BBC Bitesize is the name given to the BBC's free online study support resource for school-age students in the United Kingdom. It is designed to aid students in both school work and, for older students, exams.
The BBC started the revision service in 1998. The name comes from the saying "easier to digest", which implies biting, or cutting down to smaller chunks and digesting the important information. This is precisely what the BBC were aiming for with the support resource. The mascot and logo for the resource is an orange stylised piranha.
The original subjects, which included English, mathematics and the sciences, were originally selected from the curriculum for Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, and GCSE in England. Eventually, Scottish subjects used in Standard Grades and Highers were added to the website, and recently the Welsh TGAU learning system. This portion of the website is in Welsh, and features a section for those learning Welsh as a second language. Also included over the years have been revision guides, flash games involving problem solving, course notes, quizzes and performing actors. Bitesize course notes explain the key facts and concepts supported by illustrations and diagrams. The BBC also produces books, video cassettes and an interactive TV service, a subproduct of BBCi.
The Key Stage 1 website covers numeracy
. The Key Stage 2 site covers maths
and science, each of which have three subcategories. Key Stage 3 shares the same subjects as 2, but has more subcategories, including Shakespeare
and the separated sciences - biology
. Underneath those are many other areas for revision. In the GCSE portion of the website, there are many more subjects for choosing. Art and design
, business studies
, design and technology
, English, French
, maths, music
, physical education
, religious studies
, science and Spanish
are all covered, as well as obscure subjects such as English literature
and Irish language
The BBC have added videos and activities to compulsory subjects such as English Literature
. They contain acts
and puzzles depending on each subject. The videos and activities explain in a more detailed and satisfying approach.
The Standard Grades portion of the site has 12 subjects to choose from. Biology, history, chemistry, computing studies, maths, English, modern studies, French, physical education, geography and physics are all covered by the website. It should be noted that not all subjects on the curriculum are covered by the website; administration
, business management
are all excluded. In the Highers section, biology, English, Geography, Maths, Chemistry, History, Modern Studies, Physics and the Scotland-only subject Scottish Gaelic
are available for revising. Also included is Gàidhlig
, a section for Gaelic students to study with.
The sole TGAU section is in Welsh, and covers biology, chemistry, Welsh language
, physics, maths, and additionally a section for non Welsh students to learn Welsh as a second language.
With such a simple system, there are not many areas to fault, however, the website does have flaws, that have been pointed out on numerous websites. For example, the Computing Studies section has been criticised for being out of date.