Present and future programmes

The series at present being produced by Rediffusion Television are intended for children in the 7 to 16 age group. They are:


A series for children in top infants, transition and first-year junior classes. Through mime, song, art, movement, stories and film, active participation by the children is encouraged. This year’s subjects have included bread, milk, paper, chocolate, tea, weather, railways, post, telephone, West Indies, Iran, and human activities.


This series for 9 to 11-year-old children is designed to help teachers in primary schools who have no specialist training in science and little apparatus at their disposal. Illustrated sheets giving diagrams of suggested experiments are produced for the teachers and pupils. This year’s topics are: time, space, heat, cold and size. The programmes are broadcast at fortnightly intervals to allow time for follow-up work.


This specially filmed series for 9 to 11-year-olds gives accounts of the lives of people whose work helps the community. Programmes deal with the work of the lighthouse keeper, the butcher, the postman, the vet, and the bus crew.


The aim of this series for 9 to 11-year-old children is to teach them to study all animals more intelligently. It deals with the function and different types of work of zoos, emphasis being placed on what goes on behind the scenes. Feeding, science at the zoo, environment, vertebrates, birds and mammals are among the subjects.


This English series for 12 to 13-year-old children in secondary schools aims to stimulate discussion and creative writing by giving pupils a variety of emotional experiences. Each programme has a single theme interpreted in many different ways. This year the themes include “Laziness”, “Protest”, “Silence”, “Tricked”, “In the Red”, “No Man is an Island”, “Decision”, and “It’s all in the Mind”. Poetry, film montages, dramatised scenes and songs are some of the techniques used.


A drama series is a regular feature of the output of Rediffusion Television. This year a series of programmes, intended for pupils of 14 and over, is designed to make clear the nature of drama. It shows the major stages in the preparation and actual performance of a television play. The play itself, “A Change of Climate”, was specially written for school television and aims to present topics for class discussion besides showing technical aspects of production.


The programmes in this series are intended to supplement science courses taken by pupils in secondary schools. They aim to show ways in which the work of various scientists have an impact on the communal, domestic and recreational aspects of our life. Programmes on bridges, canals, tunnels, aircraft, ships; skating, mountaineering, sport, endurance, and pets are included.


Programmes in this series are designed not so much to teach grammar but to give pupils with an elementary knowledge of the language a chance to hear French used as a means of communication between French people in a French setting. Dramatised episodes have shown incidents in the life of one French family in a provincial town and of another family on holiday making a journey by boat along the waterways of Brittany. The language is kept simple and repetition of phrases is introduced in a natural way.


“The Golden Age” is a series for children in the lower secondary school showing many aspects of life in England in the Elizabethan era. The programmes are designed to arouse imagination and interest and lead to project work in viewing classes. The literature of the period is dealt with and, in particular, the Shakespearian aspects.


Besides the continuation of established series: “Finding Out”, “The World Around Us”, French, Drama, English and Social History, new series are being planned for 1967—1968.


This series will be the first produced in Independent Television for middle infant classes. The programmes will be designed to involve the children of about 6 years of age and make them participate in the programmes. By using special techniques aimed at arousing their natural curiosity, the producers hope to encourage the children to go on to make discoveries of their own and become more aware of the world in which they live. Stories, mime and music which will appeal to the viewing classes will form the nucleus of the series.


This is a new venture and a new departure in presenting music programmes for 9 to 11-year-old children. Songs with bold and simple tunes, from various parts of the world, will be given a visual interpretation with dramatisation, mime, film and dance, as well as straightforward singing.

Emphasis will be placed on the stories behind the songs as well as on their music. Through participation in the singing the children will be encouraged to find out more about the historical background of the songs and the events underlying them.


In 1967—1968 a completely new programme will be made for this series which was first presented four years ago. It will be for less-able secondary school pupils. A fully dramatised serial, based on incidents in the life of a family with teenage children, will introduce pupils to the society they will enter after leaving school.


In this new series for secondary school pupils, the aim is to help young people to orientate themselves in a changing world and take their place as responsible citizens. The programmes are designed to show the impact of scientific and technological advance on the individual and society. They will be presented in pairs: in each pair one programme will be concerned with the scientific study of a subject: the second with the effects of this study on daily life.

Highlights of TV for schools


In the week beginning May 13, 1957, the first regular British schools programmes were transmitted by Rediffusion Television. There were five series, covering a wide range of secondary school subjects:

“Year of Observation” — a science series dealing with the International Geophysical Year. The Russians sent up the first space satellite (Sputnik) during the term and this was covered in the very next “Year of Observation” programme.

“The Ballad Story” — a folk-song programme, concerned with both music and English, featuring top folk-singers. “On Leaving School” — designed for school leavers to prepare them for life in the adult world.

“Looking and Seeing” — art and environmental studies. “People Among Us” — a synthesis of geography, history, social studies, religion and art.


The BBC began to transmit schools programmes in the autumn of 1957, but almost all series produced by Rediffusion Television were still “firsts”. There were series on mathematics (“World of Figures”), the mass media (“Judge for Yourself”), farming (“The Farming Year”), art (“Shape in Your Hands”), music (“Music in the Making”), and dance (“Invitation to the Dance”).


By this time, certain series had become an established feature of Rediffusion Television school transmissions (notably science and drama), but many new types of series were also created in this academic year: the story of a river (“La Dordogne”), an anthology series designed to evoke both written work and work in the visual arts (“The Open Window”), a series designed to foster the effective and accurate use of words (“The Ring of Words”), exploration (“Maps and Men”), and the use of leisure (“In Leisure Time”). In the autumn term, “Process of Law”, written and presented by Jeremy Thorpe, was broadcast. This was a series designed to give a better understanding of the meaning of the word “law”.


This academic year saw the first transmission of a series designed for primary schools:— “The World Around Us”, with primary science programmes alternating with general interest programmes. Another “first” was a series for sixth forms, “The Artist in the Modern World”, in which artists in various media discussed their position in society. There was also “London: Capital City” which combined geography, history and social studies.


This year brought the first schools foreign language series (“Chez les Dupre”); the first complete regional geography of the British Isles, extending over three terms and involving much location filming all over the country (“The British Isles”); a current affairs programme for fifth and sixth forms (“A Changing World”); and a new type of book programme in which part of a book was dramatised and the viewers told to read the book to find out what happened next (“Books to Enjoy”). A new and different kind of science series, which traced the development of medical knowledge, was also produced (“The Story of Medicine”).


A new type of programme introduced this year was “Looking About”, a “bridge” series for older primary and younger secondary children. This took the form of four different groups of programmes of varied types alternating with each other. Also new was “The Pickwick Papers”, a dramatisation in serial form of the novel by Dickens. This year, too, schools series produced by ATV and Granada were included in Rediffusion Television’s time-table. They included series on the arts, mathematics, science, modern languages and current affairs.


An important “first” this year was “Your Money and Your Life”, a series which explained economics through simple dramatised fables. “Story Box” was a miscellany series something like “Looking About”, but intended for a lower age group (8—10) and tackling different areas. One of the drama series (“Theatres and Temples”) broke fresh ground by presenting ancient Greek tragedies and also by including introductory programmes on the ideas and institutions of the ancient Greeks.


There were two major “firsts” this year. There was a series for less able children, “You and the World”, which gave the children an idea of the world they would be facing when they left school. In addition there was “Cross-Roads”, a religious series designed to start children thinking about moral problems.


Once again, there were two major “firsts” — “One World”, a two-term series designed to foster international understanding, and “Finding Out”, the first series for infants and lower juniors.


Three major innovations took place—a series on medieval drama (“Mysteries and Miracles”); a local studies series for primary schools (“Let’s Go Out”); and a new type of English series, “Ways with Words”, designed to stimulate discussion and creative writing.


This year brought a new type of primary series, “A Time and a Place” about the different kinds of work in zoos; and a new type of social history series, “The Golden Age”, showing aspects of the world in which Shakespeare wrote his plays. Granada’s new series on human relationships, “Understanding”, was included in Rediffusion Television’s pattern of broadcasting.


The first series for middle infants is due to start— “Seeing and Doing”. There will also be a new type of music programme, “Song and Story”, in which songs are given a visual interpretation. A new science and social studies series, “Approach to Living”, will also be presented. It is designed to give an understanding of the impact of science and technology on society.