Date: 15.01.2013 Last updated: 06.10.2014 at 11.41
This BBC Audience Council Wales listening event was organised in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr, and contributed to the scoping phase of the BBC Trust’s Service Review of the CBEEBIES and CBBC Services. As at Coleg Morgannwg the previous week, the Coleg Sir Gâr students had carefully considered questions relating to the services before the event, and so met members of ACW with well-developed views, which they expressed in a confident way. There were 12 participants present. One discussion group was conducted in Welsh and the other in English.
such as Mr Tumble were seen as being great for helping children to learn
about people who might be different than they are and is a great way to
introduce people with disabilities and people from other religious or cultural
backgrounds, which they might not otherwise encounter until they start
school. Mr Tumble also presents
by using sign language which children can easily pick up and it’s fantastic for
hearing impaired children. There were some concerns raised about the language used on CBEEBIES – was it too
complicated for the younger end of the target audience? Did the CBEEBIES
programmes targeted at younger viewers assist with language acquisition?
Some of the group felt
that there needed to be a better link between what their children learn at
school and what they saw on television. One of the group explained that she preferred
her children to watch the Cyw strand on S4C as this had the Welsh language
element that was missing from CBEEBIES.
such as ‘My CBEEBIES Garden’ were praised for teaching children about fruit and
vegetables which was considered important, whilst other programmes were good
for showing children how things worked. In this context participants made fond
reference to Come Outside, featuring Pippin and Aunty Mabel, the flying
presenter who piloted her own spotty aircraft to find out how things worked.
like Balamory and Teletubbies were listed as examples of those
that show different parts of the UK (Scotland in Balamory’s case) as
well as other parts of the world and provides an easy way for children to learn
about other places without realising they were doing so. However some argued that the more factual
parts of those programmes bored the children who would lose interest or switch
over during these points but there was also a recognition that this could be
due to the fact that these segments were shown twice during the same episode).
CBEEBIES was praised for
its positive action to encourage diversity and participants felt that it
presented issues relating to diversity in a positive and natural way.
felt that the most effective programmes were the ones where children were
learning, but didn’t realise they were doing it because the programmes were fun
– much in the same way as when they play games on the CBEEBIES websites, which
they are able to find and use easily.
One point raised by some
participants was that younger girls and boys had a preference for different
programmes (with Peppa Pig mentioned in the context of girls and Ben10
and Power Rangers – on non-BBC channels - for boys).
websites such as Bitesize was warmly praised as a useful educational resource
for children. It made it easier for
children to complete some homework tasks and encouraged by schools that could
trust it as a safe resource for children.
of the group remembered watching Newsround when they were younger but
felt that children “weren’t particularly interested in that type of thing”
now. However, another participant said that a question about a news story had
been raised in the classroom, which had led to a discussion with the teacher, and
had proved a positive learning experience.
Drama series, such as the Tracey Beaker strand,
were popular according to a number of participants, though others felt that it
provided a poor example of behaviour and exemplified poor language and a poor ‘attitude’ which was no model for
children to follow.
The response of participants to both channels was
general positive, though it was clear that they felt there was a gap in
provision – particularly in the middle of the 2-12 age group, with neither
CBEEBIES or CBBC catering adequately for those around 6-8 years old – “I
feel that my children are too old for CBEEBIES and too young for CBBC, and
there needs to be some kind of ‘in-between’”.
Many participants also felt that both channels were
very English in their approach and didn’t adequately reflect all four nations
of the UK.
Some participants felt that there was now too much
merchandise associated with the BBC children’s channels and that it was now
more money orientated. Others felt that, compared to other commercial
children’s channels, the BBC channels were a haven from commercialism. Several
other participants felt that the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon were perceived
as ‘cool’ channels by children thanks to the USA originated content and that
this meant that they were more likely to watch those than the BBC children’s channels.
Many participants said
that a key positive of the BBC children’s channels was that fewer programmes
were repeated than on other children’s channels.
OTHER COMMENTS ON BBC OUTPUT
There was a general appreciation of the BBC’s other
output, in terms of on-line, radio, and, on TV, its factual, comedy, drama and
news output. Some participants felt however that their trust in the BBC had
been delivered a blow recently with one participant considering the BBC’s news
output biased towards the left. Several participants felt that there was
inadequate world news in the main channels’ news output. Many other
participants disagreed and still considered the BBC to be the source of
impartial, trusted news.
thought that the BBC would benefit from having a “BBC One+1” channel like many