BBC is launching several new education-focused programming blocks as England enters its third national lockdown, which will see schools closed until mid-February. According to the BBC, these efforts mark its biggest educational push to date.
Beginning January 11, CBBC will air a three-hour block of primary-school programming beginning at 9 a.m. each weekday. It will feature BBC Live Lessons and BBC Bitesize Daily, as well as a variety of series including Our School, Celebrity Supply Teacher, Horrible Histories (pictured), Art Ninja and Operation Ouch.
BBC Two, meanwhile, will focus on secondary students with at least two hours of programming each weekday that supports the local curriculum. Featured content will include Bitesize Daily and titles from BBC’s factual programming units.
Interactive digital service BBC Red Button will air Bitesize Daily primary and secondary shows every day, with episodes also available on BBC iPlayer. Additional online content includes math and English lessons for all age groups, as well as exam study guides.
In July, the BBC launched a five-year initiative to support families and caregivers in expanding the language and communication skills of preschoolers. The Tiny Happy People program offers free online tools, activities, videos, articles and quizzes on its website to support the development of under-fives.
During the initial lockdown in 2020, BBC picked up 25 new shows for CBeebies, CBBC and iPlayer. Much of this content was turned around a lot faster than usual to reflect the changes in kids’ lives, including shifts in routines, the move to home-schooling, and separation from friends and family.