg Hallo aus Berlin familie song.jpg Susanne - Kathrin Thomas.jpg D-Mag Christina interviewing.jpg German Shorts kochduell.jpg

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.

... more news

Latest updates

Zig Zag - Units Includes video TV
14 May 2024 New page with a summary of every unit, including descriptions, pictures and episode lists. Now arranged into decades.
Zig Zag Shorts TV
New 12 May 2024 New Page about the shortened edition of Zig Zag: France. Clarification of episode order added.
Zig Zag - Episode List TV
10 May 2024 Updated to include episodes from Merry-Go-Round which were repeated as part of Zig Zag
The Vikings Includes video (from Zig Zag) TV
New 10 May 2024 Minor formatting update
The Saga of Gunnar Goldhair (from Zig Zag) TV
New 10 May 2024 Added a picture from the drama
Hungry Times (from Zig Zag) TV
New 10 May 2024 Front cover and brief details of the playscript.
The Normans (from Zig Zag) TV
New 10 May 2024 Minor tidying up
Computers Includes video (from Zig Zag) TV
10 May 2024 Minor tidying up
Space (from Zig Zag) TV
10 May 2024 Extra details of the rotating final programme in the unit.
Getting About (from Zig Zag) TV
10 May 2024 Another picture added
... more updates

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