David Walliams joins BBC's cast of lockdown teachers

Elena Chabo
Photo credit: Tristan Fewings - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

Returning today (8 June) for the summer term, the UK's children are going to have the most astounding list of teachers to help with their home school schedule. Since 20th April, BBC has been offering daily programmes to help parents and children with schoolwork during lockdown, and the broadcaster has recruited the best of the best for this novel new school.

Already we've had Sir David Attenborough teaching the nation about oceans, mapping and the animal world, Science lessons with renowned physicist, Professor Brian Cox. Spanish taught by Manchester City's star striker Sergio Aguero and actor Danny Dyer delivering an entertaining class on Henry VIII for KS1 pupils. Maths you ask? Former Labour MP Ed Balls called on his roots in economics to teach a secondary school maths class.

Photo credit: Laurence Griffiths - Getty Images

Other stars onboard include pop stars Liam Payne and Mabel, Dr Who actor Jodie Whittaker, Strictly's Oti Mabuse and Mr Burton from Educating Yorkshire, along with a strong team of full-time teachers who have helped create the offering.

For the final half term of the school year, BBC Bitesize Daily will continue to provide resources for children and parents and introduce themed weeks to allow kids to delve deeper into subjects.

A lot of familiar faces from the previous term will continue to help educate, with some new stars joining the virtual school including David Walliams, Pixie Lott, Jodie Kidd, Dina Asher-Smith and Scarlett Moffatt.

This term, Sir David Attenborough will continue to educate the nation on continents and oceans and also teach a special science lesson about animal evolution, dinosaurs and fossils.

Newbie David Walliams is on board to read a selection of key texts for the Celebrity Book Club for Primary school children and The Big Read for Secondary school children.

Speaking about the new term, Head of BBC Education Helen Foulkes said: "We are so excited to welcome Bitesize Daily back. Since we launched back in April we’ve had so much positive feedback from parents, children and teachers. I know this jam-packed term ahead is going to keep kids engaged while learning from home.”"

Videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles are all accessible on BBC Bitesize Daily via the BBC iPlayer, red button, BBC Four and BBC Sounds. The 14-week educational programme was developed with teachers, experts and the government and contains content and classes for every age group right up to GCSE level. The online service features a daily drop of videos, quizzes, podcasts and worksheets plus resources for other subjects such as history, geography and art.

There has been input from bodies like the Royal Shakespeare Company, Premier League, Puffin Books and the Science Museum Group.

If that wasn't enough, iPlayer has been curating collections of curriculum-related content by year group. For GCSE and A-level students, BBC four is airing historical and scientific programmes as well as live recordings of exam and coursework syllabus Shakespeare.

And if that all seems overwhelming, the BBC Sounds app has daily 10 minute podcasts to help parents plan their children's studies.

BBC director general Tony Hall said of the programme: “In these uncertain times parents look to the BBC to support them and offer education while children can’t be in school. This is the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken. This comprehensive package is something only the BBC would be able to provide.

“We are proud to be there when the nation needs us, working with teachers, schools and parents to ensure children have access and support to keep their learning going - come what may."

Photo credit: Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson highlighted the experience of many families, saying: "As a parent, I know encouraging children to learn at home is no easy task and I am delighted that the BBC has worked with experts and exceptional teachers to create this educational package."

Well it's going to be a far easier task getting them to learn and keeping them motivated in the final term with this remarkable cast of teachers everyday.

Read the full details of the extensive resources and programming as well as further quotes from officials here.

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