As the new school year approaches, the BBC said its Children’s and Education units, with BBC Bitesize, will be supporting parents, carers, teachers and kids with newly commissioned content, including a new curriculum-linked offering for those starting school for the very first time.
BBC Bitesize content
This new BBC Bitesize content will assist families as their children navigate their first year. It was developed in response to parents who, during lockdown, wanted a formal education offering for four year-olds which offered the same high quality, curriculum-focused content as that aimed at those aged five plus.
The first wave of BBC Bitesize content will focus on English and Maths, with more subjects to follow, tapping into some of BBC Children’s most popular brands as well as introducing fun new characters.
There will be over 100 child-facing guides available, in addition to engaging, bespoke videos to help with core knowledge and skills development.
These range from how to hold a pencil to phonics, and from number bonds to help with subitising – being able to look at a group of objects and know how many there are without counting.
There is also support and advice for parents and carers, such as tips to support children’s phonics at home, and guides, including Why Is Storytelling Good For Children’s Learning?; Helping Your Child Learn How To Count; and What Is Subitising?
New games will also support the content using well known characters, such as the ever-popular Numberblocks, to make learning fun.
Patricia Hidalgo, Director of Children’s & Education, said: “BBC Children’s and BBC Education have everything a parent and child needs for starting school. From educational shows on CBeebies and CBBC to BBC Bitesize and BBC Teach, the BBC is here to guide them on their next step.
“This new content bridges a gap for children and is a helpful toolbox for teachers, parents, carers and kids to complement starting school.”
Other new school-focused content for the new year includes:
BBC Bitesize Primary
To compliment the current range of Primary subjects, a new programme of study for Citizenship (Year 1 to Year 6) will cover topics such as What Is A Citizen? and Health In The Community to Money Matters and What Is Democracy? in easy-to-understand guides filled with tailored animations and films.
In a new suite of guides, videos and interactives, the focus is on the geography of the UK (Year 3 to Year 6).
The content explains key geographical features and gives children a better appreciation of the variety of habitats, native flora and fauna that can be found nearby.
New content includes GCSE History topics and new interactive guides across a number of Key Stage 3 (KS3) subjects including Maths, Science and Geography.
Students can also learn through play with curriculum-linked games for KS3, including the brand new Planet Planners. This builds on geography decision-making skills and dealing with challenges such as climate change, coastal erosion and volcanic eruptions.
There will be a new series of Live Lessons for primary schools this coming year. Eight half-hour curriculum-linked programmes are planned for 7-11s, marking National Poetry Day, Anti-Bullying Week, Safer Internet Day, World Book Day and British Science Week.
Some of the Live lessons will feature collaborations with exciting shows such as Operation Ouch! And Winterwatch.
The makers of BBC One’s Frozen Planet II will also be teaming up with BBC Teach for a Live Lesson in November, exploring the coldest places on Earth and the impact of climate change on some of the animals that live there.
A new series of Hey Duggee starts, with super cute episodes featuring each Squirrel’s first day starting at Squirrel Club.
Viewers can also follow Topsy and Tim as they start school, in First Day. Topsy and Tim receive an unexpected surprise when they arrive at the school gates and lots of their friends are there, ready to share a very special day.
Apple Tree House follows Mali in First Days, as he gets used to living in a new home and worries about starting at a new school. Luckily, there are lots of friends on hand to help him through his first-day nerves.
A school-themed Waffle The Wonder Dog features Evie having a visit from her new teacher at home, and Waffle joining her at school on her first day… with the usual chaos.
Popular observational documentary Time For School follows a reception class of children as they start school for the very first time.
CBeebies will also run the Learn & Play zone after lunch from 1pm which includes Yakka Dee, Numberblocks, Alphablocks and Dog Loves Books.
Operation Ouch! with Drs Chris and Xand and Dr Ronx returns with a new series as they explore the human body in space, test hair-raising experiments and compete in the ultimate battle of the brains, Ouchology.
New episodes of Hey You! What If… asks more ridiculous questions and takes viewers on an unforgettable journey where the impossible is made possible to find the answers! What if you could walk on the ceiling? Or fly like a superhero? Or if you ate nothing but burgers?
Tune into a brand-new series of Our School and go behind the scenes at an all-girls boarding school in Bristol, revealing the fun, friendships and challenges the girls face while living and learning away from home.
Blue Peter is back live in the studio as they go for gold and are joined by some sporty superstars. Plus, Mwaksy heads out to try two completely different sports – Surfing and Basketball!
The Newsround website will support students with helpful tips for returning or starting a new school.
There will be a focus will be on the cost of living and how schools are being affected, and presenter Ricky Boleto will look at what is being done to keep costs down for pupils and their families, from school dinners to uniforms.
Newsround will also explore what it is like for young people in Ukraine and how they are continuing to learn in the middle of a war.
BBC Bitesize and the Nations
BBC Wales has new Humanities content for 11-14s in preparation for the new Welsh curriculum. This includes new films to support the teaching of the Digital Competence Framework which is unique to Wales.
Areas of teaching include data and computational thinking, how to teach pupils about identity, image and reputation in the context of citizenship and online behaviour and cyber bullying.
BBC Northern Ireland
BBC Northern Ireland has new Bitesize content for primary school students across a range of subjects. Bella and Harry will teach how different sounds can come together to create a musical masterpiece (Foundation Music); students can visit Punction Peaks to learn all about crafting a radio drama (KS2 Language & Literacy), and get an extra helping of Geography and History with The World Around Us.
Secondary school learners can expect new study guides for GCSE Single Award Science, to find out about everything from climate change and rocks to protest and slavery (KS3 Environment & Society), and to study the digestive system and blood to photosynthesis and ecology (KS3 Science).
BBC Scotland has new English and Maths content being served to learners at Early Level in Scotland.
For Scottish primary schools, the new Let’s Do This! films and articles encourage children to enjoy getting active. The focus is on fun games that are easy to learn and which children of all abilities can take part in, either in class or at home.
And there’s a new set of guides to help children learning English as an additional language.
For secondary schools the focus is on practical science, including over 80 videos that take learners through experiments step by step, across Biology, Chemistry and Physics.