Time for a Story
Time for a Story is an ITV schools TV series from the 1980s, covering Reading for primary school pupils.
A simple reading series in which Bill Oddie reads out a children's story and talks about the plot, illustrations and words. The stories and illustrations were original to the series, but commissioned from established children's authors including Hazel Townson and Tony Ross.
In each episode Bill introduces the story, and then tells it to viewers with illustrations and some key words and phrases shown full screen. Afterwards he recaps the story or begins some activity to encourage viewers to go on discussing what they have seen with their teacher.
|1.||One Up||16 Sep 1985|
|2.||The Clatterbang Clock||23 Sep 1985|
|3.||Oscar Buys the Biscuits||30 Sep 1985|
|4.||Otto's Little Hat||7 Oct 1985|
|5.||Who Heeds the Warning?||14 Oct 1985|
|6.||Anansi's Secret||21 Oct 1985|
|7.||What's in a Name?||4 Nov 1985|
|8.||Present Time||11 Nov 1985|
|9.||King of all the Birds||18 Nov 1985|
|10.||Roly Bear and the Colours of White||25 Nov 1985|
|11.||Tortoise's Tug-of-War||6 Jan 1986|
|12.||Muddy Milly||13 Jan 1986|
|13.||Two of a Kind||20 Jan 1986|
|14.||Spacemare||27 Jan 1986|
|15.||Bird on a Bus||3 Feb 1986|
|16.||The Wizard of Everything||10 Feb 1986|
|17.||No Hanky-Panky||24 Feb 1986|
|18.||Just You Wait!||3 Mar 1986|
|19.||Christabel's Cream-Bun||10 Mar 1986|
|20.||Fairy Story||17 Mar 1986|
|21.||A Wakeful Night||27 Apr 1987|
|22.||Someone Special||7 May 1987|
|23.||Gussy||14 May 1987|
|24.||Fear-No-Bear||21 May 1987|
|25.||When the Moon Winked||4 Jun 1987|
|26.||The Boy Who Wanted To Be King||11 Jun 1987|
|27.||The Little Witches||18 Jun 1987|
|28.||Zap!||25 Jun 1987|
Each episode was stand-alone and in subsequent years there were repeated in a different order from the original transmissions. The series as a whole was intended to provide a wide range of story themes, styles of text and illustration and different follow-up activities, but the order that the episodes were seen in did not matter - the stories' level of difficulty did not change.
|Stories by||Bernard Ashley|
|Advisers||Margaret M. Clark|
|Director||Peter Plummer (1985-86)|
Richard Guinea (1987)
All of the stories featured in the programmes was published as a small children's reading book, containing the full text of the story read on TV and some of the illustrations. They were sold in packs covering a whole school term.
Booklets of teacher's notes covering one school term at a time.
They contained context for the series and programme notes including a summary of every story giving the characters, theme and narrative information for teachers' reference, plus a rationale for the story explaining its purpose for teaching. There are also follow-up suggestions and lists of related stories, songs and poems which could be used in class.
For the first two years the notes had white coloured covers (left), but from 1987 onwards different colours were used (right).
The stories were also published on audio cassettes so that children could hear the readings again away from the TV.
There were separate cassettes for the autumn, spring and summer terms.
- 1985-86: Mondays 9:59am, repeated Thursdays 9:42am (autumn, spring & summer)
- 1986-87: Mondays 9:59am, repeated Thursdays 9:42am
(autumn, spring & summer. Not on Grampian or Scottish on Thursdays; due to the May Day holiday most summer term programmes were shown first on Thursdays and repeated on Mondays)
- 1987-88: Mondays 11:29am, repeated Thursdays 11:03am
(autumn, spring & summer. Not in the HTV Wales area on Thursdays; due to the May Day holiday most summer term programmes were shown first on Thursdays and repeated on Mondays)
- 1988-89: Mondays 11:29am, repeated Thursdays 11:03am
(autumn, spring & summer. not in the HTV Wales, Border, Scottish or Grampian areas on Mondays; due to the May Day holiday most summer term programmes were shown first on Thursdays and repeated on Mondays)
- 1989-90: Mondays 11:29am, repeated Thursdays 11:03am
(summer term only, Story World was shown in the autumn and spring; not in the HTV Wales area on Thursdays; due to the May Day holiday most programmes were shown first on Thursdays and repeated on Mondays)
Time for a Story was later repeated on the satellite channel Granada Plus, on Tuesday and Friday mornings at 6:45am. All 28 episodes were shown, from Tuesday 1st October 1996 to Friday 3rd January 1997. It was then replaced by Granada's children's programme The Magic Ball.
Sources & References
- ITN Source (Granada TV archive catalogue)
- Satellite Times TV listings (1996-97)
- Thames (1987) ITV Schools Annual Programme Guide 1987/88. London: Thames Television
- Time for a Story teacher's notes (1985-90)
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Some random programmes for age 3-5 from the 1980s
|Stop, Look, Listen|
|ITV Schools, Channel 4 Schools|
|BBC Schools Radio|
|Y Byd a'i Bethau|