Homeschooling: Your educational TV and film streaming kit
Staff Reporter | On 01, Jun 2020Reading time: 9 mins
With schools closed and kids starting back on their summer term this week, parents across the UK are having to face the challenge of working from home while also trying to homeschool their children. Schools are providing resources, mostly via the web, to different degrees, but even with teachers doing their best to work from home and provide remote learning, parents have the struggle of getting their kids to focus on work amid all that’s going on – let alone keeping their kids entertained during downtime.
Streaming services have already proven useful for the latter – check out our QuaranstreamFest for family and kids’ TV and film recommendations, or follow our hashtag #familystreams on Twitter – but they’re also capable of helping with the former. From BBC Bitesize providing daily lessons featuring celebrities and teachers alike to Netflix making a wave of documentaries available for free, there’s no end of educational content to watch online.
Here’s your homeschooling streaming kit to help educate and entertain, complete with subjects and their applicable key stage:
BBC Bitesize Daily – All (KS1/2/3)
Running for 14 weeks in collaboration with education specialists, the Beeb is bringing together everyone from Professor Brian Cox teaching key science topics and Danny Dyer teaching royal history to Sergio Aguero getting kids counting in Spanish for a curriculum-based line-up of videos. These range across all key stages from ages 5 to 14, with 6 new 20-minute episodes released every day.
These are split into age groups (one per age group) and you can find the group you need here:
The BBC Bitesize website will also deliver a newly created Maths, English and Science lesson every day, for each year group from 1-10, with resources and online content beyond the videos released above. There’s also a timetable of what’s being released each day, plus guides on teaching and homeschooling.
For the summer term, themed weeks will include Shakespeare Fortnight (15th to 25th June), Science (29th June to 3rd July), Creative (29th June to 3rd July) and Sports (6th July to 10th July).
BBC Sports Week – PE (KS1/2)
Each day on BBC Bitesize Daily Primary (BBC iPlayer and Red Button), high-profile sports stars will lead a short activity on an essential sporting skill as well as sharing important wellbeing advice that can be applied to all aspects of home life. As well as learning from leading sports personalities, coaches will also be in the studio to talk in detail about the activities and wellbeing. The daily schedule includes Balance and core strength with British Cycling (Monday), Hand-eye coordination with the England and Wales Cricket Board (Tuesday), Flexibility with British Gymnastics (Wednesday), Speed and agility with the Premier League and Liverpool FC (Thursday) and a virtual sports day on Friday.
6th to 10th July
Celebrity Supply Teacher – (KS1/2)
A host of famous faces will deliver fun-filled lessons to children in lockdown from the comfort of their own homes, bringing a passion for their subject and an insight from their own experiences – including Geri Horner with tips on creative writing, Marcus Rashford teaching PE, Gary Lineker teaching Spanish, Tim Peake discussing the science of space rockets, Matthew Morrison on musical theatre, and Kelis sharing her cookery tips. The episodes are loosely based around the primary school curriculum.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 8th June to 3rd July
The Body Coach TV – PE (All)
Structure and routine is important, so Joe Wicks’ free daily workouts for 30 minutes are the ideal way to start and organise your day, while also giving the family a PE lesson.
9am – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Dr Chips – Science (KS1/2)
Dr Chips, from PrimaryComputing.co.uk, is a primary school teacher and Computing Leader at Crumpsall Lane Primary School who works with schools internationally to develop computing provision. He’s currently doing daily drops of new educational activities with video demonstrations, divided into Computational Thinking Tuesday, Wonder Wednesday and Tinker Like It’s Thursday. Key stage suitability is listed for each one, but they broadly cover key stage 1 or 2 (ages 5 to 11).
10am – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Operation Ouch – Science (KS1/2)
This enjoyably accessible series is educational as well as fun, as identical twins Dr.Chris and Dr. Xand van Tulleken introduce the family to facts about the human body – a good way to demystify hospitals for kids afraid of them. The show is available with Amazon Prime, Sky Kids and NOW TV, but you can also find loads of episodes on their YouTube channel.
Planet Earth – Science (KS2/3/GCSE)
The whole family can sit down and watch David Attenborough, as he celebrates the amazing variety of the natural world in this epic documentary series, filmed over four years across 64 different countries – and both Planet Earth and Planet Earth II are on BBC iPlayer until early 2021.
Team Umizoomi – Maths (Preschool)
Team Umizoomi, ready for action! This preschool series teaches maths, as we race around Umi City with our characters and solve problems. Also explaining how things work and dancing when they solve a problem, expect parents to be driven slowly up the wall but young viewers to be entertained – and, hopefully, pick up some things about numbers along the way.
Numberjacks – Maths (Preschool)
Another entertaining show for kids ages 2 to 5 to experience solving mathematical problems. The Numberjacks are ten small superhero numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. They go about their everyday lives inside their sofa until a call comes in from a real-life child Agent, who reports a problem that needs solving. Good news: compilations of episodes are available for free from the show’s official YouTube channel.
White Rose Maths – Maths (KS1/2/3)
White Rose Maths in partnership with the BBC Bitesize Daily team has developed a 12-week learning programme for the summer term. This scheme is designed to help children be ready for their next year of school, with almost 500 home learning videos produced by the end of the summer (with questions to try) for Year 1 – Year 8.
Twinkl – Phonics (KS1)
Twinkl is an educational publishing company and it’s hosting its own group of sessions for kids of different age groups throughout each day. They have their own timetable at the link below, but perhaps the most useful for parents bewildered by the modern curriculum are their phonics lessons, at 9.30am for ages 3 to 5 and 10am for ages 5 to 7, which help children learn new sounds each weekday. Don’t want to stick to their timetable? Catch up on the Twinkl Kids TV YouTube channel.
10am – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Go Jetters – Geography (KS1)
Meet four adventure-seeking superhero Go Jetters as they explore places all around planet Earth, from the Eiffel Tower to the Sahara Desert. Three seasons of 10-minute episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.
Horrible Histories – History (KS2/3)
Educational TV? Whatever. But CBBC’s historical series, based on the popular book franchise, combines hyperactive puns and visual gags with a whole heap of facts. Witty, clever – and, most of all, very funny.
Sesame Street – All (KS1)
Everyone knows and loves Sesame Street – and with good reason. These days, the Sesame Workshop has grown to become a nonprofit educational organisation designed to help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. New videos are released on its YouTube channel every week, which means there’s loads to work your way through, with episodes organised by character and a cute back to school playlist.
Draw with Rob – Art (All)
When the coronavirus pandemic quarantine period began, Rob started to post a draw-along video every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am BST that parents can watch with their kids and, hopefully, make some nice pictures. Objects range from sausage dog and penguin to Sonic the Hedgehog and Eugene the Owl.
10am – Tuesdays, Thursdays
Art Ninja – Art (KS2)
Some call him Ricky, but CBBC knows him as the ART NINJA. His mission is to teach kids his secrets and get them creating their own art. Packed with likeable energy and silliness.
Abstract: The Art of Design – Design Tech (KS3/GCSE)
Abstract: The Art of Design takes you beyond blueprints into the art, science, and philosophy of design. The series goes inside the minds of the world’s greatest designers, showcasing the most inspiring visionaries from a variety of disciplines whose work shapes our culture and future. It’s a Netflix show, but one episode is now available for free on YouTube.
Celebrity Substitute — KS3
Part of YouTube’s lockdown content, Celebrity Substitute is just that – famous people give high school teachers a well-deserved break to explain concepts to unsuspecting schoolchildren. The focus at first is on biology, with Ken Jeong talking about digestion and the human body – and, while there is actual terminology and a decent explanation of how the body works, it’s also genuinely very funny. Additional celebrity substitutes will include: Bill Nye, Camila Mendes, Janelle Monáe, and Terry Crews.
9am – Tuesday, Thursday
BBC Bitesize: Shakespeare in Focus – GCSE
The RSC is working in partnership with the BBC to deliver two focused weeks of GCSE lesson plans themed around Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice, The Shakespeare weeks take place between Monday 11th and Friday 15th May and Monday 15th and Friday 19th June.
The weeks will involve daily Shakespeare lessons developed by the RSC for Year 10 students to help unlock Shakespeare’s work and language. Focussing on Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, the lessons will offer special insights from RSC actors and directors about how to decode Shakespeare’s language and bring 400-year-old plays to life for today’s audiences.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday