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 April 20th and committed to delivering 150 online lessons and 30 dedicated TV programmes each week to support children in their home schooling.
Since its debut, BBC Bitesize Daily (on BBC iPlayer) has received 5.5 million requests as students tuned in for a virtual school experience delivered by presenters, teachers and famous faces from the studio at MediaCity UK, Salford.
Over on BBC Bitesize Daily Online, 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 a 3.8 million unique visitors per week on average, up 121 per cent on the same time period in 2019.
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.
There has also been a huge increase in engagement on social media. Bitesize has offered advice to parents home-schooling through its social platforms as well as fun interactive games and quizzes such as ‘Take on the Teacher’. These have brought 110,000 new fans on Facebook, over 25,000 new followers on Twitter, and over 21,000 new followers on Instagram.
Helen Foulkes, Head of BBC Education, said: “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.