The scope and breadth of content available on the BBC’s flagship online education service, BBC Bitesize, has certainly increased in the past few years, seeing students and parents through various lockdowns and educational disruption.
Now the BBC is launching the first ever BBC Bitesize revision podcast to help students revise and prepare for their Biology and English Literature GCSE exams.
From 31st March, students can stream the on-demand audio, all of which has been linked with the curriculum and checked by teachers.
There will also be a podcast called Study Smart that offers useful exam and study tips that students can apply to all their subjects.
Helping listeners unlock the science of studying, Study Smart is a podcast series hosted by influencer Ibz Mo. In his trademark witty style, Ibz will share all the secrets of the studying pros – cognitive scientists and psychologists – to equip pupils with the skills needed to ace exams and essays. Topics covered will include planning for essays, making best use of flashcards, taking strategic study breaks to recharge and how to manage stress.
Bitesize Biology will guide students through the curriculum for Single Science Biology and Biology in GCSE Combined Science in all the major GCSE exam boards. The digestible, 10-minute episodes use storytelling, music, rhyme and rhythm to make the key points of this knowledge-rich subject easier to memorise and bring it to life for students.
Presented by Dr Alex Lathbridge, who holds a PhD in Biochemistry, the seven series of the podcast cover major topics including “The Cell”, “Inheritance, variation and evolution” and “Ecology” as well as “How to tackle science exams”. Each series is structured progressively to move from the basics to the more advanced points in the exam specifications, with emphasis on explaining the trickiest parts and common mistakes..
Bitesize English Literature opens up and explores seven of the most popular set-texts across the GCSE exam boards, to make the plots, themes, characters and language more accessible to students – whether they’re studying the text for the first time, or revising for the exam..
Award-winning poet, writer and broadcaster Hollie McNish takes a thematic approach to Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet and Meera Syal’s Anita and Me. Each text gets its own series in which Hollie speaks with a guest ‘nerd’ who is an expert, specialist, or someone who has a personal connection with the text being discussed. These episodes link each theme with a contemporary issue, allowing students to approach the text from different perspectives. Guests include spoken word poet Polarbear (Frankenstein), poet and playwright Nafeesa Hamid (Anita and Me) and hip hop MC, beatboxer and writer Testament (Romeo and Juliet).
Journalist and broadcaster Carl Anka and Scottish author, ancient historian and content creator Jean Menzies will delve into GCSE English Literature texts Blood Brothers, Macbeth, Jane Eyre and An Inspector Calls to explore the plots, themes, characters and language in detail in further series’ of the Bitesize English Literature podcast.
Each of the episodes will begin with an excerpt from the text, recorded by an actor or well-known voice. Using the opening excerpt as a focus point for discussion, this will allow the hosts to go deeper into the episode theme.
Head of BBC Education, Helen Foulkes says: “We are thrilled to launch the brand new BBC Bitesize revision podcasts to help students learn some of the best revision techniques ahead of their GCSEs this summer. Charismatic hosts and a range of top educational names combine to take subjects like Biology and English Literature and bring them to life for our listeners.”