Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly'?

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Billy
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Re: Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly

Post by Billy »

It surprises me in retrospect now that schools programmes continued on BBC Two mornings for as long as they did - even during my primary school years (1996-2000) we didn't watch anything live, and the tapes we did watch were either off-airs or bought especially from BBC Education. I remember watching early 80s 'Look and Read' and 'Zig Zag' programmes in year 3 and being fascinated by the 'follows shortly' and old logo slides on the tape, and finding it a shame that the teacher would fast forward them!

Looking it up online it appears the final day of schools programmes on BBC Two was the 26th March 2010, which seems to have quietly happened without much publicity - unlike the end of Ceefax last year. You'd think they could have had a retrospective day of schools programmes through the ages or something, providing any of it still exists...

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Roll ACR
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Re: Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly

Post by Roll ACR »

We only really watched School's television programmes at Primary. It featured regularly in the timetable and there was a massive ITV preference amongst the teachers. The overwhelming majority of our School telly was ITV. Basic Maths, Good Health, Stop Look Listen, Starting Science, A Place To Live, Animals in Action, Seeing and Doing etc. etc. I can only think of 3 BBC programmes we watched. Look and Read, Music Time and Watch. We also used to congregate around the Radio in the Library to listen to Radio for Schools but I can't remember the names of the programmes.

After moving up to the Comp at 11 we hardly watched much telly as a teaching tool and on the rare occasions we did it was grown-up programmes. Documentaries, films etc. Not "programmes for Schools and Colleges."

TonyCurrie
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Re: Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly

Post by TonyCurrie »

Many schools intervals from the 60s, 70s and 80s are contained on a double CD released by Winchester Hospital Radio as a charity fundraiser. Details of "Watch With Teacher" here

jno
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Re: Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly

Post by jno »

It's great reading these memories of watching TV in school, which of course is really teachers having 30 minutes off doing any work. Ok, there's "follow up" material but many teachers will often just sit back & relax while these programmes were on.

I remember seeing the remake of 'Boy from Space' and 'Dark Towers' in school. Both of these were more disturbing than enjoyable for me - looking back 'Wordy' is also a bit camp for kids and even now I can't wait for him to just get off.

The 'TV room' was often referred to as the 'Visual Aids' room and I can remember some huge wooden contraption at the front with a slanted screen which doubled up as a video player and the specially employed AV technician putting the tape on - inefficiency 80s style.

Teachers in the 80s were like dinosaurs and none of them could operate a video recorder or TV - watching them struggling was actually more entertaining than the rubbish I was forced to endure on screen which I can't really say if I learnt anything from at all. Example: I seem to remember the cartoon character builder from Look & Read's "Why don't you build yourself a word?" far better than the message he was sending across which has been completely forgotten.

celticguy
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Re: Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly

Post by celticguy »

Slightly offtopic but mention of the breaks between programmes in case of a certain age group seeing something 'unsuitable' has reminded me of a schools programme from the late 70s/early 80s which I think featured Anna Ford and was about car seat belt safety. It wasn't a public information film, it was a 20-30 min long programme and I remember seeing it at home a couple of times when I suppose I must have been off ill. It was pretty gory as it illustrated all the injuries you could sustain from not wearing a seatbelt with hospital photos of actual injuries and as a finale police photos of a car crash where the driver had died, body and all. What makes me think it was a schools programme is I can remember Ford saying during her introduction 'Shut your eyes if it gets too tough for you' so I presume kids were the intended audience. Haven't come across any mention of this on the internet - anyone else remember it?

RobinCarmody
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Re: Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly

Post by RobinCarmody »

Billy wrote:Looking it up online it appears the final day of schools programmes on BBC Two was the 26th March 2010, which seems to have quietly happened without much publicity - unlike the end of Ceefax last year. You'd think they could have had a retrospective day of schools programmes through the ages or something, providing any of it still exists...
I don't think the BBC has any great interest in celebrating that aspect of its past. That's for the Ghost Box set (for whom I sort of blame myself, because I suspect I made a lot of them feel it was OK to talk about this sort of thing, but I was thinking about it from a sub-Marxist perspective, and they weren't ...)

There's a pretty good selection of schools programmes in the BBC archives, though, even from the early years (a 1964 example, Living in the Present, turned up as part of BBC Parliament's 'Permissive Night' in 2008). Most from the late 1970s and early 1980s still exist because, although the BBC also didn't have the budget to transfer most of them to a digital format, it kept the 2" tapes rather than junk them as it did with many children's programmes of the time. Indeed, some schools programmes are still only held on 2".

David Croxson
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Re: Schools programmes: why did they have to 'follow shortly

Post by David Croxson »

As I understand it, until the mid 1990s at the BBC, the transmission of Schools programmes was done by the announcer and a VT operator, there was no network director, network assistant or POA (Vision Mixer). The continuity booths for BBC 1 and 2 were capable of mixing several vision sources in addition to sound from grams, v/o microphone etc. I imagine this is why there were announcements after programmes, giving any back-ref as required then pointing what was next and when, followed by holding slide, music and countdown during which the announcer would run the VT at the appropriate time and cut it to air.

Transmission of OU sequences was done by the announcer alone, often running programmes to BBC1 and 2 simultaneously from one suite (known as OU Con). In its final days this suite transmitted BBC Select, albeit lthough with prerecorded announcements and staffed by an operator. This suite had its own rack of U-Matic VTRs...

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