Broadcasting for primary schoolchildren

The challenge of teaching primary schoolchildren when schools are closed, when teachers are unavailable through ill health or family responsibilities, could be met by the national broadcaster (BBC). It has a national responsibility, is taxpayer-funded and is available in the majority of homes (unlike the internet). Teachers say it saps their energy to teach online and the children may not be responsive.

However a small team of experts in each year group, together with a few of designers, musicians and actors, could roll out a programme for the nation pretty quickly, keeping just ahead of the broadcast. We have Blue Peter and Sesame Street as models and we have inventive teachers. Any of the current BBC channels could be dedicated to this from 9 am till 3 pm, 5 days a week.

Start with a 15 minute daily intro suitable for all, setting a cheery tone, outlining the day for the benefit of parents and carers, starting at 9 am. Include new jingles identifying age groups (ask Howard Goodall). Then a 45 min session for Year 1, 50 minutes for year 2, an hour each for Year 3, 4, 5 and 6. Each section would have a clear identity, would comprise some reading, writing and maths, and a daily topic to stimulate the child‚’s own local research object, e.g. find a wooden object, explore a square meter of outside space and note what lives there, what kind of clouds are visible, copy a printed page of a book, magazine or advertisement and check colour mixes, find out where an item of food comes from, etc). Peripheral benefit : might help parents with English and literacy.




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