Since its debut, BBC Bitesize Daily (on BBC iPlayer) has received 5.5 million requests as students tuned in for a fun virtual school experience delivered by presenters, teachers and famous faces from the dock10 Virtual Studio at MediaCityUK, Salford.
Parents and children have come to the BBC in record numbers since the doors were opened to its virtual school earlier this year. The BBC’s biggest ever Education initiative, Bitesize Daily was launched on 20 April and committed to delivering 150 online lessons and 30 dedicated TV programmes each week to support children in their home schooling.
Over on BBC Bitesize Daily Online, an incredible 1,800 lessons were delivered to help keep the nation learning. Three new curriculum led lessons were delivered every day for years one to ten covering core subjects such as maths, English and science alongside history, geography, religious studies, music, computer science and design and technology. The BBC Bitesize website has seen an incredible 3.8 million unique visitors per week on average, up 121% on the same time period in 2019.
Some famous faces have joined the teaching staff of 2020 to bring their own spin on topics. Celebrity Book Club and the Big Read on Bitesize Daily Primary and Secondary have seen the likes of Jesse Lingard, Oti Mabuse, Liam Payne, Mabel, Dina Asher Smith and Stephen Fry reading extracts from well-known texts while celebs such as Danny Dyer, Professor Brian Cox, David Attenborough, Jodie Whittaker and Sergio Aguero have brought curriculum topics to life within lessons.
Teachers have also used Bitesize to support their remote learning and virtual classroom. BBC Teach, a vast resource for teachers saw visitors of 519k each week to view lesson plans and content to support them.
This huge educational push was a collaborative effort across the BBC with BBC Sounds and BBC Four all lending their support. Every week, BBC Sounds delivered two podcasts aimed at parents; Bitesize Primary Survival Podcast and Bitesize Secondary Survival Podcast were all about equipping parents and giving them advice as they navigated home-schooling. On BBC Four, documentaries in the arts and history were shown aimed at older students.
Big name partners have also lent their support to Bitesize Daily providing a wealth of content for the BBC to use within lessons. Premier League, Science Museum Group, Royal Shakespeare Company and Puffin Books have been just some of those involved.
Helen Foulkes, Head of BBC Education, says: "In April, we said we would be there for parents and children in navigating home schooling and these incredible figures show just how many have come to us. We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved during what has been a truly difficult time."
"We hope that through this pandemic, parents and children have discovered how vast and informative BBC Bitesize is and that they will continue to come to us throughout that academic journey."
Over the summer, all 1,800 BBC Bitesize Daily lessons will remain online for anyone wanting to ‘catch up’. Alongside these, Sir David Attenborough will be setting a challenge to children to create their own nature diary over the holidays accompanied by special lessons to introduce children to the nature and wildlife communities around them. All the BBC Bitesize Daily programmes will be available on BBC iPlayer for the next 12 months.
BBC Bitesize will then continue to support, parents and children next term as they return to school. A ‘catch up’ service for Primary children focusing on key concepts will be available as will engaging learning resources for all children to be used at school or at home. Learning guides for all exam boards for GCSE and Nationals/Highers students will be on offer and regular ‘Live Lessons’ featuring famous faces will bring schools and year groups together to learn.