School’s Out, Learning’s Not!

Over 200 teachers and a host of well-known faces to teach the nation’s kids, as BBC opens its doors for virtual learning.

Published: 19 April 2020
We said the BBC would be there for people through this crisis, and we meant it. It’s vital that every child is able to continue learning - and the lessons we’re putting on will make sure they have fun at the same time.
— Alice Webb, Director, Children’s & Education
  • BBC’s new Bitesize Daily service powered by over 200 talented teachers
  • Professor Brian Cox teaches key science topics including force and gravity
  • Manchester City footballer Sergio Aguero to get the nation’s kids counting in Spanish
  • Award-winning music stars Mabel and Liam Payne combine music and reading for secondary school kids
  • Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker drops into Bitesize daily lessons
  • Hundreds of lessons to be delivered over 14 weeks

The BBC opens the doors to its biggest ever education offer, Bitesize Daily, on Monday 20 April, and the teaching roll call looks mightily impressive, with a register full of familiar names.

Collaborating with teachers and education specialists, the impressive roster has been compiled in just four weeks and will offer 14 weeks of curriculum-based learning for kids across the UK.

Renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox will bring science lessons to life as only he can, as he covers topics including the solar system, force and gravity.

Famed for his precision and skill on the pitch, Manchester City’s star striker Sergio Aguero turns his attention to numbers, as he sets about getting kids across the country counting in Spanish! While former MP Ed Balls continues the number theme as he goes back to his political roots in economics to deliver a KS3 maths class.

EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, who is also a direct descendant of King Edward III,  delivers the facts on another historic king - Henry VIII - as he brings history to KS1 pupils, while Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker will also be dropping into Bitesize daily lessons.

Known the world over for his natural history documentaries, Sir David Attenborough is also set to be involved, helping youngsters to learn about the oceans, mapping the world and why animals look the way they do.

Reading and music come together as Liam Payne, Mabel and a host of musical stars take part in a week long Musical Big Read - an extension to a weekly Book Club that will run throughout the 14-week term and see stars including Anita Rani and Oti Mabuse read books aimed at both primary and secondary age kids. 

Both in front of and behind the camera, over 200 teachers have come together to help the nations kids keep learning whilst schools are closed. In week one students will meet Mr Burton (Educating Yorkshire), Ms Webb (Primary), Mr Brown (Secondary), Ms Armit (Secondary), Mr Mycock (Secondary) and Mr McPartlin of Britain’s Got Talent fame. They will all front daily lessons available from 9am each week day on BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button.

A host of familiar faces are also signed up to keep students motivated and on track with inspirational messages of support and tips on how to stay focused.

The BBC is delivering the biggest Education offering in its history to ensure that kids across the UK have access to curriculum-supported learning for the summer term, working closely with trusted education providers, teachers and partners. All elements of Bitesize Daily have been developed with teaching professionals.

Alice Webb, Director BBC Children’s & Education, says: "We’re proud that the BBC can bring together so many people to offer such a wide-ranging package of support to help children and parents right across the UK at such a challenging time.

"We said the BBC would be there for people through this crisis, and we meant it. It’s vital that every child is able to continue learning - and the lessons we’re putting on will make sure they have fun at the same time."

BBC Bitesize Daily will deliver a tailored day of learning across BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Bitesize website and app, BBC Four and BBC Sounds, with curriculum relevant offers across the UK. Together, this comprehensive package is aimed at minimising disruption to children’s education and providing rhythm and routine in these challenging times.

From today Radio 4 will also be broadcasting programmes to help listeners learn together at home.


Please see below for more information on what the BBC’s Education offer includes:

BBC Bitesize Daily

Every day 6x20' programmes, Bitesize Daily, will air on BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button, targeting six age groups from 5 to 14, where teachers, experts and famous faces cover off what that age group should be learning that day. Each programme will be available on BBC iPlayer as well as having its own regular slot on BBC Red Button aiding routine and daily structure.

From Bitesize Daily, parents and children will be directed online to BBC Bitesize for an age appropriate ‘daily drop’ of specially curated videos, quizzes, podcasts and worksheets to bring to life core curriculum subjects such as Maths, English and Science, as well as being offered suggestions on how to extend learning around the home.

These shows are aimed at all children across the UK and split into age groups: 5-7 years, 7-9 years, 9-11 years, 11- 12, 12-13 years and 13-14 years.


Bitesize Daily Online

Bitesize Daily Online will deliver a newly created Maths and English lesson every day, for each year group from 1-10. Resources from BBC Bitesize, other parts of the BBC, and trusted education providers are being brought together to create these easy-to-follow daily lessons in the core subjects.

As well as offering resources in Maths, English and Science, parents and children will find resources for other subjects such as history, geography and art. The online content will also complement the daily broadcast with video, quizzes, infographics and articles that help children to build on the learning from each broadcast. The website will also house guides offering help to parents about how to teach their child, advice for effective home schooling, and guides for pupils with SEN (Special Education Needs).

On social media, parents will be able to access further advice about teaching via BBC Bitesize Facebook and Twitter, which will be updated regularly with helpful guides.

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer will serve up specially curated content to showcase the very best curriculum-related videos and programmes. Organised by year group and subject, it will be easy for children to find and navigate further support for their learning.

BBC Sounds

Two brand new daily education podcasts will be available on BBC Sounds aimed at parents of primary and secondary pupils. Each episode lasts around ten minutes and will be a guide to help families who are home schooling find content on the BBC that supports their education and wellbeing. Both podcasts - BBC Bitesize Primary Planner and BBC Bitesize Secondary Planner - will be available on voice devices too.

BBC Four

BBC Four is devoting a block of programming each weekday evening to shows that support GCSE and A-Level curriculums, bringing back premium factual programmes presented by some of Britain’s most authoritative voices on Science and History. For students studying Science, programmes of interest for them include Pain, Pus & Poison, Chemistry: A Volatile History, Blood & Guts: A History Of Surgery and Shock & Awe: The Story Of Electricity.

For students of History, highlighted programmes include Mary Beard’s Meet The Romans, Michael Wood’s Story Of England, Andrew Marr’s History Of Modern Britain, and Tunes For Tyrants.

These factual programmes are in addition to the previously announced Shakespeare plays which will see BBC Four broadcast theatre versions of Macbeth, Romeo And Juliet, The Merchant Of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and Hamlet.

Other classic drama adaptations on the current exam syllabus that will be shown on BBC TV includes King Lear, starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, directed by Sir Richard Eyre; Russell T Davies’ adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Tess Of The D’Urbevilles starring Gemma Arterton; Pride And Prejudice; Great Expectations starring Gillian Anderson and Ray Winstone; Jane Austen’s Emma and JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls.

Pictured: CBBC presenter Katie Thistleton