Online Schooling

BBC delivers biggest Education offer in its history - including devoting significant airtime to Education on BBC Two.Education is absolutely vital - the BBC is here to play its part and I’m delighted that we have been able to bring this to audiences so swiftly.” — Tim Davie, Director General Reacting quickly to the news of UK schools moving to remote learning, the new offer from the BBC will ensure all children can access curriculum-based learning, even if they don’t have access to the internet. Starting on Monday 11 January, each week day on CBBC will see a three-hour block of primary school programming from 9am, including BBC Live Lessons and BBC Bitesize Daily, as well as other educational programming such as Our School and Celebrity Supply Teacher and much loved titles such as Horrible Histories, Art Ninja and Operation Ouch. BBC Two will cater for secondary students with programming to support the GCSE curriculum, with a least two hours of content each weekday. Content will be built around Bitesize Daily secondary shows, complemented by Shakespeare and classic drama adaptations alongside science, history and factual titles from the BBC’s award-winning factual programming units. Bitesize Daily primary and secondary will also air every day on BBC Red Button as well as episodes being available on demand on BBC iPlayer. Tim Davie, BBC Director General, says: “Ensuring children across the UK have the opportunity to continue to follow the appropriate core parts of their nation’s school curriculum has been a key priority for the BBC throughout this past year. “Education is absolutely vital - the BBC is here to play its part and I’m delighted that we have been able to bring this to audiences so swiftly.” This TV offer sits alongside a wealth of online content which parents, children and teachers can access when and where they need it: For primary, BBC Bitesize online has an expanded offer of structured lessons in Maths and English for all year groups - these can be used at home or in the classroom. ‘This Term’s Topics’ also covers other curriculum subjects and curates learning content that works for the Spring curriculum. This content can be easily incorporated into a learning plan or used to explore different topics at home. Visit bbc.co.uk/bitesize, click on the year group and subject and all the content is there. For secondary pupils, Bitesize is also home to two-week learning packs for English and Maths in KS3 (years 7, 8 and 9) as well as This Term’s Topics for other subjects to be used at home or to support teachers in the remote classrooms. For students in Years 10 and 11, the Bitesize GCSE offer allows students to pick their exam board and subject to find everything they need to help with their studies. Visit bbc.co.uk/bitesize/secondary for details. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, says: “The BBC has helped the nation through some of the toughest moments of the last century, and for the next few weeks it will help our children learn whilst we stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. “This will be a lifeline to parents and I welcome the BBC playing its part.” Educational content for all nations will also be available.

Will schools provide resources?

If your child’s school already puts work online, via Google Classroom, for example, this will probably continue.

But these sort of tools tend to be used more by secondary schools than primaries.

So older pupils are more likely to be in the routine of checking their school’s chosen platform and completing work.

And they are more likely to have their own laptops.

Some schools are asking older children to follow their existing timetables, with some active lessons, involving Google Hangouts and virtual classrooms, and some passive ones, in which children work independently.

And depending on the individual school, there will probably be a system to allow children to submit work and have it marked.

What resources are there online?

ParentKind has published a list of free online resources, as has Oak National Academy, which is collated by teachers.

Many schools are also providing lists of resources on a range of topics, to help parents navigate this difficult time, such as:

  • BrainPop – animated videos on topics in maths, science and English
  • Creative Bug – craft lessons, from knitting to jewellery-making, drawing and origami
  • YouTube’s Free School – videos on subjects as diverse as the US constitution, coral reefs and the solar system.
BBC Learning is bringing the best of the BBC’s programme-making skills and on-screen talent directly into classrooms while reinforcing the BBC’s commitment to formal education. — Sinead Rocks, Head, BBC Learning Live Lessons are interactive broadcasts that allow schools to bring the curriculum to life in a unique and innovative way. Building on the BBC’s great legacy of schools programming, these Live Lessons will reinvent that experience, bringing it right up to date for the digital age. Pupils and teachers across the UK will be able to take part in the lessons wherever they may be, in real-time, as well as getting access to all the material transmitted after the event at bbc.co.uk/livelessons. Schools can also apply to be in the audience at broadcasts across the UK. A variety of topics across the primary and secondary curriculum will be covered throughout 2016, including music, art, science and literacy. The lessons will bring together a range of experts and well-known names to share their expertise with pupils and teachers . The first live lesson, taking place on 24 February, will be presented by Football Focus and BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Dan Walker to support learning with the BBC micro:bit, a personal coding device being provided free to each pupil in Year 7 (England and Wales), Scotland (S1) and Northern Ireland (Year 6). Later in the spring, live from the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Countdown’s Rachel Riley and children from local schools will be exploring some of the amazing things the BBC micro:bit can do with some very simple coding, and they’ll be joined by Strictly Come Dancing stars Kevin and Karen Clifton. In this spectacular setting, they will perform a special dance routine before explaining how the instructions of dance are akin to digital coding. There will even be an ambitious attempt to use the pocket-size computer to light the famous tower! There will also be two further lessons to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, with further lessons in other subjects to be announced at a later date. Schools will be able to interact with the lessons as they come live from special venues across the UK. Pupils and teachers will be able to watch on bbc.co.uk/livelessons and pose questions to the special guests. Schools can also apply to be in the audience at the live events. Different topics across the primary and secondary curriculum will be covered throughout the series, including music, art, literature, computing and literacy. Each 45-minute webcast will be designed for a particular age group with information published on the website prior to the lesson and remaining there post-lesson for future use. The 2016 series of Live Lessons builds on the success of last year, which saw lessons on creativity through classical music with CBBC's Naomi Wilkinson and Blur's Alex James, and on coding and computer science with Radio 1’s Clara Amfo and the team behind The Voice. BBC Live Lessons are just one element of BBC Learning’s commitment to UK schools, with the forthcoming launch of BBC Teach providing a new home on YouTube for a wide range of BBC video resources and clips for use in the classroom. Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning, says: “BBC Learning is bringing the best of the BBC’s programme-making skills and on-screen talent directly into classrooms while reinforcing the BBC’s commitment to formal education. Live Lessons have been designed to bring innovative and inspiring curriculum-linked content to life whilst also providing an opportunity for thousands of children to participate in a shared learning experience. "BBC Live Lessons will be fully interactive, with pupils participating online during the live broadcast part from both the studio and in their schools across the country. The opportunities to pose questions to expert guests and share what they learn will provide an experience a lifetime away from the outdated ‘sit and watch’ schools television of the past.” For schools who can't participate at the given times, full episodes of the lessons and clips will be available on the website to be viewed later. The BBC is working with a wide range of respected partners to produce the Live Lessons, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Wellcome Trust. Notes to Editors BBC Live Lessons in 2016 take place as follows: Welcome to the BBC micro:bit (Wednesday 24 February 2016, 11am) To support learning with the BBC micro:bit, Key Stage 3/3rd Level students will be encouraged to get creative through coding and programming and making their own digital creations in school and at home. Shakespeare Unplugged (Friday 18 March 2016, 11am) Produced in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and delivered with the help of RSC actors and CBBC’s Horrible Histories, primary pupils will be introduced to Shakespeare's plays with a focus on aspects of Shakespeare's language and characters. Strictly BBC micro:bit (Thursday 24 March 2016, 11am) With Strictly Come Dancing stars Kevin and Karen Clifton and experts in the field of digital art and wearable technology, key aspects of the Key Stage 3/3rd Level computing curriculum will be touched on including basic algorithms, loops, sequencing, variables and inputs and outputs. Shakespeare: Text Detectives (Monday 25 April 2016, 11am) In partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, secondary students will be inspired to delve into Shakespeare's texts, with RSC actors and directors interpreting Shakespeare’s work on the journey from page to stage and examining the techniques used by the bard to convey his vision. Each BBC Live Lesson will be broadcast live on BBC Online and then permanently available for use by schools at bbc.co.uk/livelessons. Schools can apply for a limited number of free tickets for pupils to join the studio audience and take part in BBC Live Lessons. Tickets will be issued on a first come first serve basis. Apply online: bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2bzQBr0cnfLMnxH1CDL1Vf5/be-in-our-live-studio-audience BBC Live Lessons in 2015 included: BBC Live Lesson: Make it Digital with The Voice (March 2015): bbc.co.uk/schoolreport/31696540 BBC Live Lessons: Ten Pieces with the BBC Philharmonic (November 2015): bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/nMt4w3J6vDqJVjpv9XKwmM/ten-pieces-secondary-live-lesson BBC Learning delivers the BBC’s public purpose to promote education and learning and is central to fulfilling the BBC’s mission to inform, educate and entertain. BBC Learning transforms lives through education by delivering annual educational campaigns (this year focused on science, literacy and creativity); Bitesize - the BBC’s formal education resource for children and young people, linked to the curriculum of each nation; and iWonder - interactive factual story-telling to inspire curiosity and learning. GS

Should we cover the curriculum?

Many schools already pay for online resources, so it is worth checking which ones you can access, as these will follow the curriculum.

About half of UK schools use sites such as MathsWatch, for example, which caters for children from Year 4 up to A-level.

BBC Bitesize has lots of content divided into subject and age categories, with much new material added since March.

And the BBC has just announced it will show curriculum content on TV every weekday from Monday, 11 January:

  • primary-school programming, including BBC Live Lessons and BBC Bitesize Daily, from 09:00 to 12:00 on CBBC
  • at least two hours of programming to support the GCSE curriculum on BBC Two

The government, meanwhile, unlike during the first national lockdown, will expect schools to deliver their own online learning.

“Ofsted could be keeping an eye on how much schools are doing, which might mean less flexibility than the first lockdown, when if you wanted to paint a picture of a rainbow or throw rocks in a river, you could,” says Karen Wespieser, founder of the ParentPing app.

How should we structure the day?

Little and often is the advice from MathsWatch founder Ken Smith, a teacher for 34 years.

“Even an hour’s lesson at school is broken down by teachers,” he says.

“And parents need to do the same.

“It is much better to do a little bit every day.”

But like the school day, it is important to establish a routine, says Sarah Dove, a teacher who works online with children who cannot attend school.

“The key is finding out what works for you as a family but have a delineation between home life and school,” she says.

“Don’t spend all day in pyjamas.

“Come together for a mindfulness session rather than an assembly and do topic-based work too.”

Even at school, children are not working from 09:00 to 15:00, Ms Wespieser says.

So expecting them “to sit at the table with paper and pen” all day is unrealistic.

But it is important parents think about themselves as well.

“One of the biggest challenges parents have reported to us is balancing their own work with school work,” she says.

“And employers may be a bit less sympathetic this time.

“Parents need to look after their own wellbeing and take the time to find what works for you.

“And schools should be giving a lot more advice.”

What about devices and data?

In the last lockdown, there were concerns about a digital divide between affluent families with access to laptops and those who did not have devices and may have struggled to get their children online at all.

Add to that the cost of broadband and the fact some parts of the country still don’t have access to decent internet speeds, and home-schooling could be a nightmare for many families.

The government delivered more than 560,000 devices to schools and councils in England between March and December and has promised another 100,000 by the end of this week.

Unions have asked for this effort to be stepped up “urgently”, while others have called for data costs on educational apps and websites to be deducted from broadband charges.

The Department for Education runs a scheme for disadvantaged children who do not have access to a home broadband connection, while some internet providers are also helping out.

 

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