Using GCSEPod along with PiXL strategies
Horsforth School is improving progress and saving time through PiXL, DTT and GCSEPod. To fully understand the academic needs of their students, the leadership team developed a strategy to join academic and pastoral data together to better meet their needs. This strategy has been adopted by PiXL and names the Horsforth Quadrant.
“This has been so effective as it stops students revising what they already know well and gets them to focus on the areas they actually need to improve”.
Horsforth School is improving progress and saving time through PiXL DTT and GCSEPod.
At Horsforth School in West Yorkshire, they believe firmly in opportunity and achievement for all and aim to provide an education that equips all students with the confidence, competence, knowledge, skills and understanding to fit easily and actively into a rapidly changing society.
So, to fully understand the academic needs of their students, the leadership team developed a strategy to join academic and pastoral data together to better meet those needs.
First, they began by dividing the students into 4 groups looking at a student’s willingness to learn (ATL) and the progress they make:
1. Students with low Attitude To Learning (ATL) scores who often have other barriers to address before academic support will have an impact and need pastoral support.
2. Students who have high ATL scores and high P8 scores.
3. Students low effort and high P8 scores.
4. Those with High Effort yet low P8 scores; the HELPS – these students often ‘slip through the net’. They quickly learned that PiXL DTT, plus GCSEPod had the greatest impact for the least staff time.
This strategy, pioneered by Horsforth has been adopted by PiXL and named the Horsforth Quadrant.
“This has been so effective as it stops students revising what they already know well and gets them to focus on the areas they actually need to improve. We devised a very specific plan of action for our HELPS and have found that GCSEPod combined with some of our other PiXL strategies has been an instrumental part of our exam preparation.”
Diagnose Therapy and Testing
DTT Is a fundamental PiXL initiative in improving student outcomes by demonstrating where students have insecurities and how they can treat these. Alternatively, teachers can collate therapy across all students in class and create an assignment on GCSEPod.
Whilst GCSEPod is a school wide resource and is well used by students of all abilities with a wide range of attitudes to learning, the school has made a deliberate effort to increase its usage amongst one particular target group of students – the HELPS.
Dr Paul Bell, head teacher at the school said; “Our HELP students have been a key focus for us this academic year. We recognise that they are a group of students where targeted intervention can make a huge difference. They are committed learners; we know they are up for it but likely to need some support ensuring they are focussing on the right things in the right way. They need some guidance and support which will likely yield a dramatic improvement in results.”
Another key component of the Horsforth Quadrant is the Smith Proforma from PiXL.
Smith Proforma – Personalised Learning Checklists (or PLCS)
The Smith Proforma ensures staff and students understand students’ insecurities. With the Smith Proforma, students can clearly see their secure areas and insecure areas following an assessment. It encourages a collaboration between parents, students and teachers.
A bespoke playlist can be created with GCSEPod to mirror the personalised learning checklist. These playlists can be edited at any time and so you can update them to add and remove topics as the student progresses. Boost Playlists are created upon the completion of an assignment, this is a fantastic tool for PLC and Smith Proforma as it completes the assessment for you and the students automatically receive their playlists.
“This has been so effective as it stops students revising what they already know well and gets them to focus on the areas they actually need to improve.
“We devised a very specific plan of action for our HELPS and have found that GCSEPod combined with some of our other PiXL strategies have been an instrumental part of our exam preparation.
“Using Diagnose, Therapy and Testing (DTT) alongside the Smith Pro-forma we assigned a ‘Director of Revisiting’ (LT mentor) for key HELP students or small groups of students to create a personalised structured revision schedule and then met with each student / small group every week to monitor progress. “As we had anticipated, this target group of students welcomed the intervention andfollowed the advice and guidance they were given to the letter.
“As we had anticipated, this target group of students welcomed the intervention andfollowed the advice and guidance they were given to the letter.
Not surprisingly, we saw a significant increase in Pod usage amongst this group of students as we were able to use the content to easily identify their knowledge gaps, direct them to specific ‘Pods’ to fill the voids and re-test their knowledge. GCSEPod provided them with the perfect ‘therapy’ to support PiXL’s DTT strategy across each of their exam subjects.”
He added: “We are quietly confident that this targeted intervention will yield positive results for this group of students. Looking at our progress data for last year we can see there is a clear correlation with progress and the number of hours a student uses GCSEPod.
Students who used it for as little as 25 hours in total scored an average Progress 8 of +0.52 and the greater the hours they used it, the more this figure increased.
“Feedback from students was really positive. They love the way it can be accessed via their phones and the short, concise pods encourage a habit forming; little-and-often approach to learning which we now know is the most effective way to retain knowledge.
Armed with this knowledge together with the compelling impact data, we knew it could make all the difference to our HELP students. Parents love it too. All parents want is to help their children so having an ‘expert online’ has been a really positive support for them in a time when qualifications are getting tougher.
“As a result, GCSEPod has become a key part of our intervention strategy and we look forward to seeing just what impact it has had amongst this target group later in the summer.”
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