BBC to broadcast Live Lessons

Live Lessons are interactive broadcasts that allow schools to bring the curriculum to life in a unique and innovative way

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 

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 well-known names to share their expertise with pupils and teachers. 

The first live lesson taking place on 24th 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 & 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. The duo 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. 

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

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 and pose questions to the special guests. 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.  

Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning, said: “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.”

Each BBC Live Lesson will be broadcast live on BBC Online and then permanently available for use by schools at


BBC Live Lessons in 2016 take place as follows: 

Welcome to the BBC micro:bit (Wednesday 24th 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 18th 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 24th 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 25th 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.


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