• Netflix releases 10 popular documentaries and series as online education resource  
  • Q&A’s with some of the Netflix creators for a deep dive behind-the-scenes  
  • BBC Bitesize launches today for primary and secondary students with 20-minute lessons  

netflix our planet

Netflix: Releases documentaries on YouTube to aid teachers

Netflix has released 10 titles free on its YouTube channel in a response to teachers’ requests to access content, while the UK’s BBC Bitesize Daily launches today.

Due to global school closures amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Netflix is making a series of documentaries otherwise available in classrooms available on its dedicated YouTube channel.  

The shift in streaming comes after teachers requested the media giant to access its documentaries and series as educational resources required for teaching.  

David Attenborough’s Our Planet is one of the 10 titles alongside Oscar-nominated film 13th by Ava DuVernay exploring America’s history of slavery.  

In a blog post, Netflix said: “Each title also has educational resources available, which can be used by both students and teachers - and we’ll be doing Q&As with some of the creators behind these projects so that students can hear from them first hand.  

“We hope this will, in a small way, help teachers around the world.” 

The documentaries are only available in English, however, have subtitles in more than a dozen languages available from later this week.  

The titles Netflix posted on YouTube on Friday include:  

  • 13th:  Nominated for the best documentary Oscar, Ava DuVernay’s film explores how America’s history of slavery is linked to modern day mass incarceration and the American prison industry.  

  • Abstract: The Art of Design: The first season of this series goes into the the art, science and philosophy of design. 

  • Babies: Select episodes of this series, which was just released earlier this year and stems from a project that documents the first full year of human life, from a helpless newborn to a walking, verbalising toddler, and dives into the science behind these milestones.  

  • Chasing Coral: This documentary film follows a group of coral-obsessed filmmakers, enthusiasts and scientists as they attempt to record destructive coral “bleaching” events around the world. 

  • Explained: Select episodes of this series go deep into a range of culturally relevant topics, like the world’s water crisis and pay gaps based on race and gender. Free episodes on YouTube also get into WTF is cricket (like, the sport, not the insect) and why people internally debate ending sentences with an exclamation point.  

  • Knock Down the House: The buzz of last year’s Sundance Film Festival, this doc tracks four women first-time candidates, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as they run for office.  

  • Our Planet:This eight-part docuseries, made by many veterans of the BBC and narrated by David Attenborough, explores the wonders of our natural world with never-before-filmed glimpses of nature and animals. It was filmed over four years and in 50 countries across all the continents of the world, with over 600 crew members. 

  • Period. End of Sentence:Winner of the Oscar for best documentary short in 2019, this film is about a rural village in India where women band together to make affordable menstrual pads and attempt to unwind a deeply rooted stigma around menstruation.  

  • The White Helmets: This film looks at three of the White Helmet rescue workers risking their lives to save civilians in Aleppo, Syria, amid the country’s devastating war. It won the 2017 Oscar for best documentary short.  

  • Zion: This documentary short is a portrait of Zion Clark, a young wrestler born without legs who grew up in foster care and turned to competition against able-bodied peers. For Clark, the wrestling mat provides a therapeutic outlet and a way to create his own sense of family. 

Bitesize is the BBC’s free online study support resource for school-aged pupils in the UK who are under lockdown and is designed to aid in supporting parents to home school.  

In a series of daily specials broadcast for both primary and secondary students, the 20-minute lessons will cover a variety of age groups from five to 14, brought to audiences by experts starting today. 

The dedicated programmes will cover Maths, Science and English, there will also be lessons featuring other subjects such as History, Geography, Music and Art. 

Alongside the new Bitesize Daily lessons, there’ll also be Teacher Talks - a brand new series offering helpful hints in tackling core concepts in Maths and English as well as extra content from BBC Teach including its Live Lessons series. 

Learners in Scotland can see Scottish Curriculum-specific content each day on the BBC Scotland television channel from 10am.  

Additional lessons with a Welsh language angle will be available in English and Welsh on the online daily service as well.  

There will be English and Welsh content available on iPlayer from today and in Northern Ireland, the 3 O’Clock Club gets primary aged pupils involved in skills-based learning every week day.