Zig Zag: The Anglo-Saxons

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started14th Sep 1992
ended19th Oct 1992
last rpt19th Sep 2003on the CBBC Channel
12 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🏛️History
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English

Zig ZagHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: Tales from Europe (1992)Next unit: TreesHierarchyNext.gif

The Anglo-Saxons is a unit of the BBC Schools TV series Zig Zag from the 1990s & 2000s, covering history for primary school pupils.

Paul Coia finds out about the Anglo-Saxons by visiting sites such as a reconstructed village at West Stow and the remains of a monastery in Jarrow. He meets the 'ghosts' of characters from the past who explain their lives and interests.

The first three episodes include a re-telling of Beowulf written by Kevin Crossley-Holland, with illustrations and a traditional story-teller.

The last three episodes include the filmed drama serial The Raven and the Cross, as originally shown on Merry-Go-Round in 1974.


Programme 1 from this unit won the Royal Television Society Educational Television Award in 1991 for Junior Schools Television, age 7-9.

Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. Anglo-Saxon Life #1992-09-14-00-00-0014 Sep 1992
2. Anglo-Saxon Treasure #1992-09-21-00-00-0021 Sep 1992
3. Anglo-Saxon Monks #1992-09-28-00-00-0028 Sep 1992
4. Anglo-Saxons Invaded #1992-10-05-00-00-005 Oct 1992
5. Anglo-Saxons at Bay #1992-10-12-00-00-0012 Oct 1992
6. Anglo-Saxons Triumph! #1992-10-19-00-00-0019 Oct 1992


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1992-93 Autumn 1992 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 1:40pm BBC2
1994-95 Autumn 1994 Monday, 11:00am Wednesday, 1:25pm BBC2
1996-97 Spring 1997 Monday, 11:10am Wednesday, 1:25pm BBC2
1999-2000 Summer 2000 Monday, 11:10am BBC2

Also broadcast overnight as part of BBC2's Learning Zone broadcasts, in Summer 1997 from 2am on Thursday 17th April 1997.

CBBC Channel

Also broadcast on the CBBC Channel 'Class TV' service of schools programmes:


Presenter Paul Coia
Beowulf adapted by Kevin Crossley-Holland
The Raven and the Cross starring Seymour Green as Guthrun
Claire Walker as Edwina
Mollie Maureen as Ellen
Charles Collingwood as Cedric
Edward Phillips as Athelwald
Kenneth Watson as Sigfrid
The Raven and the Cross director Dorothea Brooking
Zig Zag director Tom Stanier
Producer Patricia Williams


Teacher's Notes
Video Plus notes

There were teacher's notes, a Video Plus packs, a Factfinders book and software for Acorn computers available.



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