Schools may be shut as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, but learning hasn’t stopped — and while parents attempt to home-school their kids, a host of experts and celebrities are stepping in to give them a helping hand.
One of these is Sir David Attenborough, national treasure and nature documentary extraordinaire, who will be making use of his vast knowledge and expertise to deliver geography lessons through the BBC Bitesize learning channel.
Attenborough’s lessons will focus on oceans and mapping in the “Bitesize Daily” lessons, according to the initiative.
The virtual lessons come as a part of a new 14-week curriculum offering from the broadcaster, launched on April 20 — the day children were due to return to school after an Easter break.
Other big names who have signed up to give lessons or read books aloud include One Direction’s Liam Payne; Doctor Who actress Jodie Whittaker; the singer-songwriter Mabel; Countryfile’s Anita Rani, and Strictly Come Dancing's Oti Mabuse.
EastEnders actor Danny Dyer — who found out he had royal ancestry in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? — will also teach a history class on Henry VIII aimed at 5- to 7-year-olds.
Young football fans will get a treat if they give learning Spanish a go with lessons from Manchester City footballer Sergio Aguero. Meanwhile, budding mathematicians will be able to get a lesson from former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who has economics expertise.
Meanwhile, professor Brian Cox, the physicist and presenter of numerous TV shows about the universe and astronomy, will teach science subjects — including covering forces of nature, the solar system, and gravity.
According to the BBC, the programme is the biggest education offering in the broadcaster’s history.
"We said the BBC would be there for people through this crisis and we meant it," said Alice Webb, director of BBC Children's and Education.
She added: "We're proud that the BBC can bring together so many people to offer such a wide-ranging package of support to help children and parents right across the UK at such a challenging time."
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