BBC to publish daily lessons and materials to support home-schooling

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Home support: The BBC has responded to the government's call for the creation of home learning resources to support families

The BBC is to publish 14 weeks' worth of curriculum-related learning resources to support the education of the nation’s children during the coronavirus lockdown.

As the government closed schools in its fight against the spread of coronavirus, it also asked the BBC to work on a suite of national resources to support home education.

Launching on April 20, the resources will feature 14 weeks of curriculum-related learning for children aged five to 14 across all four nations of the UK. It includes:

  • Daily programmes to help guide parents and children through their learning.
  • Daily online lessons for all age groups.
  • Further online content including videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles focusing on the core subjects.

BBC Bitesize Daily – as it will be called – will deliver its daily materials across BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Bitesize website and app, BBC Four and BBC Sounds.

The materials will feature BBC presenters including Karim Zeroual, Oti Mabuse and Katie Thistleton as well as teachers and experts and input from organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and Puffin Books.

Each day, a number of 20-minute programmes will be available on BBC iPlayer or BBC Red Button, from where parents will be directed to resources available that day on BBC Bitesize online. All content will be divided into age groups.

BBC Bitesize online will home a new maths and English lesson for every child every day with more subjects to follow. BBC Bitesize will also house podcasts, videos, quizzes and lessons. The content will be relevant to curriculums across the UK.

There will be further content delivered via BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Scotland. BBC Scotland will continue to deliver 1.5 to two hours of learning content daily while BBC Northern Ireland will have local curriculum content on iPlayer and will be launching a number of skills-based projects for home learners.

Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, said: “This is the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken. We are proud to be there when the nation needs us, working with teachers, schools and parents to ensure children have access and support to keep their learning going.”

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: "In a time of crisis it is welcome that the BBC is not just informing and entertaining, but remembering the other part of their original mission statement: to educate. Teachers will be pleased that the BBC is making programming available and that they are giving particular consideration to daily structure and age-appropriate resources.”

The BBC resources come after a wide range of organisations have published resources, materials and support for home-schooling families, much of which is being offered free of charge. Headteacher Update has already published a compendium listing some of these resources. A second compendium is due to be published on our website later this week. The Department for Education (DfE) has also published activities – entitled Little Hungry Minds – aimed at 0 to 5-year-olds.

More detail on the resources

BBC Bitesize Daily: Every day, six 20-minute programmes will air on BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button targeting six age groups, from 5 to 14, where teachers, experts and well known faces cover what that age group should be learning that day. From here, parents and children will be directed online to BBC Bitesize for an age-appropriate “daily drop” of curated videos, quizzes, podcasts and worksheets for core subjects. They will also be offered suggestions on how to extend learning around the home. The shows will be broken down into age groups: 5-7, 7-9, 9-11, 11- 12, 12-13, and 13-14.

Bitesize Daily Online: A maths and English lesson every day, for each year group from 1 to 10. Resources from BBC Bitesize, other parts of the BBC, and trusted education providers, are being brought together to create these daily lessons in the core subjects. There will also be resources for other subjects such as history, geography and art. The online content will complement the daily broadcast with video, quizzes, infographics and articles. The website will house guides offering help to parents about how to teach their child, advice for effective home-schooling, and guides for pupils with SEN.

BBC iPlayer: Showcasing of curriculum-related videos and programmes, organised by year group and subject.

BBC Sounds: Two daily education podcasts will be available aimed at parents of primary and secondary pupils. Each episode will last around 10 minutes and will be a guide to help families home-schooling find content on the BBC that supports their education and wellbeing.

BBC Four: A block of programming each weekday evening to support GCSE and A level curriculums. Includes factual programmes presented by some of Britain’s most authoritative voices on science and history. There will also be theatre versions of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, Othello and Hamlet. Further classic drama adaptations from the current exam syllabus will be confirmed soon.

Further information

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