BBC Education programmes

BBC Schools

BBC Schools, also known as BBC for Schools and Colleges, is the educational programming strand set up by the BBC in 1957, broadcasting a range of educational programmes for children aged 5–16. From launch until June 1983, programming was based on BBC One during the daytime, apart from coverage of major news events which saw the programmes shifted to BBC2. In September 1983 programming was transferred permanently to BBC Two freeing BBC One to develop its own daytime schedule. The strand, named Daytime on Two, remained on BBC Two until March 2010, later supplemented by the 'Class TV' strand on the CBBC Channel.

Today, the division presents educational material through occasional television broadcasts as part of the BBC Learning Zone overnight service, through the online service 'Broadband Class Clips' and through the BBC School Radio programme.

The Pie Chart[edit]

From September 1960 until September 1974, the presentation was a black and white card with a pie chart split into five segments with a BBC logo in the bottom right corner. The pie chart segments disappeared with the seconds and was operated via a mechanical model. They were introduced, from 1969, by a special version of the BBC One mirror globe, but without the 'Colour' legend, as schools programmes were still in black and white while the rest of BBC One's programmes were in colour.

The Diamond[edit]

In September 1974, the presentation was changed to a blue diamond on a black background with the BBC One legend. It was commissioned to mark the start of schools programmes in colour, and consisted of the three diamonds of increasing size inside one another, first forming out of the background before pulsating and splitting into smalled diamonds, before eventually decreasing altogether. The colour scheme was changed following the BBC One rebrand of image to orange on a navy blue background with, unusually, an orange legend. This was accompanied by an orange version of the BBC One Network clock. A still version of the diamond was occasionally used on the channel, with a double lined version of the BBC1 logo. This was accompanied by a similar version for BBC Two with double lined BBC2 logo, for occasions when schools programmes were transferred to that channel.

The Dots[edit]

In September 1977, presentation was again changed to a countdown clock of disappearing dots around a spinning 'Schools and Colleges' legend. A white BBC1 legend was underneath, with the altered network clock discontinued. The spinning Schools and Colleges legend was in fact unintended and was a result of an issue with the mechanical model used. This was amended by the following summer. In autumn 1981, the new corporate double lined BBC1 logo was added to the model in replacement of the old one, however this amended model only lasted three months, as the whole mechanical model was replaced by a computer generated version. The primary difference was that the dots, instead of fading to the background colour of blue, faded to black.

Upon occasions when the schools strand was transferred to BBC Two, a version with the BBC2 double lined logo was used the 2 legend replacing the BBC1 legend. Following the switch to electronic, the BBC2 version was also recreated, however during the Falklands War, a version with a hastily added BBC Two ident was used, with the replaced caption being the orange logo on a black background box.


Interesting facts:

Mike Baker (born 1957) was the BBC's Education Correspondent from 1989 until 2007. Before that he was a BBC Political Correspondent from 1980 to 1989. He also spent brief periods as a Foreign Correspondent and Deputy Home News Editor at the BBC. Baker is currently a...

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