New BBC Radio 4 programming will help listeners learn together at home


BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting new commissions to educate and entertain students, families and listeners of all ages. These new programmes contribute to the BBC’s plans for supporting education and learning whilst children are at home and people continue to be in lockdown.

Mohit Bakaya, Controller of BBC Radio 4, says: “The joy of learning about the world around us is always at the heart of Radio 4’s mission, but with children and parents at home during this lockdown period, I want the station to do more for families to listen and learn together.

"We will present entertaining and informative programmes - new and archive - that are closely aligned with the school curriculum. The BBC is supporting the nation with the biggest education package we’ve ever undertaken, and with these new programmes and selected highlights from our archive Radio 4 is helping people continue their learning as part of the BBC’s expanded education efforts.”

Homeschool History With Greg Jenner, from the producers of much-loved Radio 4 podcast You’re Dead To Me, will bring families together with 15-minute history lessons. Full of facts as well as jokes, the series will be broadcast every Monday at 9.30am (from Monday 20 April) for families listening together in lockdown, creating something special in the schedule for the station’s expanded audience.

Horrible Histories' Greg Jenner will cover a range of topics, many linked to the school curriculum - including The Space Race, The Stone Age and Charles Dickens. Each episode is prepared with the expertise of a specialist historian, and hosted by Greg to bring history to life for everyone stuck indoors.

Greg Jenner says: “Though we’re sad that we’ve had to postpone making more episodes of You’re Dead To Me, the team have had great fun instead making emergency podcasts for the nation’s families. Homeschool History delivers short, lively, and funny narrative history aided by cheerful sound effects. Every episode is written in collaboration with an expert historian, and delivers a snappy lesson, with a mini quiz at the end, to help kids fall in love with history.”

From Monday 18 May, Stuart Maconie will be hosting a new quiz for everyone. My Generation focuses on the events and culture of different decades within living memory and challenging different generations on how much they know about one another’s heroes, history, and heritage. Each week, three contestants of varying ages will compete to answer questions about their chosen decade, then choose a decade for an opponent to be quizzed on. Featuring music and clips from the archive from across the decades, My Generation challenges listeners of all ages to test their knowledge.

On Open Book and Front Row, Radio 4 will be broadcasting a series of specially-commissioned introductions by leading contemporary writers to nine great works of English literature, all of which are key texts in the GCSE syllabus. The full novels are available on BBC Sounds, which has 20 classic novels and more than 100 short stories. Many such as Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Silas Marner by George Eliot appear on the GCSE syllabus, and others including Orlando by Virginia Woolf and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte appear on the A-level syllabus.

There is also a selection of children’s stories including Alice In Wonderland and Wind In The Willows. In these new Radio 4 reading guides, leading writers such as Sarah Churchwell, Sara Collins and Richard Kelly will unlock the wonders and secrets of novels including Jane Eyre, The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, Pride And Prejudice, The War Of The Worlds and Frankenstein.

For the foreseeable future Radio 4 will also broadcast highlights from the In Our Time archive, exploring subjects particularly relevant to school and university students, including Marie Antoinette, Feathered Dinosaurs, Carl Friedrich Gauss ‘prince of mathematicians’, and Wuthering Heights. In June the hugely popular science series The Curious Cases Of Rutherford And Fry will investigate scientific mysteries relevant to the curriculum.

Source BBC Radio 4

April 20, 2020 9:05am ET by BBC Radio 4  

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