The BBC has launched the biggest push on education in its history – ensuring that every child in the UK has the opportunity to continue to follow the appropriate core parts of their nation’s school curriculum in these challenging times. The BBC reported 3m unique visits to BBC Bitesize Daily on the first day of full operation this week, demonstrating the importance of the BBC as an institution and the vital work it does.
Whether complementing what schools are providing remotely, or as a standalone resource, the BBC’s newly expanded education offer will bring 14 weeks of educational programmes and lessons to every household in the country – whatever the child’s age. Bitesize Daily, as the service will be called, will deliver a daily tailored programme of learning across BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Bitesize website and app, BBC Four and BBC Sounds, with curriculum relevant offers across the UK.
This service will be powered by 200 teachers and a host of well-known faces from Professor Brian Cox explaining key science topics to Manchester City footballer Sergio Aguero teaching children to count in Spanish. Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker will even drop into Bitesize daily lessons!
Designed in conjunction with teachers, well trusted education providers such as Twinkl and White Rose Maths, the Department of Education in England, the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, this comprehensive package is aimed at minimising disruption to children’s education and providing rhythm and routine in these challenging times.
The BBC is not forgetting the importance of Children’s access to culture, and so Ten Pieces a long-running school music programme by the BBC that introduces 7-14 year olds to the world of classical music, has launched two new major initiatives ensuring children can continue to get creative and enjoy music this summer term.
BBC Local Radio has launched Make a Difference which provides a number people can call to ask for help, support or advice and reassurance. This is a vital service helping audiences to gain access to accurate expert advice. The lines are open 7 days a week between 6am and 6pm, with on air updates twice every hour, and it has now received in excess of a quarter of a million contacts from the audience.
BBC have also launched a twice weekly Make a Difference podcast highlighting the most uplifting stories from across the network. One that caught my eye was a distillery owner listening to Radio Lincoln who has switched production to hand sanitiser after hearing that the county’s First Responder group was running out. The BBC’s own teams have been responding to listeners’ concerns too – BBC Essex for example, has been sending out leaflets to listeners who have smartphones or tablets – but can’t use them to FaceTime, Skype or use other video calling to loved ones. They’ve also done on air tutorials which have been hugely appreciated by the audience.