GCSEPod https://www.gcsepod.com Education on Demand Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:31:30 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://d2htb95zppc7kr.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png GCSEPod https://www.gcsepod.com 32 32 Webinars On Demand https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/webinars-on-demand/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/webinars-on-demand/#respond Mon, 10 Aug 2020 07:29:11 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6513 The post Webinars On Demand appeared first on GCSEPod.

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We provide a series of free webinars on multiple GCSEPod features which you can book by clicking the blue button below. If you can’t make any of the live webinars below are recordings of recent webinars for you to watch at your leisure.

Please scroll down to book your place on a GCSEPod webinar.

MATHS

“Catching up” is not enough.
How to accelerate learning with GCSEPod.
One Time Webinar Special
with Guest Host Sarah Trevena

ENGLISH

Using blended learning to support the recovery curriculum
Special Guest Hosts: Vicky Gardiner-Earl – National Lead Practitioner for Pedagogy and Emma Slater, Publishing Director and English Consultant

Look out shortly for exciting news of other subjects specific webinars with guest speakers in the new few weeks. 

PARENT/CARER

Introduction to GCSEPod

TEACHER WEBINARS

Using GCSEPod To Teach Remotely

YEAR 10 PROGRESS AND WELLBEING SPOTLIGHT

SUBJECT SPECIFIC WEBINARS

mATHS

Using GCSEPod for
Teaching and Learning

English

Using GCSEPod for
Teaching and Learning

science

Using GCSEPod for
Teaching and Learning

humanities

Using GCSEPod for
Teaching and Learning

welsh as a second language

Using GCSEPod for
Teaching and Learning

PE

Using GCSEPod for
Teaching and Learning

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

An Introduction to GCSEPod for Teachers in International Subscribing Schools

“Although I’ve been using GCSEPod for a few years now, the webinar was very informative and highlighted key features – such as check and challenge – that I’ve not incorporated. The teachers’ distance learning pdf is extremely useful: it clearly sums up how best to use GCSEPod during these challenging times.”

Rachael Jones, GCSEPod Lead

St Matthias School

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GCSEPod recruits international talent https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/gcsepod-recruits-international-talent/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/gcsepod-recruits-international-talent/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2020 17:15:24 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6505 The post GCSEPod recruits international talent appeared first on GCSEPod.

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GCSEPod has grown its team to 39 following the successful recruitment of Northumbria University master’s student Lala Rukh as a junior web developer.

The position was secured with the help of UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway. 

GCSEPod, based at Charlotte Square, Newcastle, is an award-winning digital publisher for over 27 GCSE/IGCSE subjects. The firm provides ‘education on demand’ helping schools to successfully blend learning and students to study and complete their schoolwork from wherever they are; on any device. It also helps teachers embed learning with students. 

The growth of GCSEPod has been accelerated by the recruitment of Pakistani national Lala Rukh, who joined the team in January 2020 on a part-time basis. Her talents quickly became clear as an accomplished website developer with outstanding technical knowledge, who is a self-motivated team player. 

Having failed to find a UK national with the skills needed to fill the role during two previous recruitment rounds, GCSEPod successfully applied to UK Immigration Services for a sponsorship licence. This allowed them to offer Lala a permanent role subject to switching her visa to a Tier 2 General visa for which the company could now sponsor her, with the help of expert immigration lawyer Flora Mewies from Ward Hadaway.

Helen Newies, Operations Director at GCSEPod, who worked with Flora to secure the company’s sponsorship license, and subsequently sponsor Lala said; “We had gone through two unsuccessful rounds of recruitment to find a junior web developer before we found Lala. When we met her, we knew immediately that she was a great fit for us, with highly accomplished technical skills and the experience and qualifications we were looking for. 

“We quickly decided to sponsor Lala and support her UK Tier 2 Visa application to allow her to work for us permanently, but that meant applying for our Sponsorship Licence. Visa guidelines can be incredibly complicated with lots of red tape, so we turned to Ward Hadaway for support. Their team helped us cut through the red tape, understand the process and present a compelling argument for our application, underlining why we were so keen to secure Lala’s talents.”

As the UK exits the European Union it will be more important than ever for companies to continue to access a global talent pool. Ensuring businesses and individuals have the right paperwork in place and can make strong cases for immigration is key to success. 

Flora Mewies, expert immigration lawyer and associate at Ward Hadaway said; “We understand that immigration law and visa applications can be an extremely daunting and complex process. We have a wealth of experience supporting both individuals and organisations to successfully secure visas to live, work and study in the UK and we aim to make the application process as simple as possible. We’re delighted GCSEPod has secured their Sponsorship Licence.”

Ward Hadaway has launched a new freely available resource hub to help those wishing to live, work and recruit into the UK.The hub was created in response to unprecedented demand from clients and contacts looking for clearer, more relevant guidance when seeking to navigate the complex legal territory that is immigration law. 

The hub can be found at https://www.wardhadaway.com/visa-guidelines/

More from our blog

We have a wide range of articles, case studies and news features in our blog.
If you would like to see more please click on the button below.

Can we help your school deliver high quality online learning?

Join over 1,500 schools in over 42 countries today to make sure their learning does not stop. 

“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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PodUp Presents Parent Webinars https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/podup-presents-parent-webinars/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/podup-presents-parent-webinars/#respond Sat, 01 Aug 2020 18:04:38 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4899 The post PodUp Presents Parent Webinars appeared first on GCSEPod.

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GCSEPod Parent Webinars

Join a GCSEPod webinar and find out how you can use GCSEPod to support your child’s learning plus get tips and guidance on effective home learning practices.  All your questions will be answered by a GCSEPod expert and you will learn about the best way to make full use of the resource during this time.  Spaces are limited so please book your place below.

Please scroll down to book your place on a GCSEPod parent/carer webinar.

PARENT/CARER
Introduction to GCSEPod

THURS, 10 SEPT

17.00

MON, 21 SEPT

17.00

THURS, 08 OCT

17.00

Click to watch a
sample of this
webinar.

“My daughter’s school introduced this as part of their remote learning but I really didn’t know where to start. The webinar gave us a great overview to help us get started. Now that I understand how it works,I will be able to set a routine schedule with my child with the relevant subjects and get involved more in the process.”

Parent

Need a different time?

If you would like to see additional sessions at different times, please complete the quick survey below to help us schedule exactly what you need:

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GCSEPod Webinars

We are providing a series of free webinars on multiple GCSEPod features, these webinars will be for teachers, parents and carers. They will be an opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals throughout the world, have your questions answered by a GCSEPod expert and learn about the best way to make full use of the resource during this time. Spaces are limited so please book your place below.

Please scroll down to book your place on a GCSEPod webinar.

On completion you will receive a certificate of attendance which counts towards your CPD.

PARENTS/CARERS
Introduction to GCSEPod

(All times are shown in British Summer Time)

Introduction to GCSEPod

PARENT/CARER WEBINAR

TEACHERS
Subject Specific Webinars

(All times are shown in British Summer Time)

If you can’t make any of the live webinars, we also have recordings of some of our most recent webinars for you to watch at your leisure.

“Although I’ve been using GCSEPod for a few years now, the webinar was very informative and highlighted key features – such as check and challenge – that I’ve not incorporated. The teachers’ distance learning pdf is extremely useful: it clearly sums up how best to use GCSEPod during these challenging times.”

Rachael Jones, GCSEPod Lead

St Matthias School

Need a different time?

If you would like to see additional sessions at different times, please complete the quick survey below to help us schedule exactly what you need:

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PodUp Presents Non-Subscriber Webinars https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/podup-presents-non-subscriber-webinars/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/podup-presents-non-subscriber-webinars/#respond Sat, 01 Aug 2020 13:28:12 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5952 The post PodUp Presents Non-Subscriber Webinars appeared first on GCSEPod.

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GCSEPod Non-Subscriber Webinars

We are providing a series of webinars on multiple GCSEPod features to show you how GCSEPod can reduce workload and better support your students. Spaces are limited so please book your place below.

Please scroll down to book your place on a GCSEPod webinar.

BLENDED OR FLIPPED LEARNING
Best Practice Using GCSEPod
(non subscribers)

THURS, 10 SEPT

3.30pm BST

TUE, 22 SEPT

3.30pm BST

Click the button below to
watch a previous webinar.

MATHS

“Catching up” is not enough.
How to accelerate learning with GCSEPod.
One Time Webinar Special
with Guest Host Sarah Trevena

ENGLISH

Using blended learning to support the recovery curriculum
Special Guest Hosts: Vicky Gardiner-Earl – National Lead Practitioner for Pedagogy and Emma Slater, Publishing Director and English Consultant

Look out shortly for exciting news of other subjects specific webinars with guest speakers in the new few weeks. 

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
An introduction to GCSEPod in International Schools (non subscribers)

MON, 24 AUG

08.30am BST

I have to say that is the best online training (and some of the best training of any type) I’ve ever done. Superbly delivered and brilliantly pitched. So many ideas to take away and use. Wouldn‘t have thought it possible to generate such excitement among a virtual group.  Keep up the fabulous work.

Bob Jackson

Goole Academy

Need a different time?

If you would like to see additional sessions at different times, please complete the quick survey below to help us schedule exactly what you need:

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Case Study: St Paul’s Catholic College https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/case-study-st-pauls-catholic-college/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/case-study-st-pauls-catholic-college/#respond Mon, 20 Jul 2020 14:46:09 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6439 The post Case Study: St Paul’s Catholic College appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Home Schooing & Beyond

St Paul’s Catholic College in Sunbury-on-Thames only introduced GCSEPod two days before the nationwide coronavirus lockdown came into effect, but the online learning platform quickly proved itself a home schooling success. And the award-winning digital publisher is integral to the college’s plans for the autumn term too, as it seeks to promote independent and blended learning.

Details

St Paul’s Catholic College

St Paul’s Catholic College is a 11-18 Sixth Form College located in the heart of Sunbury On Thames. St Paul’s has been providing Catholic Education for the Diocese of Westminster since 1988.​

With a background as a PE teacher, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that Andy Walsh has a well-honed competitive streak.

When coronavirus closed the nation’s schools from March 20, the deputy head’s determination really came to the fore.

Just days before the country went into lockdown, St Paul’s Catholic College in Sunbury-on-Thames signed-up to the award-winning digital learning platform, GCSEPod.

The plan had been to roll out the service covering more than 27 GCSE and IGCSE subjects, from the start of the 2020 autumn term.

But as it became increasingly apparent that the UK was set to implement extraordinary measures to slow the spread of coronavirus that would include the closure of all schools, Andy and his staff team prepared St Paul’s to meet the unprecedented challenge of continuing to educate its 1,200 students.

At the heart of that plan for Years 10 and 11 lay GCSEPod, which helps deliver a smarter learning experience to secondary students through its unique information-packed and visually appealing three to five minute teacher-written Pod videos, that can be watched on or offline on mobiles, tablets and PCs.

Andy recalls: “We knew we needed to do something. We were already using a couple of other online learning tools in maths and science with great success, and staff in other departments were asking if there was anything they too could use, which was the reason we had already been looking to introduce GCSEPod from the autumn term.

“We had been impressed not just with the range of subjects covered and the opportunities offered to develop blended learning by combining online and face-to-face classroom teaching, but the way the information is presented to students in what are very clear, concise and graphic-led Pods that you can watch over and over again on any smart device.

“When it became obvious that we were headed for lockdown, GCSEPod offered us the ideal online solution with its huge breadth of material, ability to see at a glance who is and isn’t engaging with work so you can intervene really quickly, ready-made assignments, and Check and Challenge, which helps you assess students’ knowledge and grasp of a subject.

 

“It was the Wednesday before lockdown that we got GCSEPod, and by Friday, March 20, we had already rolled it out to staff, students and parents. The speed with which GCSEPod was able to move and we were able to get information out to everyone thanks to the ready-made resources they provide, was incredible.”

It was then that Andy’s competitiveness came into play.

He didn’t just want St Paul’s to have access to GCSEPod – he pictured the college becoming a super user.

And his students didn’t let him down. With 2020’s GCSE exams abandoned in favour of estimated grades, it was left to St Paul’s Year 10’s to prove the online learning platform’s worth.

A staggering 63,375 Pod were watched in just 14 weeks!

In the 14 weeks between March 20 and July 1, the 180-strong cohort notched up a staggering 63,375 Pod views, quickly catapulting the college from zero to the most successful based on usage figures of the 212 schools across the southern region who subscribe to GCSEPod.

English literature topped St Paul’s own table with followed by humanities and then science.

It is evidence, Andy says, both of students thirst for knowledge and success, and how engaging and relevant GCEPod’s content is for today’s digital generation who have grown-up with rapidly advancing technology.

St Paul’s was formerly St Teresa’s Girls’ Convent School. In 1975 the Cardinal Godfrey Catholic Boys’ School moved on to the site, and in 1988 both establishments merged to form St Paul’s.

It is not your typical Surrey school and is culturally mixed with over 36 languages spoken at home.

As Andy says: “We are not a leafy, suburban Surrey school.”

But appearances can be deceptive. St Paul’s is rated outstanding by Ofsted, and its maths department is regarded as one of the best in the country. For the last four years, St Paul’s has been in the top 10% of schools nationally for Progress 8, and its Attainment 8 is well above average at 52.1%, compared to the standard for England of 46.7%.

Around 80% of students go on to university with the remainder taking up apprenticeships in areas like engineering.

The school’s ethos is ‘every student, every subject, every grade.’

GCSEPod fits in with St Paul’s desire to do the best it can for its students and, going forward, to develop independent and blended learning – both top priorities from the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

“For our older students, GCSEPod is playing an important part in helping to develop their independence and also our approach to blended learning, which is something we had been encouraging using the online resources that have already been available to us, like Google and YouTube,” Andy explains.

“But we very much see GCSEPod as the way forward for us where home learning can be effectively mixed with face-to-face classroom time. The success of GCSEPod during the lockdown has shown just how enjoyable students have found using it, and it has been wonderful to watch their independent learning develop.

“Now we have GCSEPod it will mean that, for example, students could be learning Frankenstein in class in English literature, with the teacher able to assign Pods to watch that will not only help answer any questions they have in an appealing and informative way, but reinforce what they’re being taught.”

Andy says GCSEPod will be vital in other ways too as schools across the UK learn to adapt to the new education ‘norm’ as the fight against coronavirus continues.

St Paul’s Catholic College’s plans for September include a return in some lessons to what Andy calls “old-fashioned teaching, and by that I mean the teacher stood at the front of the class talking at the students.

“We are very dynamic in the way we teach and interact with students, but unfortunately we won’t be able to continue with that approach in subjects like PE, art, DT and the sciences. But this is where GCSEPod will shine in class as we will be able to use it to not only add interest for students, but help teachers with their lesson planning.

The Results

“Knowing we have GCSEPod has helped ease teacher anxiety about what the new academic year will bring, and I know most of my staff have already used the platform to help plan lessons through to Christmas that will promote independent and blended learning.

“To use a very Catholic phrase, GCSEPod has been a Godsend for us. I would 100% recommend it. It’s proved an outstanding success during lockdown, and for students, staff and parents it’s exactly what we were looking for.

“It has given teachers the time and confidence they needed to plan exciting and enjoyable lessons; our students the support they required to keep their studies going and promote independent learning; and parents the assurances they were looking for as regards their child’s education.”

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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International Schools (Non-UK) Introduction Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/international-schools-non-uk-introduction-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/international-schools-non-uk-introduction-webinar/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 12:22:44 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6368 The post International Schools (Non-UK) Introduction Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS (NON-UK) INTRODUCTION

Using GCSEPod for Teaching & Learning

In this webinar we’ll look at how to continue teaching during a school closure using GCSEPod. We’ll look at:

– What training and support GCSEPod offers to help teachers maximise their use of GCSEPod;
– A view of the student experience;
– How to carry on teaching the course content and set self-marking homework;
– What impact GCSEPod can have when used effectively;
– How to plan and run an online lesson using GCSEPod;
– How to monitor student activity and provide feedback;

“Excellent overview provided, very clear and practical in terms of how teachers can actually use the site. Answered all key questions and also showed how pupils see things which was beneficial. I will be using this to set assignments for my pupils moving forwards and monitoring their progress and independent learning.”

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PE and Wellness Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/pe-and-wellness-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/pe-and-wellness-webinar/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 12:16:08 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6359 The post PE and Wellness Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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PE & WELLNESS BEGINNER

Using GCSEPod for Teaching & Learning

In this webinar we’ll look at how to continue teaching the PE curriculum during a school closure using GCSEPod. We’ll also look at supporting students’ health and wellbeing during this difficult period. We’ll look at how to:

Carry on teaching the PE course content;
Set self-marking homework;
Access resources on mindfullness, wellness and physical health;
Provide students with materials to help them reduce stress;
Monitor student activity and provide feedback;
Support younger year groups.

This webinar provided a visual step by step of GCSEPod’s functions and this was supported with very clear verbal explanation. It has given me confidence as a newbie to use GCSEPOD in my teaching across ks3 and ks4.

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Humanities Beginner Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/humanities-beginner-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/humanities-beginner-webinar/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 11:39:14 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6351 The post Humanities Beginner Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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HUMANITIES BEGINNER

Using GCSEPod for Teaching & Learning

In this webinar we’ll look at how to:

Teach the Humanities course content;
Set self-marking Humanities homework;
Monitor student activity and provide feedback;
Support younger year groups.

“The webinar has re-invigorated me for using GCSEPod. I hadn’t spotted the upgrades and I love the new interface.”

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Science Beginner Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/science-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/science-webinar/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 11:34:07 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6343 The post Science Beginner Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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SCIENCE BEGINNER

Using GCSEPod for Teaching & Learning

In this webinar we’ll look at how to:

Teaching the Science course content;
Set self-marking Science homework;
Science practicals videos and support;
GCSEPod’s ReadySetGo Science assignments;
Monitor student activity and provide feedback;
Support younger year groups.

 

“As I am still relatively new to GCSEpod it has been useful reinforcement as well as showing me some new ideas. It was also good that as it was a specialist science webinar the questions were all relevant to my subject. I am going to suggest that my science colleagues also watch the recording of this webinar.”

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English Beginner Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/english-beginner-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/english-beginner-webinar/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 11:05:37 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6335 The post English Beginner Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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ENGLISH BEGINNER

Using GCSEPod for Teaching & Learning

In this webinar we’ll look at how to:

Teach the English course content;
Set self-marking English homework;
GCSEPod’s Achieve English subject and workbooks;
GCSEPod’s English Exam Tips for Success;
English Check & Challenge assessment system;
Monitor student activity and provide feedback;
Support younger year groups.

This webinar greatly improved my knowledge of GCSEPod’s functionality.  I will try and incorporate the interactive aspect into my teaching and assessment.  I already heavily promote the use of viewing pods – now I need to incorporate assignments to help students progress further.

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Maths Beginner Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/maths-beginner-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/maths-beginner-webinar/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 11:00:34 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6327 The post Maths Beginner Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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MATHS BEGINNER

Using GCSEPod for Teaching & Learning

In this webinar we’ll look at how to:

Teach the Maths course content;
Set self-marking Maths homework;
GCSEPod’s Achieve Maths subject and workbooks;
Maths Check & Challenge assessment system;
Monitor student activity and provide feedback;
Support younger year groups.

“Although I’ve been using GCSEPod for a few years now, the webinar was very informative and highlighted key features – such as check and challenge – that I’ve not incorporated. The teachers’ distance learning pdf is extremely useful: it clearly sums up how best to use GCSEPod during these challenging times.”

 Rachael Jones, GCSEPod Lead, St Matthias School

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Year 10 progress and wellbeing spotlight Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/year-10-progress-and-wellbeing-spotlight/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/year-10-progress-and-wellbeing-spotlight/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 10:55:06 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6319 The post Year 10 progress and wellbeing spotlight Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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YEAR 10 PROGRESS AND WELLBEING SPOTLIGHT

Avoiding the Knowledge Dip

In this webinar we’ll look at how to avoid a knowledge dip during this period of school closure:

Continuing to teach the Year 10 course with GCSEPod;
Assigning work to Year 10 students;
Student wellbeing;
How to advise and support Year 10 parents;
Ensuring Year 10 stay motivated;
Tips for home learning using GCSEPod to give to parents;
Monitoring Year 10 student activity;

I’m definitely armed now with enough information to start using GCSEPod with confidence. I’ll be using the embedding pods into powerpoints feature and will use the Student Learning Activities alongside the pods. Thank you!

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Teacher General Beginner Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/teacher-general-beginner-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/teacher-general-beginner-webinar/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 10:45:23 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6309 The post Teacher General Beginner Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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TEACHER GENERAL BEGINNER/REFRESHER

Using GCSEPod To Teach Remotely

In this webinar we’ll look at how to:

Login and basic navigation of the GCSEPod site;
Teach course content using GCSEPod;
Set self-marking homework;
Monitor student activity and provide feedback;
Incorporate GCSEPod content into PowerPoints and schemes of work;
Support younger year groups.

“I just wanted to express my thanks and acknowledgement for the webinar this morning which was so inspiring and informative. I also had invited one of our middle leaders to attend who helps me with GCSEPOD.  As a company you really do offer continued and consistent excellence in all you do and this support has never been more invaluable than during this time of remote learning. ” 

Teresa Ash

St Joseph’s College

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Keeping students learning during lockdown https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/keeping-students-learning-during-lockdown/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/keeping-students-learning-during-lockdown/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2020 08:59:46 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6293 The post Keeping students learning during lockdown appeared first on GCSEPod.

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We are truly humbled to receive such praise from an outstanding School Leader

Good afternoon

Sorry for contacting you unannounced but I felt that I had to send you a few observations during these traumatic times.

I am responsible for our remote learning at Goole Academy.

The swift transition into lockdown was a huge issue to use. Many of our students come from areas of high social deprivation and I was really concerned about them being left behind their peers.

GCSEPod has been a revelation for our students and they have engaged with it far more than any other product I’ve seen in a 20 year career.

Over 90 000 pods viewed in lockdown alone (and still rising) and topped off by winning the pod games (I am very popular with my Principal at the moment).

To put it simply – the staff and students love it and the impact has been amazing!

What has really helped us take it to the next level has been the support of the people at GCSEPod.

When I report an issue or have a suggestion, the response is quick and issues rectified.

This is not true of some other online platforms we use.

I must give a special shout out to the two #podpeople who have helped me immensely over the year and particularly during the last few months.

Alexandra Armstrong and Helen Newies have been a font of information and inspiration.

Their passion for and knowledge of your product has been beyond reproach.

I’ve sent them so many questions that I expect every reply to have a restraining order attached but instead, they contain another perfect response.

We would not have been anywhere near as successful without them.

When we close for the Summer on Wednesday and I get to praise our staff for their hard work, I will be adding their names to my ‘speech’ because they are part of my team.

I just felt I had to email you and thank you for helping our students keep learning throughout this unprecedented time.

Stay safe and thank you on behalf of all the staff and students you have helped.

Bob Jackson
Assistant Principal, Goole Academy

More from our blog

We have a wide range of articles, case studies and news features in our blog.
If you would like to see more please click on the button below.

Can we help your school deliver high quality online learning?

Join over 1,500 schools in over 42 countries today to make sure their learning does not stop. 

“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Considering GCSEPod? https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-learning-and-revision-with-gcsepod/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-learning-and-revision-with-gcsepod/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2020 08:31:30 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6281 The post Considering GCSEPod? appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Considering GCSEPod?

“GCSEPod could be avery significant step in helping to declutter the lives of teachers, to reduce their workload, to make them more effective in monitoring their students, and then in providing more customized feedback.”
Geoff Barton, General Secretary, ASCL

In this webinar we will look at:

What is GCSEPod

What is included in your subscription

The student experience

Using GCSEPod as a teacher
– Blended learning
– Online assessment
– Flipped learning

Tracking and Monitoring

 

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Welsh as a Second Language Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-welsh-as-a-second-language/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-welsh-as-a-second-language/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2020 08:05:04 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6268 The post Welsh as a Second Language Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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INTRODUCTION TO GCSEPOD

Welsh as a Second Language

In this webinar we’ll look at:

– Introduction to GCSEPod

– What’s included in a subscription

– Website tour including:
Welsh as a Second Language (current and future content) 
Adding your own content to GCSEPod
Use of GCSEPod for blended learning
Use of GCSEPod for online assessment
Monitoring student access

 

“Cryfder adnoddau GCSEPod ydy’r dull o gyflwyno cymorth a chefnogaeth sy’n ddisgybl-ganolog ym mhob achos. Ceir cyfleoedd i adolygu ac atgyfnerthu gwybodaeth ynghyd a’r hyblygrwydd i bobl ifanc weithio’n gwbl annibynnol wrth feithrin sgiliau a thechnegau newydd. Dyma adnoddau sy’n cynnig ffresni i’r dysgu, tasgau perthnasol sy’n cynnig mwynhad a her i fyfyrwyr, ynghyd ag opsiwn cyfoes sy’n asio’n gelfydd i’r sefyllfa bresennol o ddysgu cyfunol.”

Tina Thomas

Arbenigwr Pwnc Uwchradd - Cymraeg

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GCSE Parent/Carer Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-parent-carer-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-parent-carer-webinar/#respond Fri, 10 Jul 2020 10:51:16 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6254 The post GCSE Parent/Carer Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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PARENT/CARER

Introduction to GCSEPod

In this webinar we’ll look at how to support your child’s learning using GCSEPod:

– How to access the Pods;
– Podbooks and how to quiz your child;
– What to expect if your child is given homework on GCSEPod;
– Check & Challenge and self-assessment;
– Hints and tips on home learning.

Hugely informative webinar! It has given me confidence in helping my son and strengthening my own knowledge! I feel my son will benefit more from this than he will from things like Bitesize etc.

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Pod Perspectives https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/pod-perspectives/ https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/pod-perspectives/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:13:31 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6220 The post Pod Perspectives appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Pod Perspectives

As we look into an uncertain future, being able to listen and identify with what others are experiencing can help reassure and support us all. In our new podcast series, we’ve taken away the fancy PowerPoints and zoom calls, and allowed teachers like you to give their perspective informally and unedited. Listen now.

– Tips on teacher wellbeing and reducing stress
– How to manage and reduce teacher workload
– What contingencies can be put in place for a possible second spike
– How the education landscape has changed

Sarah Trevena

“The key [to blended learning] is to ensure that you embed online resources into daily teaching. Model the learning. I often emulate the procedure in class. Get them used to that being a normal lesson so that when they are at home they fully understand what you expect from them.”

Vicky Gardiner-Earl

“Overnight we’ve had to become a lot more adaptable in the way we teach. We need to use the time we have now to ensure staff and students are trained up in the tools we’re providing.”

Eve Hedley

“Our focus is much more on that virtual world of learning and we are not suddenly going to come back to face to face learning and abandon everything we’re working so hard to achieve. We are going to retain the gains and continue to provide a platform of virtual, high quality learning.”

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GCSE English Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-english-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcse-english-webinar/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2020 20:56:53 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6210 The post GCSE English Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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ENGLISH

(One Time Webinar Special with Guest Hosts Vicky Gardiner-Earl & Emma Slater)

Supporting the recovery curriculum

Lead Practitioner Vicky Gardiner-Earl and English Consultant Emma Slater discuss how to use blended learning. Learn how to maximise impact, reduce your workload, and power your English blended learning strategy in this one hour webinar.

Webinar Overview

As we move into this new era of blended learning and digital pedagogy,
Vicky and Emma will focus on highly practical advice and tips.

Vicky Gardiner-Earl

Vicky is a highly experienced English teacher, Educational Consultant, and author for GCSEPod’s new Achieve English Check & Challenge assessment.

Emma Slater

Emma Slater has been newly appointed as GCSEPod’s Publishing Director, following her career as a consultant and coach working with English teachers, and as a PiXL Associate.

Taking four real-life student examples, all of different attainment levels, they’ll look at how to use GCSEPod to:

  • develop a student-focused approach to blended learning
  • reduce cognitive load whilst using blended learning for teaching English
  • diagnose and identify gaps in learning and help inform planning
  • support classroom learning (pre-teaching and consolidation)

“I just wanted to say a big thank you to the three of you for such an informative and interesting webinar . It felt supportive and nobody was patronising; it was great to feel like a team!  I’ve struggled with my confidence over the years and felt a bit stuck in a rut in terms of my teaching but the tips and ideas I have taken from the session have been a real boost and I can’t wait to try some different approaches.”

Sarah, Sirius Academy

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GCSE Maths Webinar https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/podup-presents-gcse-maths-webinar/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/podup-presents-gcse-maths-webinar/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2020 20:42:02 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6197 The post GCSE Maths Webinar appeared first on GCSEPod.

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MATHS

(One Time Webinar Special with Guest Host Sarah Trevena)

“Catching up” is not enough
How to accelerate learning with GCSEPod

Sarah Trevena, Maths teacher, presenter and author, most recently for BBC Bitesize Daily shows you how to maximise impact, reduce your workload, and power your Maths blended learning strategy in this one hour webinar.

Webinar Overview

As we move into this new era of blended learning and digital pedagogy,
Sarah will focus on highly practical advice and tips.

Sarah Trevena

Sarah has been a Maths teacher for 16 years, working across a range of settings including an inner city comprehensive and a higher attaining secondary. As well as teaching, Sarah is also a Maths consultant, presenter and author, most recently for BBC Bitesize Daily.

Sarah says “The phrase “catch up” is everywhere just now, but as teachers we are constantly playing catch up. There are always children out of school and there are always students who are not quite where we would like them to be and we are working with them to help “catch up”.”

As author of GCSEPod’s Achieve Maths course, Sarah will draw on her experiences and first-hand knowledge of GCSEPod to provide practical examples of how to accelerate learning.

Agenda:

  • How to consolidate learning with limited contact time.
  • Addressing the knowledge gap for foundation students using a pre-set 12-week course.
  • What does a flipped lesson look like for high attainers? Using the “review, address, practice” model.
  • A ready-made, 12-week homework pack for your high attainers.
  • Interleaving with GCSEPod resources to accelerate learning.

“So much useful information around the things offered on GCSEPod, practical applications for everything, loads of ideas, where to find things on the website, and an amazingly-delivered presentation by all three ladies involved!”

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Supporting Independence https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/supporting-independence/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/supporting-independence/#respond Tue, 07 Jul 2020 08:43:04 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=6158 The post Supporting Independence appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Developing good habits for the next stage of learning

Statistics show that ‘Dropping out of uni’ is getting worse, not better. David Craggs thinks that schools have a major role to play in addressing the issue.

Dropout rates

A sad statistic of our time is that university drop-out rates continue to rise for the fourth successive year. Figures of international attrition rates vary, with some universities reporting the number as one in ten, while data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that almost one in five students in the UK don’t make it beyond their first year.

Online resources

An important aspect of this work is to ensure students can work independently online, for which we use a variety of approaches. GCSEPod is one example. The resource is used as a supplement for in lesson learning, revision and as a homework platform. It covers all areas of the curriculum with short three to five minutes video ‘pods’ to visually ‘teach’ or ‘revise’ key aspects of each learning objective. Students can autonomously go down the proverbial ‘rabbit-hole’ of pods to discover and gain information and knowledge. They have the freedom to do this while we are also being very specific in the tasks we give them, to ensure they’re on the right learning journey.

Our EPIC reading system is another example of a resource that provides all of our KS3 students with access to a variety of books; content is differentiated by ability so each student can work with their teacher to select the titles most appropriate for their development and then read them independently.

Linguascope offers practice questions for the students and self-marking tasks and worksheets. Not only does this reduce teacher workload, but students can become more autonomous, managing their own learning by understanding where they need to focus further work to maximize their progress. GCSEPod takes this one step further by directing each student to a bespoke playlists of curriculum content specific to their learning needs.

More from our blog

We have a wide range of articles, case studies and news features in our blog.
If you would like to see more please click on the button below.

Can we help your school deliver high quality online learning?

Join over 1,500 schools in over 42 countries today to make sure their learning does not stop. 

“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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GCSEPod Webinars https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcsepod-webinars/ https://www.gcsepod.com/webinars/gcsepod-webinars/#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2020 13:30:14 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5928 The post GCSEPod Webinars appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Choose A Webinar That Works For You!

We have webinars for everyone, please click below to see available dates and times.

If you can’t make any of the live webinars, we also have recordings of some of our most recent webinars for you to watch at your leisure.

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Latest Features https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/latest-features/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/latest-features/#respond Mon, 15 Jun 2020 20:02:56 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5759 The post Latest Features appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Latest features:

Find out about our latest features and resources below which will help support your Blended Learning strategies and beyond. If you’d like to know more, please call 0191 338 7840.

Getting ready for...KS3/KS4

GCSEPod has recently produced a wealth of resources to support students moving into KS4 and KS5 including ‘Getting ready for GCSE/A Level’ workbooks, which contain a collection of activities. Each workbook includes ‘have a go at’ tasks, learning and skills required for the next key stage. 

Subjects covered include, English Language and Literature, Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, History, Geography, PE, French, German, and Spanish. As a subscriber to GCSEPod, you also receive exclusive access to complimentary playlists that have been designed to support students in completing tasks. The playlists and workbooks can be found in the Teach area of your account within the subject topic.

Check & Challenge

A unique assessment tool students access independently that provides scaffolded support like a teacher would.

Designed to target even the most able students, Check & Challenge aids learning and retention while evaluating knowledge and understanding.

Subjects currently covered include Maths, English Literature and Computer Science.  Click on the link below to find out more.

Learning Activities

The new Student Learning Activities have been designed to help students actively use the knowledge they’re learning from Pods.

The activities help students to independently transform the information in the Pods into something new, cementing knowledge and enhancing recall. 

Students can access the learning activities from their account without your assistance but you can also set a learning activity as an assignment beside any Pod you assign to students. 

Assignments

Images for Assignments – you can now upload images to your assignment questions! Images will be displayed alongside a question you create. 

Sharing Assignments with Other Schools – share your assignment templates with any other teacher from any school so long as they have a GCSEPod subscription. When publishing your assignment, you will be given an option to ‘share template with other teachers’, simply copy the link and send to another teacher. 

Change or Extend Assignment Deadlines – giving students an extension or pulling forward an assignment deadline is now possible through GCSEPod. Once an assignment is published, if you need to change the deadline date, simply click on the three dot icon and select ‘change deadline’.  

Ready-made Assignments

Setting assignments has never been easier with our new pre-made assignments! Simply select an assignment template, choose the class you want to assign it to and click Publish. The new pre-made assignments cover Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE, Geography, History, RS, Business, ICT, French, Spanish, German, English Literature, Business, English Language, Computer Science, Design & Technology, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Welsh Second Language and Health & Fitness (alongside the existing Achieve English and maths assignments). You can access these assignments through Ready-made Assignments in the Assess area of your account.

Achieve Pods

We have added modules 11 and 12 to accompany our 10 existing Achieve modules. Achieve Maths and English are designed to stretch students who are striving for a grade 5.

The confidence building content, workbooks and ready-made assignments are perfect for KS3 and to challenge and stretch younger year groups.

You can access the Achieve content in the Teach area of your account.

Tips for Exam Success

Our new English Language: Tips for Exam Success and Example Responses Pods are just like a teacher working one on one with a pupil and guiding them through each question.

The content is exam board specific (AQA, Edexcel, OCR and Eduqas) with bespoke Pods for each exam board.

Ideal for independent learning and revision, students can watch the Pods and then use the accompanying exam paper-style PDFs to apply their skills.

Keeping Fit & Healthy

We’ve recently collaborated with the Youth Sport Trust to produce a series of 16 Pods on the topic of wellbeing.

Areas covered include mental health, physical health and exercise, and the effect of your surroundings on your overall wellbeing. 

The scripts were written by professional athletes such as World Thai-Boxing champion Rachael Mackenzie, and narrated by Jeanette Kwakye (Olympian and British Champion sprinter) and Toby Garbett (Olympian and two-time World Champion rower). 

Webinars

Teaching staff and parents can now get a masterclass in GCSEPod from the experts themselves. We have been hosting webinars since the start of lockdown and they’ve been incredibly popular. They’ve been designed to support both KS4 and KS3. You can choose from an introductory or subject specific webinar where you can learn how to support teaching and learning effectively using GCSEPod. Parents can benefit too, GCSEPod are hosting webinars centred around how they can support their child’s learning at home.

To book a slot or watch recordings of previous webinars please click on the button below.

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Case Study: Ashby School https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/case-study-ashby-school/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/case-study-ashby-school/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 11:02:37 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5635 The post Case Study: Ashby School appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Engaging successfully with Pupil Premium students

When chemistry teacher Donna Tolley took on a new leadership role at the beginning of the 2019 autumn term focusing on Pupil Premium students, she made it her priority to hunt out a modern, easy to use online learning resource that could be effectively used to narrow the knowledge gap.

Details

Ashby School

At the Ashby School in Leicestershire, GCSEPod is being used to engage successfully with Pupil Premium students as the centuries old education establishment looks to ensure all its learners can achieve outstanding results.

Having spent a couple of months researching the barriers faced by the Leicestershire-based school’s 200 Year 10 and 11 Pupil Premium students – especially the boys – she had found her ideal e-learning platform: GCSEPod.

The EdTech teaching and learning tool is dedicated to improving both the working lives of teachers and making GCSE learning stick.

One of its many unique selling points is its short three to five minute audio-visual learning aids, known as Pods, written by skilled specialists and covering more than 27 GCSE and IGCSE subjects, that can be easily downloaded and watched on any mobile device, whether it be a smart phone, tablet or laptop.

For Donna, who is on a two year secondment as a member of Ashby School’s Extended Leadership Team, GCSEPod ticked a host of boxes.

“One of the main issues we have with our Pupil Premium students is engagement, and I was very keen to get something that would help with this, especially for the boys who don’t achieve as well academically as the girls. GCSEPod is proven to help in this area,” Donna explains.

“One of the main issues we have with our Pupil Premium students is engagement, and I was very keen to get something that would help with this, especially for the boys who don’t achieve as well academically as the girls. GCSEPod is proven to help in this area,” Donna explains.

“I also wanted something that would help our low-attenders stay up-to-date, which given the way the platform is set-up and how the material is presented, I really felt GCSEPod could make a difference with.

“GCSEPod also struck me as a great way to encourage parental engagement. I know the majority of parents of our Pupil Premium students want to support their children, but sadly for many of them school wasn’t a good place.

“But GCSEPod exploits something students and their parents are already enjoy doing – watching videos on their phone or tablet.

“Moreover, it’s a great way of ensuring students are getting the right information, and it has the added bonus that we can keep tabs on who is and isn’t engaging with it and intervene if needed.

“Finally, I needed something that was modern to appeal to today’s students, wasn’t clunky, that they could quickly grasp, and could be easily used in school and remotely – something that has become essential since we were forced to close in March because of the coronavirus lockdown.”

Due to its unique set-up, Ashby School faces a number of singular challenges when it comes to its Pupil Premium students, as Donna explains. “As students start at the school in Year 10, a particular challenge is that poor attendance has become habitual for some. Some students are low-attenders or persistent absentees from the outset.”

Added to that, for some, is low student engagement, aspirations, and parental support, coupled with economic difficulties with regards to paying for uniform, trips and equipment.

Donna is lucky that she has control of the Pupil Premium budget, which has been used to not only fund the introduction of GCSEPod, but attendance initiatives, visualisers in classrooms, PP-focused parents’ evenings, counselling, trips, a school PP coordinator and small group tuition.  The fact the GCSEPod benefits the whole school is the icing on the cake.

Ashby School – which celebrated its 450th anniversary in 2018 and has academy status – also brought well-known motivational speaker and role model, Cameron Parker from Dreams2reality, on board in January 2020 to help inspire its Pupil Premium students. Donna says: “He has really helped push GCSEPod. He’ll say to the students, ‘You’ve got this wonderful resource, use it.’ The kids listen to him because he isn’t your average motivational speaker; he isn’t a middle-aged man in a suit. He dresses like them and speaks their language.”

Donna continues: “Prior to lockdown things were looking very positive, and the general feeling was that a number of parents who had perhaps become disenchanted were getting back on board and that students were feeling motivated and believing they could achieve.

“Sadly, our Year 11 Pupil Premium students never got the chance to make that final push as the GCSE exams were cancelled, and the lockdown came before all the mock exam results could be processed.

“But we were definitely seeing improvements amongst our Year 11 students.

“Our Year 10 students have really gone for it with GCSEPod, though. We have a timetable running whilst they are off school and they are actively using GCSEPod. Usage has been increasing and peaked in April, probably due to the lockdown.

“We have seen some outstanding results. Our top performing Pupil Premium student has accessed 988 Pods, and our second highest user 492. Our 20 highest users, ranging from 59 to 988 streams and downloads, have been using GCSEPod very efficiently during this period.”

The gender comparison has been especially heartening. On average male students have viewed 45.44% more Pods than their female counterparts – music to Donna’s ears with boys traditionally underperforming girls.

The average number of Pods viewed per female has been 26.5, but for the males it has been 86.96.

Donna is in no doubt as to why GCSEPod is proving such a big hit. “It’s very accessible. A lot of the students using it are those that wouldn’t want to be seen walking around school with a revision guide or text book, but they are happy to access information on their phone. People won’t know what they are reading or listening to and it takes away the embarrassment factor.

“A really positive thing about GCSEPod is that it can so easily be viewed on a smartphone, so those students who don’t have access to a laptop or tablet can still use it.”

Previously, Donna says money had been spent on providing every Pupil Premium student with revision guides. “They were being sent home with these guides and, for many, they were just sitting in a pile in their bedroom.

“With GCSEPod we can see who is using it, which subjects are getting the most streams, and we can easily intervene and give the students a nudge if they aren’t tapping into it.

“One of the things I really love is the Check and Challenge which evaluates students’ knowledge and understanding, and the fact there are so many ready-made assignments that teachers can set.

“For me, GCSEPod gives our Pupil Premium students that extra push they wouldn’t be getting.”

This year’s Year 9 Pupil Premium transition sadly won’t be taking place due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But Donna has ensured these students have been given access to GCSEPod and Cameron Parker’s D2R webinars during the lockdown to help ease their integration into Ashby School in September when everything hopefully returns to normal.

The Results

Donna says lockdown has forced everyone to look at new ways of teaching and learning. “For us, it has been brilliant that we already had GCSEPod in place for our Pupil Premium students. It has helped make a very difficult situation that much easier and ensured our Pupil Premium students aren’t being left behind.

“What we have done has been really applauded by parents, and having GCSEPod has helped in the rebuilding of relationships between the school, students and parents, especially during this lockdown.”

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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GCSEPod and BBC Bitesize https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/gcsepod-and-bbc-bitesize/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/gcsepod-and-bbc-bitesize/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 10:27:00 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5718 The post GCSEPod and BBC Bitesize appeared first on GCSEPod.

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GCSEPod partners with BBC Bitesize to deliver online learning

GCSEPod is joining forces with BBC Bitesize to make its award-winning audio-visual maths content freely available to millions of students caught up in the coronavirus lockdown.

From June 8 GCSEPod will begin co-authoring daily maths lessons for the BBC’s online study resource.

The tie-in, which lasts for the remainder of the academic year, will help deliver a smarter learning solution for secondary students across the UK as schools battle to keep motivation and education on track in the virtual world.

GCSEPod – which has been at the forefront of remote learning for the past decade – is joining the likes of Sir David Attenborough, renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox, EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, and Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker, on BBC Bitesize as the broadcaster continues its push to deliver its biggest ever education offering with the disruption to the nation’s schooling set to continue.

GCSEPod has already been playing its part in helping deliver curriculum-based study for 14-16-year-old’s during the lockdown with more than 430,000 students and 67,000 teachers in 40 countries now tapping into the subscription service.

Anthony Coxon, co-founder and director of GCSEPod, which is a division of Soundbitelearning UK Ltd, said:

“We are thrilled to be working with BBC Bitesize and to be helping support UK students to continue unlocking their full potential in maths at what is an undoubtedly challenging time for everyone involved in education.”

“GCSEPod’s motto is ‘education on demand’, and this link-up with BBC Bitesize will allow millions of KS3 and KS4 students who wouldn’t usually have access to our award-winning digital content, to do just that by giving them the means to improve their maths learning, retain knowledge long-term, and unlock their full potential.

“The current lockdown of schools is affecting millions of children across the UK, including around 750,000 due to take their GCSEs next year. Schools have had to embrace new ways of delivering learning, and we are proud to be working with BBC Bitesize to address this challenge.”

GCSEPod has seen a surge in demand for its content aimed primarily at Years 9-11, since the first nationwide school shutdown in modern British history came into effect on March 23 this year.

The online platform covers 27 UK and international exam subjects offered in short, information-packed and visually appealing three to five minute teacher-written Pod videos that can be watched on or offline on mobiles, tablets and PCs.

 

Well over two million Pods have been streamed across all subjects since lockdown began, with maths among the most popular subjects.

Nearly 300,000 maths Pods alone have been viewed – a 50% increase on pre-lockdown figures.

Teachers can easily use GCSEPod to devise lessons, set homework, and create revision playlists. Students can also create their own Pod playlists to listen to as they would with music.

Students have also been utilising GCSEPod’s unique Check and Challenge, an online assessment system that not only evaluates knowledge and understanding, but also provides structured support via hints, multiple choice options and feedback statements, to aid actual learning and information retention.

Teachers can see how well their students are doing and quickly intervene if needed to offer additional help.

In May, 81,894 questions were attempted on the maths Check and Challenge compared to 46,584 in February.

It’s not just schools who can buy into GCSEPod.
Parents can also sign-up to tailored packages.

Mr Coxon said: “EdTech is an obvious solution to remote learning – a field that GCSEPod has led in for the past 10 years. As such, we are in an ideal position to help students continue their learning and to support teachers.

“It has been particularly pleasing to see the escalation in interest in our maths Pods, and as such I am delighted that we are now able to make that content more widely available via BBC Bitesize.”

He added that with Year 10 and 12 students set to be welcomed back into schools part-time from next week, it was important that platforms like GCSEPod and BBC Bitesize continue to support younger students.

“Whilst GCSEPod is chiefly aimed at Years 9-11, it can be used for students from Year 7 as well as those moving into further education. With the uncertainty surrounding schools likely to continue we see GCSEPod becoming ever more important.

“We know that one of the key things that helps students and teachers feel safe in uncertain times is maintaining as sense of purpose and connection, and GCSEPod is vital to supporting that.”

Home Schooling Offers currently available, please contact Jess Newby, our Individual Subscriptions Manager
T: 0191 338 7835 or E: jess.newby@gcsepod.com

Interactive, curriculum-based online learning which reflects the way students want to learn can help students’ stay motivated with their learning, both at home and in the classroom.

James McAleese, Head of Secondary

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National School Sport Week at Home https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/national-school-sport-week/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/national-school-sport-week/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2020 19:25:05 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5594 The post National School Sport Week at Home appeared first on GCSEPod.

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National School Sport Week at Home: GCSEPod backs campaign to ensure no child misses out.

GCSEPod is preparing to join the Youth Sport Trust and Sky Sports to help young people and families up and down the country engage in a week of virtual sporting challenges.

With young people set to miss out on a school sport day this summer, the Youth Sport Trust’s annual National School Sport Week campaign is this year being opened up to parents and families and reinvented as National School Sport Week at Home.

Taking place from 20 to 26 June, the UK-wide campaign will give families, communities, schools and sports clubs the chance to capture the enjoyment, competition and camaraderie they have been missing out on during weeks of school closures and social distancing.

GCSEPod will be taking part in the week by sharing our series of Wellbeing Pods to help students better manage their health and wellbeing.

These fantastic pods, made in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust are usually only available to our subscribing schools but as it’s nearly National Sport Week 2020 we have made these pods available for everyone to watch and share!
In previous years National School Sport Week has seen thousands of schools join in a week-long celebration of school sport and Physical Education, and their important role enhancing young people’s wellbeing.

This year, Sky Sports has teamed up with the Youth Sport Trust to supercharge the campaign, helping to inspire families across the country to take part. This builds on a long-term relationship between the broadcaster and charity.

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver said:

“The Youth Sport Trust is thrilled to see supporters like GCSEPod backing National School Sport Week at Home to ensure no child misses out on their school sports day this summer. 

“Right now, young people are missing their friends and missing the sense of connection they get through sport. Sport has such a crucial role to play in promoting young people’s wellbeing and this has never been more apparent than it is now. After weeks of isolation we hope that YST National School Sport Week at Home 2020 can help bring families, communities, schools and sports clubs back together.” 

Anyone can register to take part and will receive videos and activity cards to help them plan a series of challenges across the week for their families, neighbours, friends or colleagues.

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“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Insights from International Schools https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/insights-from-international-schools/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/insights-from-international-schools/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2020 14:39:55 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5542 The post Insights from International Schools appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Gill Key, GCSEPod’s Director of International and Special Projects, has been involved since the company first started offering school subscriptions 10 years ago and now heads up the company’s division looking after schools in some 40 countries worldwide. Here, she shares some insights from international school subscribers.

I’ve worked with GCSEPod now for 10 years, ever since our first tentative steps into school subscriptions at a time when the idea of using mobile technology to support teaching and learning was a very novel concept!  The company founders had come up with the idea of offering 3-5 minute audio-visual presentations that could be watched on iPods and the clunky iPhone 4s that were just beginning to reach the eager hands of a few fortunate teenagers, but at the time, it was hard to convince sceptical teachers that this was anything more than a short lived fad.

Whether it be our subscribers in the Asia or our subscribers in Europe and the UK, what is certain, is that GCSEPod remains as committed as ever to guiding, helping, supporting and impacting the educational community as much as it can.

How things have changed!

The majority of teenagers are now seemingly surgically glued to their phones, broadband is reliable and fast in most countries (or at least relatively reliable and fast!).  Other online content resources have arrived on the playing field, some better than others. Google, Microsoft and various VLEs provide purpose-built platforms ready to host online learning, a little like ‘wardrobes’ GCSEPod and other online learning resources have evolved to fill them with ‘ clothes’ in the form of subject content, ready made lessons, homework, marking and monitoring.

Until recently, such opportunities have been taken up enthusiastically by some schools and teachers, but less so by others.

The Coronavirus lockdown and consequent requirement to teach remotely may have changed that forever.

“If there has been one benefit from all of this it has been for my staff to learn how to better embrace technology in their teaching. Many of my staff have said this has been the best CPD they have received in years.”

Paul Kelly, Head of Secondary

British International School Shanghai, Puxi Campus

What lessons can be learnt?

Schools everywhere have embraced the opportunity to try out new EdTech learning resources during this difficult time. As schools look ahead, what lessons can be learned from their use during lockdown that might improve and enhance daily teaching practice?

For the schools in China it was particularly difficult as the country’s firewall meant that some platforms such as YouTube and BBC bitesize were blocked. BIS Shanghai already used some EdTech systems which between them provided online textbooks and curriculum aligned lessons and assessments, but they didn’t cover the full range of subjects taught, nor did they have the depth and consistency of quality content.

Paul said:  “ Our usual use of EdTech would normally be as a supplementary learning tool, using it for  revision purposes so students could undertake an audit of their own understanding of a topic and return to the teacher with areas they would like to go over.

“GCSEPod was recommended to us by a colleague at another Nord Anglia school. We had to react quickly and set up the GCSEPod accounts for all our secondary aged students, giving them remote access to quality content across the curriculum. Thankfully it was easy to set up and there was no learning curve.”

In Italy, Jody Lee Parker, who is head of secondary school and co-interim director at The International School in Genoa, Italy, says:

“It has been a surreal academic year, and if someone had told us in January when we returned for the spring term that within a matter of weeks multiple countries would be forced into lockdown as a new and deadly virus swept across the globe, we would have thought them mad.

But as Italy found itself in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, the government in Rome was forced to intervene at the beginning of March and order the entire country into a dramatic total lockdown – which inevitably included the closure of all schools.

Only now, nearly three months on, is my adopted homeland beginning to return to some form of normality.  Our teachers have used Google Classrooms for some time but they now had to get to grips with new resources such as GCSEPod. 

They have taken part in detailed training webinars on how to effectively use the platform and make the most of its multiple features, including how to use it within Google Classroom so we know our students are accessing the right lesson resources. The initial response from staff has been extremely positive and we’ve been impressed by how easy it has been to set up and how helpful the GCSEPod team has been.

A blended flipped learning approach

Schools everywhere have embraced the opportunity to try out new EdTech learning resources during this difficult time. As schools look ahead, what lessons can be learned from their use during lockdown that might improve and enhance daily teaching practice?

Paul Kelly says: “Initially we sent work to students at 8:00am each day by e-mail and students worked independently on tasks. However, parental surveys revealed that students were struggling socially.  We changed to setting independent work online with live sessions with teachers. This has enabled students to ask questions about their studies and check in with staff on a pastoral level.”

James McAleese of Head of Secondary at GEMS Winchester School in Fujairah, UAE agrees: Ensuring that students continue to receive a high-quality education at home, and maintain their motivation despite the IGCSE exam cancellations, was the priority during this period. We understood that students and parents might be feeling isolated and anxious about learning from home and the impact on their IGCSE results, and so providing ongoing support and reassurance for KS4 would be particularly important. Furthermore, equipping students to make the transition into the next stage of their education is also a key consideration as the academic year draws to a close.

“We now have a generation of digital-native students learning from home. Curriculum-aligned tasks are especially important for KS4 to make sure they are not missing out any IGCSE topics. We have the EdTech tools at our disposal to take the classroom experience online and deliver the same high standard of teacher support which students would expect in the classroom, modifying tasks for students depending on their abilities. 

 

“Blended learning is more attuned to the way today’s young students consume and engage with content. Each pupil is different and will learn best in different ways and at different speeds. Using an online learning tool which provides instant feedback on students’ work is valuable as it allows teachers to identify any knowledge gaps in real-time and ensure this is addressed in the next lesson. Like other international schools in the UAE, we have a high proportion of learners with English as an additional language (EAL). Students therefore enjoy using audio-visual resources with subtitles, which allow them to slow down or re-watch sections as needed.

“Combining this independent work with teacher-led sessions then creates a more engaging and dynamic student experience. Furthermore, blended learning enables pupils to take ownership of their study and develop key independent thinking skills which are beneficial for their education careers and beyond.

“Prior to the school closures, we were already encouraging teachers to use more education technology, including GCSEPod, which I had used highly effectively at my previous school. One particularly successful tactic is to use it within a flipped learning context. Teachers create a playlist of Pods relevant to the topic they were studying and ask students to watch them immediately before a short Microsoft Teams lesson. During this live teaching time, we’ll work through the linked assignments or various other learning activities available within GCSEPod with the students, giving them the opportunity to discuss them with their teachers and classmates. This means that the shorter lesson on Teams can be used much more effectively: pupils enjoy chatting and sharing their ideas, just as they would have done in the normal classroom, and they say that they feel more motivated understanding exactly how the videos fit into the curriculum content, having discussed it in the live session.  

 The outcomes from students over the past months have illustrated the benefits of integrating online resources, from improving their ability to learn independently and self-review, to allowing for more personalised instruction which reflects the needs of individual learners. 

James stresses that for this approach to work, it’s crucial that the teachers not only thoroughly understand their subject and curriculum, but have training on how to use EdTech effectively and have confidence that the chosen  resources are both easy to use and effective.

In conclusion, to misquote a well-known expression, the experience during these last months proves that, used well, ‘digital learning is for life, not just for Coronavirus 19 closures’. Whilst digital learning is not a replacement for traditional classroom teaching, it is an invaluable tool which can enhance the learning experience for students when integrated properly within the curriculum.  The challenge for schools around the globe is now to take what they have learned and build on it.

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“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Coronavirus Quarantine Blog Part 3 https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/coronavirus-quarantine-blog-part-3/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/coronavirus-quarantine-blog-part-3/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 10:46:54 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5502 The post Coronavirus Quarantine Blog Part 3 appeared first on GCSEPod.

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In her third blog post, Jody Lee Parker, who is head of secondary school and co-interim director at The International School in Genoa, Italy, reveals how the recent introduction of GCSEPod has captured the imagination of teachers looking to enhance older students learning during the Covid-19 lockdown.

We’re counting down the days until our school year ends on June 19.

It has been a surreal academic year, and if someone had told us in January when we returned for the spring term that within a matter of weeks multiple countries would be forced into lockdown as a new and deadly virus swept across the globe, we would have thought them mad.

If we find ourselves in a position where our older students can’t return to school, then GCSEPod will give us the essential back-up we need to remotely create assignments and homework and ensure their learning stays focused and on track.

But as Italy found itself in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, the government in Rome was forced to intervene at the beginning of March and order the entire country into a dramatic total lockdown – which inevitably included the closure of all schools.

Only now, nearly three months on, is my adopted homeland beginning to return to some form of normality.

With the thermometer on the rise here in Genoa as spring turns to summer, the bars, cafes, restaurants and shops have been allowed to reopen – albeit under strict social-distancing restrictions. We can once again use the parks, take public transport and, most importantly of all, meet with family and close friends, as long as we obey the social-distancing rules.

The wearing of masks in public is compulsory, however, and whilst the worst may now be over, no-one is kidding themselves that the coronavirus has been beaten. The feeling is we will have to live with it long-term.

There has been no mad rush to dine out.

There is something bizarre about the prospect of sitting in a restaurant in a mask and where the tables are abnormally far apart. I certainly don’t want to go out for a meal in those circumstances, and generally there is an atmosphere of great anxiety and uncertainty.

But under intense pressure, the government in Rome has taken its biggest step yet in relaxing the national lockdown for the sake of the economy.

Not everything is getting back to what will be the new ‘normal’ going forward, however. Schools have been told they must remain closed until September, leaving us with the ongoing headache of how best to homeschool our 357 students not just for the remainder of this term, but potentially into the new academic year too.

As yet, we have no idea how we are going to be able to safely re-open The International School. We are awaiting direction from the Italian government, but we are already wrestling with a number of different scenarios. Do we only bring back the younger children as it is more difficult to teach them online? Do we look to just reintroduce certain year groups so we can safely spread them out across the school? Or do we restrict students to attending morning or afternoon sessions with the remainder of the day spent home learning?

The possibility that homeschooling may have to continue for our middle and senior school students is something we can’t ignore. I won’t lie, though. The last few months of homeschooling has been a particularly tiring and stressful experience for teachers, students and, indeed, parents, as we have tried to keep learning on track.

Our older students we now have a new resource our teachers can call on: GCSEPod.

Our teachers have been familiarising themselves with the online learning platform over the last week or so. Just as our students have had to get their heads around distance learning, so our teachers have had to remotely get to grips with finding out all they can about GCSEPod.

They have taken part in detailed training webinars on how to effectively use the platform and make the most of its multiple features. One of the things that has really impressed everyone has been how easy it has been to set up and how helpful the GCSEPod team has been.

The initial response from staff has been extremely positive. They love the Pods – the three to five minute audio visual learning and revision videos. They like the eye-catching graphics, the fact you can use them visually or just with the sound, the onscreen key words, dates and diagrams, and that each Pod comes with subtitles that can be turned on and off.

It’s easy to copy and paste the links into Google Classroom so we know our students are accessing the right lesson resources.

The sheer breadth of coverage – 27 subjects and all the exam boards…

Then there is the sheer breadth of the Pods covering 27 subjects and all the exam boards, as well as the Check and Challenge feature, which allows students to self-assess and teachers to see who may be falling behind and to intervene if necessary.

Having so much online information in the one place is fantastic, and the maths and science departments in particular are keen to exploit GCSEPod’s resources. It can be hard to find visually appealing subject materials in these areas elsewhere.

If you are asking your students to go off and revise quadratic equations it’s not going to be as easy to find the right source material as it would be if you were directing your class to research a particular author in English or the First World War in history. But with GCSEPod, the correct information is at your fingertips.

Whilst we are only just starting to roll out GCSEPod, our staff have already asked if it can be made available to our younger students in Grades 6, 7 and 8, equivalent to Years 7, 8 and 9 in the UK.

We have quickly identified GCSEPod as a tool that could be effectively used for students who are ready to be challenged academically.

Moving forward…

With so little time left until the beginning of the summer holidays, however, and with the obvious educational challenges we are facing, we are being realistic about how we utilise GCSEPod in the short-term. This side of the summer holidays it is less about using it as a teaching and learning tool, and more about helping our older students revise for their end of term assessments.

We will be setting a mix of open book exams, projects, essays and presentations, and GCSEPod will play an important part in ensuring our older students consolidate their knowledge.

Come September when we will hopefully be in a position to reopen The International School, we will begin in earnest integrating GCSEPod as both a learning and revision tool.

Flipped learning where teachers can create video playlists to share and set work ahead of lessons, is something we are very keen to explore.

If we find ourselves in a position where our older students can’t return to school, then GCSEPod will give us the essential back-up we need to remotely create assignments and homework and ensure their learning stays focused and on track.

As the summer holidays roll ever nearer, we will soon be saying goodbye to our current Grade 12 students. Usually it is a time of celebration. But this year their departure will be tinged with sadness – and not just because they face an uncertain future in the current climate.

Our annual graduation ceremony has been thrown into doubt. The social-distancing regulations mean we will need to seek official authorisation to hold it. If we are given the go ahead then rather than the 250 people we would normally expect to welcome to the ceremony, it will by necessity be a more sober affair with restricted numbers and none of the usual formalities.

If our request is turned down, then we are looking at hosting some kind of online graduation. Not being able to celebrate this milestone with friends and family in person will be hugely disappointing for our students, but we hope we can still help them feel part of The International School community before they embark on their new lives.

Then our focus will inevitably turn to September and how we navigate our way through the still challenging times ahead. Now we at least have GCSEPod to call on.

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“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Using blended learning to support Key Stage 4 https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/using-blended-learning-to-support-key-stage-4/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/using-blended-learning-to-support-key-stage-4/#respond Wed, 20 May 2020 14:36:08 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5403 The post Using blended learning to support Key Stage 4 appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Lessons learnt from school closures:
using blended learning to support Key Stage 4.

Author of this article, James McAleese, is Head of Secondary at GEMS Winchester school in Fujairah, UAE.
He currently teaches Business and ICT.

Key Stage 4 (KS4) is a critical time in a student’s education as they begin to explore their subject passions, work on their IGCSE qualifications and start to consider possible further education choices. As Covid-19 compelled schools in the UAE and across the world to temporarily close their doors and shift towards remote learning, this year will stand out as a particularly challenging one for Year 10s and Year 11s.

By now most schools will have settled into a distance learning routine, but what lessons can we take from this experience, and how may we continue to utilise edtech and new teaching practices once schools reopen?

“As schools look ahead and prepare students for the new academic year, there is much to be learnt from the home learning experience. Blended learning can make for a more efficient and personalised learning experience, which is valuable for all students but especially Year 10s and Year 11s during their exam preparations and preparations for KS5. “

The approach to blended learning.

Ensuring that students continue to receive a high-quality education at home, and maintain their motivation despite the IGCSE exam cancellations, was the priority at GEMS Winchester School during this period. We understood that students and parents might be feeling isolated and anxious about learning from home and the impact on their IGCSE results, and so providing ongoing support and reassurance for KS4 would be particularly important. Furthermore, equipping students to make the transition into the next stage of their education is also a key consideration as the academic year draws to a close.

With this in mind, we sought to create a blended learning strategy which would integrate digital resources and conventional teaching methods, for an engaging and interactive student experience. The outcomes from students over the past months have illustrated the benefits of integrating online resources, from improving their ability to learn independently and self-review, to allowing for more personalised instruction which reflects the needs of individual learners. 

As schools across the globe prepare to reopen, evolving our teaching practices to include more flexibility and mixed-media content might be the most valuable takeaway from this experience.

Audio-visual learning.

As we made the transition to home learning, it was clear that we would need to deliver engaging and interactive lessons despite not being face-to-face with our students. Like other schools we have been utilising edtech to make home learning as easy and engaging as possible for students during this period. However, distance learning is not about simply telling students to watch a video or read a handout. We understood that students could become disinterested if the lessons were always the same and if they lacked interaction with their teachers, especially now during Ramadan when lessons are reduced to 25 minutes. Because lessons are so much shorter than normal, every second counts, so we had to think creatively in order to  keep them engaged and actively learning and replicate the normal classroom lesson using a combination of virtual independent learning and teacher-led direction.

One particularly successful tactic was to use flipped learning. Prior to the school closures, we were encouraging teachers to use more education technology, including GCSEPod, which I had used very successfully at my previous school. GCSEPod has a bank of 3-5 minute ‘Pod’ videos written specifically for 27 IGCSE and GCSE subjects, plus a range of tools that enable teachers to create video playlists to share and set work for students. Teachers create a playlist of Pods relevant to the topic they were studying and ask students to watch them before the Microsoft Teams lesson. During this live teaching time, we’ll work through the linked assignments or various other learning activities available within GCSEPod with the students, giving them the opportunity to discuss them with their teachers and classmates. This means that the shorter lesson on Teams can be used much more effectively: students enjoy chatting and sharing their ideas, just as they would have done in the normal classroom, and they say that they feel more motivated understanding exactly how the videos fit into the curriculum content, having discussed it in the live session.

Turning home learning into an advantage.

Distance learning presents certain challenges, however it also provides a unique opportunity for students to review and consolidate their learning and get a head-start on their studies for next year. We now have a generation of digital-native students learning from home. We also have the edtech tools at our disposal to take the classroom experience online and deliver the same high standard of teacher support and curriculum-aligned content which students would expect in the classroom.

Blended learning is more attuned to the way today’s young students consume and engage with content. Audio-visual revision has the entertainment appeal but also the flexibility, enabling students to pause, watch and re-watch as needed to reinforce their topic understanding. Combining this independent work with teacher-led sessions then creates a more engaging and dynamic student experience. Furthermore, blended learning enables students to take ownership of their study and develop key independent thinking skills which are beneficial for their education careers and beyond.

While digital learning is not a replacement for traditional classroom teaching, it is an invaluable tool which can enhance the learning experience for students when integrated properly within the curriculum.

Helping Year 10s and Year 11s stay on top of their learning.

Blended learning is an opportunity to enrich the personalised learning experience for Year 10s and Year 11s. Each student is different and will learn best in different ways and at different speeds. Using an online learning tool which provides instant feedback on students’ work is valuable as it allows teachers to identify any knowledge gaps in real-time and ensure this is addressed in the next lesson. Like other international schools in the UAE, we have a high proportion of learners with English as an additional language (EAL). Students therefore enjoy using audio-visual resources with subtitles, which allow them to slow down or re-watch sections as needed. Once schools reopen, digital resources can continue to offer a customised learning experience for KS4 at a time when they need it most.

One of the key questions for GEMS Winchester was how we would roll out the end of year examinations for KS4 students and help them progress into the next key stage. Using the audio-visual resource, we have the ability to create bespoke virtual test papers that track and evaluate each student’s learning, just as we would have done with written papers. As we move into May which is traditionally the exam revision phase for students, we can help Year 11s bridge the gap up to Key Stage 5 (KS5), with tailored online lesson plans and using the GCSEPod ‘Getting Ready for A-level’ resources which have been very well received by our students.

Align your edtech with the KS4 curriculum .

Remote learning has given schools everywhere the opportunity to explore new edtech resources and see how they might benefit the curriculum going forward. To maximise the benefits of edtech, teachers must receive thorough training so that they understand how the resource covers the curriculum. This enables teachers to map out effective lesson plans, set homework and modify tasks for students depending on their abilities. Curriculum-aligned tasks are especially important for KS4 to make sure they are not missing out any IGCSE topics.  

For example, many of our year 11 students were anxious about making sure they had covered all of their exam content. I knew that the Pods in GCSEPod cover all 21 units of the ICT IGCSE, so I was able to create comprehensive playlists of videos and then set multiple-choice assignments for each ICT unit, with a deadline to complete them by the end of May.

The playlists gave them a clear, structured lesson plan to work through at their own pace, but with a clear target in mind, and the assignments meant that I could monitor their knowledge and pinpoint students who may need more advanced tasks or additional support on a specific topic. Even if the IGCSE exams are not taking place, this means that students can confidently say they have covered the entire ICT syllabus and are prepared to start the next stage of their learning pathway.

As schools look ahead and prepare students for the new academic year, there is much to be learnt from the home learning experience. Blended learning can make for a more efficient and personalised learning experience, which is valuable for all students but especially Year 10s and Year 11s during their exam preparations and preparations for KS5. Interactive, curriculum-based online learning which reflects the way students want to learn can help KS4 stay motivated with their learning, both at home and in the classroom.

 Interactive, curriculum-based online learning which reflects the way students want to learn can help KS4 stay motivated with their learning, both at home and in the classroom.

More from our blog

We have a wide range of articles, case studies and news features in our blog.
If you would like to see more please click on the button below.

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“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

The post Using blended learning to support Key Stage 4 appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Youth Sport Trust https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/youth-sport-trust-and-gcsepod/ https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/youth-sport-trust-and-gcsepod/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 18:15:38 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5271 The post Youth Sport Trust appeared first on GCSEPod.

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GCSEPod and Youth Sport Trust

YST and GCSEPod have developed a series of Wellbeing Pods to help students better manage their wellbeing, supporting their ability to learn whether or not they are preparing for exams.

It is our collective understanding that if students look after their own wellbeing and learn to take responsibility for it, not only will it support them through their exams, but also beyond that and into their adult life.

The four areas covered will focus on;

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body

This Pod will introduce the key elements of hydration, exercise, sleep and nutrition and how by improving each of these, your body will be able to perform so much better.

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mind

This Pod will share how the mind works and the negative influencers and stressors on the brain and how some simple techniques can reduce the potential impact

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environment

Understanding how your environment influences who you become, what you believe and do.

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Team you

A Pod about creating your plan for change, what actions will work best to manage you and make positive change to your mindset and wellbeing.

Watch a Pod

To watch a pod simply click on the play button.
Click the square in the corner of the player to enlarge it.

Posture

Choosing your mood

Clutter

Exercise

Goal setting

Habits

Hydration

Managing our thoughts

Mindfulness

Nutrition

Relaxation

Sleep

Stress

Team you

Visualisation

Can we help your school?

All types of schools are finding huge GCSE success using GCSEPod.
27 subjects, teacher tools and ongoing support.
Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

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Advice for successful remote teaching https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/advice-for-successful-gcse-remote-teaching/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/advice-for-successful-gcse-remote-teaching/#respond Sun, 17 May 2020 15:33:33 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5149 The post Advice for successful remote teaching appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Since schools were forced to close their doors, teachers and parents have been working with varying degrees of success to keep the UK’s 10 million-plus students education on track.

Gavin Cowley has been in education since 1994, from teacher, to head of science and deputy head, now an Education Consultant working with over 220 schools in London and the North East.

Here he looks at effective leadership during the current lockdown, and the part GCSEPod can play in not just keeping student learning on track but helping schools successfully adapt to blended learning remotely.

Click here to watch Gavin’s recent GCSEPod webinar and download the supporting Q&A sheet.

If any good is to come out of the current coronavirus pandemic it is perhaps that platforms like GCSEPod will help schools to see how personalised learning and true learner-centred instruction can be accomplished.

Starting as a science teacher in the 1990s, Gavin soon raised through the ranks to become Deputy Head and helped lead his school out of serious weaknesses before setting records for the school’s outcomes in the last two years of its life.  In the early 2000’s he led York High School’s sports specialism, gaining recognition as one of the country’s leading sports colleges and being awarded the National Innovation Award in 2012 by the Youth Sports Trust.  At the same time Gavin led the school to outstanding outcomes, exceeding FFTD by 22% and 11.  More recently he has used these experiences to guide other schools out of Ofsted serious weaknesses and special measures as an independent education consultant, where he’s supported over 200 schools on leadership and teaching approaches. This included going back and supporting York High in 2019 to add 0.67 to their Progress 8 in just 6 months of weekly sessions.   As a long-time PiXL partner, he has also just been appointed the new Secondary Regional Leader for the north and east of England for PiXL for September 2020.

Gavin Cowley

Education Consultant

If we thought 2019 was a bad year as a tsunami of extreme weather unfolded across the globe, nothing could have prepared us back in January for the cataclysm that 2020 was preparing to unleash.

Now we find ourselves in lockdown fighting the unseen enemy that is Covid-19.

Since schools were forced to close their doors, teachers and parents have been working with varying degrees of success to keep the UK’s 10 million-plus students education on track.

We have all been forced to step into unknown territory and strike out in different directions as we seek to find the best way of working until the schools reopen.

When they do, it will be a vastly different landscape, however. Until a vaccine becomes available the way in which our children are taught will, by necessity, be very different to how it was.

Tough times are defining moments in any leader’s career. Some will rise heroically to the occasion, others will fall by the wayside. These extraordinary circumstances require exceptional leaders and remarkable leadership.

Leaders that will succeed will have a clear vision, see the big picture and know they can’t shoulder the burden alone. 

Those that succeed in stepping up and taking responsibility will have a clear vision, communicate honestly, listen to people’s pains and frustrations, and be able to look at the bigger picture. They will also be those who know they can’t shoulder the burden alone.

One of the key skills of leadership is understanding that you are not the best at everything, and knowing when to place your trust in those who are more competent in certain areas.

I can envisage a future that looks very different from our past in all spheres of work and working practice.

 

Many schools have over the past few weeks successfully implemented tried and tested online learning platforms like GCSEPod. Many have sadly not. But if the last few weeks has taught me anything, it is the vital role that revision and learning packages such as GCSEPod can and must play in helping educate our children not just during the lockdown but going forward.

Lockdown has also reaffirmed the value of leadership in these times as I listen to widely varying experiences of parents and teachers from different schools.

I am guilty until recently of being confused about GCSEPod’s USP. I thought of it as just an online revision tool that used podcasts, like the ones I listen to on the BBC. Great if I want to catch up on the news, an interview or a concert, but not something I could see capturing the imagination of your average cynical teenager.

A Pod isn’t simply a podcast

A Pod isn’t simply a podcast, it’s in fact a short three-five-minute audio-visual animation written by subject specialists and voiced by professional artistes. They are clear, concise and engaging. I know because I have watched over 200 of them in the last few weeks!

I discovered that GCSEPod can be used as a teaching tool. Assignments can be set and assessed using multiple choice questions which can stand as tutorials. It can be utilised for flipped learning by directing pupils to a limited number of Pods for upcoming work. It’s also a homework tool where assignments can be set with questions that relate to recently covered work, or even from an earlier topic.

Freeing up teacher time…

One of the frustrations of many colleagues is the lack of engagement with homework and the burden of marking it. GCSEPod’s assessments take away that onus, freeing up time to analyse any issues and carefully plan for intervention. It is straightforward to see which students have done what and to give nudges where necessary.

 

Check and Challenge…

There’s more; it can be used diagnostically through the Check and Challenge questions. These help to identify common errors and misconceptions that can arise as pupils’ progress through tiered and differentiated questions. This will be invaluable for when GCSE students finally return to school.

But there is vital opportunity to have diagnostics done before pupils potentially even return to school.  Teachers can then start plugging the learning gaps and really personalise lessons in what almost certainly will be smaller groups in the medium term.

They have everything…

There are English and maths workbooks that can be used on and offline that help to build less able students’ confidence.

Postcards and certificates reward success and there are templates for these. There is an easy guide to appointing a GCSEPod staff lead as well as Key Stage 4 student ambassadors, and helpful information on how the platform can be integrated into revision.  I would encourage schools to be considering this now for any exams they might stage in-house in the Christmas term, for example.

 

GCSEPod will help schools to see how personalised learning and true learner-centred instruction can be accomplished….

Sadly, some schools are better than others at recognising the need to move with the times and motivating their staff to do so. I have lost count of the times I have been to schools and heard senior leaders when asked about the progress of a new learning initiative respond with ‘all of the middle leaders are aware of it. I have emailed it to them.’

I know in that instant that nothing will be different. You cannot lead people by or via email and expect positive change to happen. It won’t.

GCSEPod is an incredible learning tool. But it can only be as good as the people charged with overseeing its effective use. Without ‘buy-in’ there can be no change. Without clear leadership, anything, no matter how good, can become just another thing.

People need to know what’s in it for them. Why will it be of benefit to my school, my teaching, my impact?

Imagine someone in your school trying to introduce a new initiative and beginning with, ‘right, we are going to change X and start Y.’ You can almost hear the chorus of groans. No matter how good the ‘new thing’ is, it will struggle to make its mark.

But once the ‘why’ is understood and a clear vision communicated, staff will be sold on it. The ‘how’ and the ‘what’ will then follow relatively easily. Surprisingly, some leaders neglect to even mention the ‘why’ at all.

So why GCSEPod?…

It has to start with a belief that you do what you do to improve your students’ life chances. That that is what motivates everyone on your staff. This has to be the ‘why’ for GCSEpod.

The bottom line is that sometimes we overcomplicate leadership and the art of teaching. We forget that everything we do to bring success to the school is built on the foundation of strong relationships.

 

Given the choice between a teacher with good subject knowledge and poor relationships and one with weaker speciality understanding and strong affiliations, I will take the second every time. You can always work on the subject knowledge. Get it right with a class and they will walk through fire for you. The same goes for your staff.

This is because if they buy into you and your vision for the future, the students will too.

Invest your time now, explore the product and draw up a plan. Investing now will save a huge amount of time in the future…

So, what will your leadership of the introduction of GCSEPod, or any initiative, look like?

You need to talk to people about important decisions. That could be the launch or even relaunch of GCSEPod. Start with the why, the vision, and maximising the life chances of students.  Perhaps arrange a call with your leadership team to talk this through. Certainly call your middle leaders, or meet with them if you can do so safely in school.

Ask them to spend a day exploring GCSEPod, particularly for their subject, to draw up a plan that covers how this could be used by teachers and students, how it could be advertised and monitored, who could lead on it in their area, how assignments could be used to inform planning and how this resource can augment what you are already doing.  Meet with them to follow this up and iron out the detail, schedule in meetings to review use and impact, and make sure they are planning to measure it.

At this time that ‘why’ might be to equip current Year 10’s so that if a second wave of coronavirus strikes then you have secure systems in place to effectively teach remotely. Or it could be to set assignments, see performance and, of course, guide planning for when schools do return.

If there is hopefully no second C-19 phase, GCSEPod’s material can be used for flipped learning and for homework to consolidate understanding. It can be used for the students who are hard to reach or in alternative provision. Perhaps now is a time to look at properly innovating and doing things differently that might have taken much longer in normal circumstances.

 

The coronavirus crisis is demonstrating how important technology is in times of uncertainty and change. The next test is for strategic leadership teams to reinvent their school for the better and offer more certainty now and going forward.

More from our blog

We have a wide range of articles, case studies and news features in our blog.
If you would like to see more please click on the button below.

Can we help your school deliver high quality online learning?

Join over 1,500 schools in over 42 countries today to make sure their learning does not stop. 

“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Getting ready for KS5 https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/getting-ready-for-ks5/ https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/getting-ready-for-ks5/#respond Sun, 10 May 2020 18:48:44 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4654 The post Getting ready for KS5 appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Getting ready for A-Levels

As a part of our continued effort to support pupils, parents and teachers at this time, we are producing a wealth of free resources for both subscribers and non-subscribers to support students in the transition from KS4 to KS5.

Our ‘Getting Ready for A-Levels’ resources are made up of a collection of activities aimed at supporting pupils to ‘have a go’ at tasks, learning and skills required for the next key stage.

All activities can be completed in the home at the pupil’s own pace.

Advice from a Year 13 student

In this Pod Adam Rowe, a current Year 13 student, gives his top tips and advice for transitioning from GCSE’s to A Level. Click on the video below to watch the Pod.

Are you a subscriber?

Subscribing schools also have access to complimentary playlists collated to support pupils in completing these tasks and continuing their revision. To find them simply login to your account and visit the relevant subjects.

Could you school benefit from a GCSEPod subscription?

All types of schools are finding huge GCSE success using GCSEPod.
Prices start from as little as £1 per month per student for 27 subjects, teacher tools and ongoing support. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

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Making the most of your time on GCSEPod https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/savetime-gcse-learning-revision/ https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/savetime-gcse-learning-revision/#respond Sat, 09 May 2020 19:51:25 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=2088 The post Making the most of your time on GCSEPod appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Watch the videos below to learn how to use GCSEPod’s many time-saving tools. Maximise the time you spend on GCSEPod and the impact you have in the classroom.

What is GCSEPod?

In this quick video we look at what is GCSEPod, known as education on demand, GCSEPod has been engaging learners and supporting teachers for over 10 years now.

What's Included

In this short video we cover what’s included in your GCSEPod subscription. Before you watch this video we highly recommend watching the ‘What is GCSEPod’ video first.

Assignments Update June 2020

This video give you a full run through all of the changes we have made to our assignments feature to make it even better for you and your students.  

Check & Challenge

A unique assessment system that not only evaluates students’ knowledge and understanding, but also provides scaffolded support via hints, multiple choice options and feedback statements, to aid actual learning and retention.

Creating Assignments

This video covers how you can set assignments and how to review results as well as provide feedback.

Creating playlists

Find out how you can monitor usage and assign pods for students to watch. 

Paper to Pod

These guides list all past paper exam questions and the Pods which are relevant. Students can use these guides to easily identify which Pods they should watch, based on the questions where they lost marks in their mock exam. 

Achieve English and Maths

Condensed and targeted versions of the English language and maths courses, these pods cover key skills and knowledge, they are designed specifically for students who need structure and support. 

Boost Playlists

Our Boost Playlists identify knowledge gaps, providing students with a detailed report on their strengths and weaknesses and an automatically generated playlist of content closely matched to their weakest areas. 

ReadySetGo

ReadySetGo are pre-created assessments to check knowledge and understanding. These assignments encourage students to ‘watch, quiz, practise and apply’ their learning. 

Engage

Take a look at the ‘Engage’ section of our website which is where you will find all the ready-made promotion and training material to maximise your investment in GCSEPod.

Click on the square in the bottom right hand corner to make the videos full screen. 

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

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Student Resources https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/student-resources/ https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/student-resources/#respond Fri, 08 May 2020 05:46:03 +0000 https://linuxdesign.com/GCSEPod/?p=687 The post Student Resources appeared first on GCSEPod.

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From study tips, to revision and homework techniques, we’ve got it covered on our students resources page.
They are all free to use so why not share them with your friends.

Just 15 minutes a day

Display this poster on your fridge and remember to make the most of your dead time like waiting for friends or eating breakfast.

Prevent the panic!

Check out these top tips to help deal with exam stress and prevent last minute panic.

English exam advice

Check out our top tips for good English exam habits.

Maths exam advice

Check out our top tips for good maths exam habits.

Revise, relax, repeat

Drive home revision with this motivational poster. Click on the image to download and save.

Revision techniques to help you remember more!

With the exams approaching fast these useful guides are a great way to give a final boost to your revision sessions.

Retrieval Practice
Retrieval practice is the act of trying to recall information without having it in front of you. Practice bringing information to mind for better results. It’s a great way to understand gaps in your knowledge so you can fill them before the exam.

Dual Coding
Dual coding is the theory that for successful retrieval of knowledge you need to combine both words and visuals. It’s the science behind why students get better results with GCSEPod. It’s a great way to mix up revision and ensure you remember more for the big day.

Interleaving
Interleaving is the theory that by revising more than one topic in each session you will make better links between them. Interleaving strengthens memory association. Repeating this process can reinforce connections and enhances learning.

Spaced Practice
Spaced practice is the theory that short, sharp bursts of learning are more effective than cramming.  The spaced revision is all about self-test during a number of revision sessions until you can accurately recall the target information from memory.

Top tips from fellow students

We asked your fellow students what helps them to revise for their exams. Here’s what they said…

The importance of mock exams

Find out about the benefits of mock exams by clicking on and downloading the posters below.

Dealing with exam stress

Don’t let exam stress overwhelm you. Stay in control with these top tips.

To do list & exam checklist

Keep on top of all your work and be prepared for exams with these handy resources.

Revision tips

Revision can often feel like a chore, and there are a million things you’d rather be doing. Here’s some posters to help you re-think revision and feel a little bit more motivated.

Exam tips

Check out these helpful reminders to get you in the best state of mind to take on your exams. We know how crucial it is to get into the right state of mind before exams, so we put together some tips to help you get the most from the exam time.

Stay motivated this academic year!

Check out these top tips to get motivated for the new academic year.

Revision timetable

Use this template to help organise your revision schedule.

Could GCSEPod help you?

GCSEPod is not just for schools, subscriptions are available for individuals, including mature students, home educators, or parents who just want to give their child a helping hand at this crucial time. Data shows students using GCSEPod can achieve 1 additional grade higher in each subject.

Contact Jess Newby, our Individual Subscriptions Manager
T: 0191 338 7835 or E: jess.newby@gcsepod.com

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Parent Resources https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/parent-resources/ https://www.gcsepod.com/free-resources/parent-resources/#respond Fri, 08 May 2020 05:33:58 +0000 https://linuxdesign.com/GCSEPod/?p=681 The post Parent Resources appeared first on GCSEPod.

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We understand how important it is to support your child during their GCSEs, so we’ve created a page full of resources, especially for you. Here you can discover parent user guides and quick start guides, and you can explore how to support your child. For daily resources to support your child join us on social media…

GCSEPod Parent Webinars

Join a GCSEPod webinar and find out how you can use GCSEPod to support your child’s learning plus get tips and guidance on effective home learning practices.  All your questions will be answered by a GCSEPod expert and you will learn about the best way to make full use of the resource during this time.  Spaces are limited so please book your place below.

Please scroll down to book your place on a GCSEPod parent/carer webinar.

Guides to supporting your child through their GCSEs

GCSE examinations can be a worrying prospect for your child and they will be under a great deal of pressure with deadlines and examination preparation. Parents/Carers may find it difficult to support their children through this time. These parent guides is a list of possible strategies that may help you with this support.

Get the most out of GCSEPod

All of our curriculum content is created in-house. Our pods are 3-5 min bursts of GCSE learning, rigorously quality assured and mapped to all major GCSE and IGCSE exams boards. Use these hand resources to ensure you are getting the most out of GCSEPod. If you child’s school doesn’t subscribe please scroll down to the bottom of this page for more information. 

Useful Videos

Parent introduction

Student Tour

Parents guide to encouraging good tech habits

Manage your child’s online habits with these top tips.

Planning is the key to successful revision

Keep on top of all work and be prepared for exams with these handy resources.

Anti-bullying help & advice

If your child is being bullied or know someone who is, here are some top tips on how to deal with it and get help to stop it.

Could GCSEPod help your child?

If your child’s school doesn’t subscribe to GCSEPod, subscriptions are available for individuals, including mature students, home educators, or parents who just want to give their child a helping hand at this crucial time. Data shows students using GCSEPod can achieve 1 additional grade higher in each subject.

Contact Jess Newby, our Individual Subscriptions Manager
T: 0191 338 7835 or E: jess.newby@gcsepod.com

How can GCSEPod help?

All of our curriculum content is created in-house. Our pods are 3-5 min bursts of GCSE learning, rigorously quality assured and mapped to all major GCSE and IGCSE exams boards.

Best curriculum resource on the market: 27 IGCSE/GCSE subjects

Proven to impact for the last 10 years, created in-house and rigorously quality assured by experts

Works anywhere, anytime. Accessible on any device

Keeps learning focused: subject & exam board filtering, identifies and fills knowledge gaps

“I honestly cannot say how utterly BRILLIANT the gcsepod resources are…what a wonderful idea, and an absolute Godsend for the youngsters AND for us ‘poor’ parents!! A truly FANTASTIC resource for Revision and Guidance through the many many MANY Subjects/facts/figures….I really do believe that the visual approach to learning and remembering all of this information, is absolutely spot-on…PERFECT.”

Tracey Wileman, Parent

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Coronavirus Quarantine Blog Part 2 https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/coronavirus-quarantine-blog-part-2/ https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/coronavirus-quarantine-blog-part-2/#respond Mon, 04 May 2020 14:17:42 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=5005 The post Coronavirus Quarantine Blog Part 2 appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Part 2 from a series of blogs on how the enforced coronavirus quarantine is affecting both students and staff, and how GCSEPod is helping educate and motivate children and teachers alike during the crisis and beyond.

Jody Lee Parker is head of secondary school and co-interim director at The International School in Genoa, Italy. With the country in lockdown since March 10, she explains in the first of a series of blogs, how the enforced coronavirus quarantine is affecting both students and staff, and why she is introducing the UK-based GCSEPod learning platform to help educate and motivate children and teachers alike during the crisis and beyond.

“My hope is that GCSEPod will help ease the pressure on our teachers and encourage our older students towards more independent learning.”

Spring has arrived in Genoa and it’s starting to heat up.

After a mixed few weeks of weather that’s flitted between sunshine and cooler showery days, the thermometer is on the rise. We’re currently inching towards the mid to high 20s, which will be the pattern for the coming months.

We all have our fingers crossed that the warmer weather will slow the spread of coronavirus and that we can get back to some kind of normality.

After two months in lockdown, there are signs of hope.

New coronavirus cases have dropped to roughly 2,000 a day, and the daily death toll to around 300 – half of what it was a couple of weeks ago. It is still 300 too many, but at least offers a glimmer of light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.

Restrictions are starting to slowly ease. Some smaller businesses have been allowed to reopen, and the government has been closely monitoring the situation to see what the impact has been on the spread of the virus.

There is hope we will soon be allowed back into Genoa’s parks as long as social distancing is adhered to, and that the exercise restrictions will be relaxed.

There is even talk that bars, restaurants and cafes may be allowed to open their doors from the beginning of June, albeit with a limit on customers.

One thing that is still uncertain, however, is when schools and other large facilities like universities, cinemas and leisure centres will be allowed to reopen and how, when they do, social distancing can be maintained.

How can we guarantee in class and in big spaces like the cafeteria that we can keep the children apart? Or are we going to have to go down the route of halving classes and staggering attendance?

It is making it very difficult to plan. We can hypothesise about the different scenarios, but I can guarantee there will be something we haven’t thought of.

But one thing we have been sure about since the lockdown was first introduced and we were forced to close The International School, is doing the best we can for both our 357 students and their teachers.

Launching GCSEPod…

It’s why we will be launching GCSEPod in the coming week to our Year 9 and 10 students – equivalent to Year 10 and 11 in the UK.

Our school caters for students from pre-school through to Year 12. They come from 35 different nationalities, although 80% of our students are Italian.

Given the age range it has been exceptionally tough to come up with a workable home schooling programme – and even harder on our teachers, many of whom have been working up to 16 hours a day running virtual classes, answering questions, and striving to keep morale and motivation high.

It is clearly unsustainable. Our staff are tiring mentally and physically and with the school lockdown almost certain to continue until the end of the summer term, I fear some will burn out.

My hope is that GCSEPod will help ease the pressure on our teachers and encourage our older students towards more independent learning.

The short three to five minute learning and revision videos (known as Pods), the Check and Challenge feature, which allows students to self-assess and teachers to see who may be falling behind and allocate additional videos, and the ready-made assignments, will hopefully help maintain quality and consistency and ease the burden on staff.

For our Year 9 and 10 students who are at a critical stage in their learning, the fact they can access GCSEPod remotely on any smart device as well as their PC, means they can still easily continue their education.

With the best will in the world, we are never going to be able to replicate a school environment and finish the entire curriculum, but with access to a learning platform like GCSEPod we can at least keep our students on track and finish the year in the best way we can.

We are trying to make things as fun as possible. We know what a bewildering and upsetting time this is for our students. And we are also acutely aware that parents, however much they may wish to, can’t be expected to step into a teaching role, especially with our older students.

GCSEPod’s high quality videos are informative, engaging, visually appealing, user friendly and most importantly cover everything we need to teach. My hope is that they will make it much easier for our older students to comprehend and absorb the information they need. If we can manage that, then it will be one less thing for us to have to worry about at what is an unavoidably distressing time.  

The teachers are currently being trained on how to use GCSEPod via webinars and we will be rolling it out to the students as soon as we can.

Our future plans…

I’m really interested to discover how our students who struggle with the curriculum will find it, especially given its interactive nature; if it makes learning more enjoyable and easier for them to grasp the knowledge.

Depending on how that goes then I will look at opening it up to our Year 8’s – Year 9 in the UK.

Our policy is that we don’t hold students back. It doesn’t help them progress or attain academically. Our strategy is to support those students who are struggling and to ensure they can stay with their peer group and their friends.

Putting students back a year isn’t good for them mentally and can lead to feelings of failure.

But GCSEPod has an established track record and, with its help, we will hopefully be able to provide some certainty in what is sadly a very uncertain world.

GCSEPod has an established track record and, with its help, we will hopefully be able to provide some certainty in what is sadly a very uncertain world

More from our blog

We have a wide range of articles, case studies and news features in our blog.
If you would like to see more please click on the button below.

Can we help your school deliver high quality online learning?

Join over 1,500 schools in over 42 countries today to make sure their learning does not stop. 

“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Case Study: Sacred Heart Catholic High School https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-sacred-heart-catholic-high-school/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-sacred-heart-catholic-high-school/#respond Mon, 27 Apr 2020 08:32:33 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4776 The post Case Study: Sacred Heart Catholic High School appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Creating a successful distance learning strategy

Concerned about the path the current coronavirus pandemic was going to take, Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Newcastle-upon-Tyne brought forward plans to buy into the GCSEPod online learning platform to help bolster its distance learning strategy.

Details

Sacred Heart High School

Within 3 days of Sacred Heart Catholic High School bringing forward plans to introduce GCSEPod, it was being rolled out to Heads of Department and Year 10 students at the secondary girls’ school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

It was on March 9 that Ian Bradley, Sacred Heart Catholic High School’s Assistant Head Teacher, met with the Head Mistress to request they bring forward plans to introduce the award-winning digital content and revision provider, GCSEPod.

Three days later the online learning platform was being rolled out to Heads of Department and Year 10 students at the secondary girls’ school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Whilst the coronavirus epidemic was sweeping across Europe with Italy going into lockdown on March 10 and Spain on March 14, here there was no indication at that point that the British Government planned to follow suit and ban all mass gatherings and sporting events, and close businesses and schools.

Preferring a policy of herd immunity and encouraging anyone displaying even mild Covid-19 symptoms to self-isolate, the UK at the beginning of March was still adopting a ‘business as usual’ approach.

But the talk amongst the senior team at Sacred Heart was not ‘if’ but ‘when’ the lockdown would come.

Ian, who has responsibility for whole school teaching and learning, recalls: “I had been talking with my colleagues over the previous weekend, and the overriding feeling given what was happening in the rest of Europe, was that schools probably would be forced to close here sooner rather than later.

“As such, we knew we had to act quickly to put plans into place to ensure our students could continue with their education.

“It’s been a very successful start and shows how engaged the students are. Our Year 10 students have been knuckling down with nearly 16,000 Pods watched in the two weeks before the start of the Easter holidays.”

“I was already familiar with GCSEPod, with them being based in the North East.  We had already had initial discussions about introducing it to our Key Stage 4 students from this September, but when we saw the situation that was arising elsewhere in Europe we knew we had to push the button much quicker than planned.

“So I spoke to our Headteacher on the Monday and said if we had to close, then GCSEPod would be a really good platform to help with our older students’ remote learning.

“I contacted GCSEPod who said they could have it up and running for us in 48 hours. True to their word, they did. And thanks to our brilliant school team, we were able to turn things around very quickly and have everything in place for when the lockdown was announced.”

Given the logistics, the online platform with its 4,000 short and snappy teacher-written audio-visual files known as Pods covering 27 UK and international exam subjects, is currently only available to the school’s Year 10 students.

But the 220-strong cohort has hit the ground running with nearly 16,000 Pods watched in the two weeks before the start of the Easter holidays.

 Ian says: “Our Year 10 students directed by the Heads of Department have really been knuckling down to home learning. Alongside their workbooks, they have each watched an average of 70 Pods as recommended by their teachers.

“Around 4,000 Pods have been viewed in Science with English and Maths close behind. That’s really good as they are the three core GCSE subjects. History has had over 2,000 views, French and individual chemistry more than 1,000 views and geography, computer Science and business have all been 500-plus.

“It’s been a very successful start and shows how engaged the students are.”

Sacred Heart Catholic High School has 1,500 students across Years 7-13. Approximately a third of students are Pupil Premium. However, the school is known for its success, is rated as outstanding by Ofsted, and has regularly appeared in The Sunday Times’ annual Top 250 list based on A-level results.

Progress 8 is currently sitting at 0.46 and Attainment 8 at 52.7%. The percentage of students going on to sixth form is 95%, and of those choosing an A-level route, 30% achieved an A or A*.

The state-funded academy prides itself on pushing its girls to realise their personal dreams and ambitions, and in preparing them to take their place in the world. On average two or three are accepted by the Oxbridge colleges every year with many more going on to study medicine or train for other professional qualifications.

Given Sacred Heart’s obvious success, what promoted the school to subscribe to GCSEPod?

Ian says: “The school’s ethos is to ensure we give the girls the best start in life we can, regardless of their backgrounds. We already use a couple of learning apps, but wanted to develop and diversify our use of online platforms. We didn’t feel that GCSEPod’s offer was right for us a couple of years ago. However, the breadth and quality that it now offers better dovetails the way we approach teaching and learning.

“We needed something that we had confidence in, and GCSEPod gives us a perfect base from which to work on broadening our students’ knowledge. GCSEPod is very clever and up-to-date with spaced repetition and interleaved learning.”

Ian has been especially impressed with GCSEPod’s learning tips as well as the new ‘Getting Ready for GCSE resource’ aimed at Year 9 students.
The fact the Pods map the current GCSE curriculum and can be watched on or offline on mobiles, tablets and PCs – making them ideal for home learning and revision – has been another plus during the current lockdown.
Ian also appreciates the way GCSEPod helps, in his words, “drive home the knowledge.”

“If students already have that embedded knowledge before they start revising for their exams, then that’s really good. We can flip things too and get them to watch the videos before they come into school or for revision or spaced learning so they can keep information in the forefront of their mind.

“For example, I can be teaching tectonics in geography and the students can still be revising coasts out of sequence to that content at the front of their minds.”

He adds: “At the end of the day, we wouldn’t be buying into GCSEPod if we didn’t think it added value.”

Ian believes that with the help of GCSEPod, the current Year 10’s will stay on track, although he admits that the format for 2021’s exams may still be impacted by coronavirus, regardless of whether life returns to normal or not in the next few months.

The Results

Whatever the future holds, one thing is certain, he says. “Our students will be well prepared, no matter what happens.”

And Sacred Heart will be cascading GCSEPod down to other years from September.

“There is so much content and it provides many opportunities to vary the learning. We had initially wanted to introduce it over the course of the next school year, but with the current Covid-19 situation we thought it would be a good time to roll it out now.

“We didn’t just reach for GCSEPod because of Covid-19, but we thought it would be a good tool for the current situation. At the end of the day, we could be doing what we are without GCSEPod, but we probably wouldn’t be doing it as well.”

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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Covid-19 lockdown triggers GCSEPod learning boost

Our wonderful Head of Client Services, Alex Armstrong, talks to BBC Radio Newcastle to paint a picture of the current learning landscape and how invested students still are in their education.

Our real-time year group usage data delivers fantastic insights on how students are learning, who is learning and when they are learning. Being able to monitor teacher and student activity is proving incredibly beneficial.

Click on the video below to listen.

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Covid-19 lockdown triggers GCSEPod learning boost

Award-winning Newcastle-based online learning platform sees demand surge.

Online learning platform GCSEPod recorded its second ever busiest month in March with 2.4m of its audio-visual podcasts streamed by students.

An astonishing 819,084 revision videos – known as Pods – were watched between March 23-29 alone as the first nationwide school shutdown in modern British history came into effect.

2.4 million pods watched

 Only May 2018 was a busier month for the award-winning Newcastle-based GCSE learning and revision tool.

But whereas May 2018 logged 2.5m streams over the course of the entire month as the GCSE exams got under way, this March notched up the majority of views in just the final two weeks.

The trend has continued into April with 627,324 Pods streamed between March 30 and April 5, when schools broke up for the start of the two week Easter holidays.

Now, with the Easter break coming to an end on April 20, GCSEPod is expecting to again see an upsurge in views of its short, snappy and visually appealing three to five minute Pod videos as home schooling resumes in the wake of the Government’s anti-coronavirus lockdown.

Anthony Coxon, co-founder and director of GCSEPod, which is a division of Soundbitelearning UK Ltd, said:

“The current unprecedented lockdown of schools is affecting millions of children not just in the UK, but across the world. Schools are having to embrace new ways of delivering learning to ensure their students can continue to study and develop in this most challenging of times.

“EdTech is the obvious solution to learning remotely. It is a field that GCSEPod has been at the forefront of for the past 12 years, and we are ideally placed to not only help students continue their learning during this disruptive time, but to support teachers as they endeavour to deliver the same high-quality lessons as they would have before the Covid-19 pandemic forced so many countries into lockdown.

“The fact that GCSEPod recorded its second busiest month ever in effectively the last two weeks of March when this year’s exams had already been cancelled, shows how valued our resource is by both students and teachers working across secondary year groups, as they look to stay focussed.

 

 “We see GCSEPod becoming ever more important as the lockdown continues. We know that one of the key things that helps students and teachers feel safe in uncertain times is maintaining a sense of purpose and connection, and GCSEPod is vital to supporting that.”

About GCSEPod

GCSEPod is aimed primarily at Years 9 to 11, but can be used for students from Year 7 as well as those moving into further education. It covers 27 UK and international exam subjects across 4,000 teacher-written audio-visual podcasts that have been produced specifically for learning, homework and revision.

The Pods, which can be watched on or offline on mobiles, tablets and PCs, are mapped to the current GCSE curriculum and contain all the right facts, quotes, keywords, dates and annotated diagrams that students need for exam success.

GCSEPod’s assessment tool – Check and Challenge – promotes learning not just testing, and the Pods allow students to build knowledge in sequence which can be retained and recalled when it is most needed.

Used by more than 1,800 UK-based and international schools, teachers can use GCSEPod to devise lessons, set homework, and create revision playlists. Students can also create their own playlists to listen to as they would with music.

It is not just schools who can buy into GCSEPod. Parents can also sign-up to tailored packages.

GCSEPod proved its worth at The British International School in Shanghai, Puxi whilst China was in lockdown. Paul Kelly, head of the secondary school, said:

“GCSEPod was recommended to The British International School Shanghai, Puxi by a colleague at another Nord Anglia School who has used it successfully.

“The decision to close all schools in China was made during the Chinese New Year holiday, so many staff had already left Shanghai and were not prepared to work remotely. We had to react quickly and set up GCSEPod accounts for all of our secondary aged students.

“This gave our staff access to quality resources whilst also enabling some time to get remote access to their own work.

“In the short time we have been using GCSEPod, we have had over 3,000 Pods viewed, with staff and student feedback being very positive. We will certainly integrate GCSEPod into our revision planning in future years.”

Mr Coxon said: “Our global community stretches to 47 countries, and despite the GCSE’s being cancelled this year our evidence shows that students are still anxious to learn, even those in Year 11, some of whom we know are not happy about the grades being predicted, and who may feel they wish to still sit the exams when schools reopen.

“Our biggest volume of usage ever in any one hour took place between 9am and 10am on the first Monday the schools closed here in the UK, and usage has remained consistently high.

“Clearly, students want to continue learning.”

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“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.”
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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GCSEPod – how edtech helps students to revise and remember more in their preferred format.

GCSEPod is an edtech teaching and learning platform that allows students to view videos as part of their GCSE revision. The concept was the brainchild of frustrated dad Ian Thompson, whose son had struggled to learn in conventional lessons. Ian devised the idea of presenting information in an audio-visual format on MP4 – and this was in 2008, before the touchscreen smartphone was widely available.

Over 1,700 schools use GCSEPod, making the number of pupils currently using GCSEPod in the region of half a million. It’s used in over 47 countries and is compatible with the GCSE and iGCSE curricula – no wonder it’s won Best Secondary Content of the Year at the Bett Awards twice now.

Jayne Cook, Head of Marketing at GCSEPod, said:

“Ian, along with co-founder Anthony Coxon, thought there had to be another way for young people to learn – they wanted to make learning audio-visual. They began making videos available on iPods and iPhones as the handsets were just emerging onto the market.

“The videos have developed along with advancements in technology but were borne out of a father watching his son struggle to learn in conventional ways. The same ethos has been kept by the company throughout the years – the student is at the heart of what we do.”

So how does it work?

Do students use GCSEPod in lessons, at school clubs or at home? Jayne said it can be a mixture of all three, as the platform is easy to pick up and allows students to embed their knowledge of the curriculum following their lessons. Jayne added: “All children and teachers at the school have access to GCSEPod, although we have found that 70% of access is outside of school. We cover 27 different subjects and the layout is a little bit like Netflix – students can create a playlist for any areas they need to improve and teachers can add to interweave topics or ensure the learning is targeted where it will matter.”

The file sizes are incredibly small and devices ideally need a WiFi connection so GCSEPod can be used in cafes or libraries for example, and, for those without internet access at home, students can download content at school to study and view offline.

Jayne added: “Students just need access to a device. Because of this, GCSEPod is ideal for students off school due to long-term sickness. For those suffering from mental health issues who may feel daunted by classrooms and halls, the platform is perfect for keeping up with work missed at school and it really builds confidence.”

There are some superb accessibility features too, making reading and listening easier. For example, there are subtitles on the videos and users can slow down or speed up the text.

Over 1,500 schools use GCSEPod, making the number of pupils currently using GCSEPod in the region of half a million. It’s used in over 30 countries and is compatible with the GCSE and iGCSE curricula – no wonder it’s won Best Secondary Content of the Year at the Bett Awards twice now.

Feedback from many schools is that even the most disengaged learners live on their devices. Persuading them to spend 5-10 minutes a day watching pods, in between visits to their social media or YouTube is much easier than getting them to pick up a text book, they live on their devices and GCSEPod is clearly leading the way in providing students with a productive, proactive educational use for their beloved devices.

Case Study:

In September 2018, Stuart Bathurst Catholic High School was put in Special Measures following a damning Ofsted inspection. Within 12 months the West Midlands secondary had a change of Head, a change of culture and it also introduced GSCEPod.

Assistant Headteacher Gavina Raindi says “while we may still officially be in Special Measures, our Progress 8 score has increased to -0.19 – while still below national average this is a massive improvement from -0.54 a year ago”.

The Catholic high school has also recorded its best GCSE exam results in three years.
This newfound success has not been a chance thing. It has taken a clear vision, the relentless drive of staff and students, a change in leadership, and the introduction by new headteacher, Bridget Morris, of GCSEPod to help turn the academic tide.

Rolled out across Key Stage 4 in February 2019 and the rest of the school by the start of the summer holidays, GCSEPod was introduced as Bridget had first-hand experience of GCSEPod’s worth in helping improve not just exam results but raising scholarly aspirations.

It had been introduced at her previous school the preceding year with equally dramatic results. “Everyone was very impressed. We had seen our Progress 8 go from -0.42 to -0.14 in a year, which was amazing. We couldn’t say it was all down to GCSEPod as other measures were introduced too, but there is no doubt it played a big part.

“When I arrived here at Stuart Bathurst, GCSEPod was one of the first things I wanted to get in. I suppose you could see it as a gift to the students. It created an instant buzz and we had children saying they enjoy listening to them at night before they go to bed.”

The short, snappy and visually appealing Pods were viewed an astonishing 104,942 times between February and the end of the academic year, catapulting Stuart Bathurst not just to the top of the West Midlands area Pod Games – a competitive contest that ranks schools by the number of videos watched, with awards and prizes presented to the winners regionally and nationally – but to exam success.

“GCSEPod has absolutely been a key driver in improving results in our school. Since we launched the software the figures show how much our students and staff have welcomed the investment in their revision and teaching and learning resources.

“The software exposed students to new ways of revising and created a culture of healthy competition and motivation to do well. It has helped us move towards cutting edge teaching and learning by showing students that we are willing to invest in them and their learning, and this has added to their intrinsic motivation.”

Gavina Raindi, Assistant Headteacher, Stuart Bathurst Catholic High

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A series of blogs on how the enforced coronavirus quarantine is affecting both students and staff, and how GCSEPod is helping educate and motivate children and teachers alike during the crisis and beyond.

Jody Lee Parker is head of secondary school and co-interim director at The International School in Genoa, Italy. With the country in lockdown since March 10, she explains in the first of a series of blogs, how the enforced coronavirus quarantine is affecting both students and staff, and why she is introducing the UK-based GCSEPod learning platform to help educate and motivate children and teachers alike during the crisis and beyond.

“It is not reasonable, or feasible, for us to provide a normal level of schooling during this most challenging of times. We are sailing through unchartered waters. But GCSEPod has an established track record in not only engaging students through its bespoke online video content, but giving them an inclusive learning experience.”

Going into lockdown…

It was last Christmas that our director left.

With his replacement not due to take up his post until August this year, our primary school principal and I have taken on the jobs of joint interim directors.
I can remember saying all those months ago, ‘please don’t let anything bad happen between now and August.’

I’m not sure what I meant by ‘bad.’ Probably the school burning down, a slew of bad exam results, or the mass resignation of my teaching staff.

Never in my wildest nightmares could I have foreseen a pandemic sweeping across the globe that would see my adopted country forced into lockdown as it battled a new highly contagious and potentially lethal disease.

In hindsight, the worst of the ‘bad’ scenarios that went through my mind a few short months ago – although it seems like years now – would have been preferable to the reality Italy now finds itself in.

Few could have imagined when news first filtered out from China in January that an invidious flu-like virus was claiming the lives of its citizens, that by March we too would be in its grip.

But in early March all our lives changed drastically. First it was Northern Italy, where I live, that was put in lockdown, closing all schools and universities.

Within a matter of days, this had been extended to the whole country.

It is now nine years since I moved to the port city of Genoa in Liguria to take up the post of history teacher at the city’s International School.

I had been working as a teacher in Romford, Essex, when I decided it was time to spread my wings. I had heard of the International Schools, applied for a job, and was lucky enough to end up here in Genoa.

With its narrow medieval streets and access to good beaches and the stunning Italian Riviera, Genoa is a popular location for second homeowners, especially well-off Milanese. Milan is only a 90-minute drive away, and as soon as word spread that Italy was going into lockdown, many Milanese decided to weather the storm here on the coast.

It helped spread the virus – one of the reasons Genoa has been so badly affected.

Overnight, all our lives changed radically. Education has now become a virtual experience combined with directed learning via Google Classroom; the school room apartments scattered across the city where teachers, children and their parents desperately try to maintain some semblance of normality in what is anything but an ordinary time.

Everyone, from the teachers to the students and their parents, are now really struggling, however.

Because the normalities of daily life have been so disrupted, my staff are responding to emails 24 hours a day. They feel they are constantly on call, that their private and work lives are no longer separate.

We had requests from parents to increase the live contact. The teachers agreed as many of our students weren’t keeping up with their work.

We have been careful to keep things simple and consistent, but a major problem has been maintaining student engagement during live lessons, especially filling the inevitable voids as the children work at different speeds. Teachers are also struggling to find appropriate resources and create lessons that are instructive.

Why I chose to introduce GCSEPod

I decided it was time to take a more pastoral approach, especially with our older students; to remove the onus on our teachers to be continually creative in what is an alien situation, and to find a way they could effectively monitor students’ progress, their level of understanding, and quickly and easily fill any knowledge gaps.

It’s why we are set to introduce GCSEPod into our arsenal of learning tools.

It is not reasonable, or feasible, for us to provide a normal level of schooling during this most challenging of times. We are sailing through unchartered waters. But GCSEPod has an established track record in not only engaging students through its bespoke online video content, but giving them an inclusive learning experience.

There is a greater need now than ever to make education as fun as possible. GCSEPod specialises in producing compelling three to five minute learning videos written by experts in their field. And because the content is available anytime on a variety of internet-based platforms, it promises to be an ideal solution for our older students in this extremely unusual non-school study time.

Faced with having to react quickly to the present situation, there are many things that have impressed me about GCSEPod ahead of us rolling it out: its broad curriculum, simplicity of use, the speed with which it can be set up for staff and student use, the real-time assessments, the tracking and monitoring of both teacher and student activity, and the ease with which work can be assigned remotely.

The proof, as the idiom goes, will be in the pudding. But as a proven independent learning tool that is geared towards remote working, I am looking forward to charting our progress until normality returns.

We are currently home to 357 students of 35 different nationalities.

We are the only school in Liguria that offers a complete international education in the English language for students from three to 18, leading to both the achievement of the ISG Diploma and the IB Diploma, which is equivalent to A-levels in England.

Around 80% of our students are Italian, with the other 20% being the children of international business owners, embassy staff or people who work for the many cruise ship companies based here in Genoa.

We have 40 students in Years 9 and 10, which is the equivalent to Years 10 and 11 in the UK. They don’t take the GCSE final exams, but we follow much of the same syllabus.

My concerns haven’t just been scholastic, however. I feel responsible for the morale and wellbeing of my teachers and students.

Many of my staff aren’t from Italy, are young, don’t speak the language, are living on their own, and are finding the lockdown very isolating. We have been trying to keep a virtual social life going, but it is difficult to relax when your work and private lives have melded into one.

I am worried about the children’s mental health too. Some have parents who work in the medical field, are having to spend many hours on their own, and are at a higher risk of catching the virus as it’s more likely to be brought into their home.

I have also spent countless hours on the phone talking to parents wrestling to cope with schoolwork, holding a job down, and running the home. Their role is crucial to the success of home-schooling, but they are not teachers.

There are days when I struggle, when I wonder how life came to this. And like everyone, I hope we soon emerge from this crisis. It is, to say the least, the strangest of times, but one I hope GCSEPod will over the coming weeks and months help to make that little bit easier for everyone to bear.

I hope GCSEPod will over the coming weeks and months help to make that little bit easier for everyone to bear.

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“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process. Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.” 
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Helping students stay focused during distance learning

In recent weeks UK schools have made the transition to distance learning as part of the Government’s social distancing strategy, in order to better protect students and staff and slow the spread of coronavirus.

As we get to grips with working from home, helping students who have been busy preparing for their GCSEs and A-level exams will be key, whilst ensuring measures are in place to support our hardworking teachers.

In these unusual times edtech has become a vital tool for students to access learning materials, collaborate with their peers and link in with teachers from any location.

The GCSEPod service is bespoke to the needs of each individual school, from MIS integration through to exam board filtering.

Any school or college taking out a subscription to GCSEPod will have additional time added on to their subscription to cover the length of the school closure period.

Supporting Year 10s

For Year 10s who are at a pivotal stage in their learning and GCSE preparation, the 3-5-minute revision videos are a fun way to maintain their progress. With a huge amount of content needed in preparation for next years exams, using this time productively is critical. GCSEPod provides a Netflix-style layout so students can create a playlist of videos for any areas they need to improve which teachers can add to as needed, helping to motivate those who are struggling to engage with traditional textbooks. The pods further allow students to re-watch and test their knowledge in order to deepen their subject comprehension.

Aiding teachers

We can all agree the dedication of teachers has been inspiring; from assisting students via digital learning platforms to planning new home-friendly lessons and offering mental wellbeing support. As such we should assist them as much as possible to make their workloads more efficient and effective. For instance, the ‘Check and Challenge’ feature in GCSEPod helps students that may be falling behind slightly since it allows them to self-assess and have additional learning video pods assigned to them; all without the need for a teacher to be at their side.

In the UK we might also look to schools in countries such as China who have been implementing distance learning for several months now. Carol Camargo, Director of Studies at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai Pudong, closed early on in the coronavirus pandemic and harnessed GCSEPod to deliver some continuity:

“Students find the system easy to use and as senior leaders we can be sure that they have quality and consistency in the work set. We are able to monitor how engaged the students are as well as the assignments set by teachers, therefore we are able to quality assure remotely.

“Overall, it has given us a consistent platform to use with our examination groups that students have been able to access using whichever device they had with them when abroad. As we have been providing e-learning for seven weeks now, we have had to expand the work we set our students, however, GCSEPod is still the platform we use to start the learning for each week in most subjects.”

Even if the classroom is now virtual, there is no reason why students cannot continue to receive a first-class education.

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“I can’t speak highly enough about how helpful the GCSEPod team were throughout the whole process.
Most importantly, teachers and students have found the resources relevant, excellent, and easy to use.”
Ian Lee, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai, China

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Case Study: Manor Croft Academy https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-manor-croft-academy/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-manor-croft-academy/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 15:27:13 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4457 The post Case Study: Manor Croft Academy appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Revitalise your students’ thirst for GCSE knowledge

Manor Croft Academy, part of the Delta Academies Trust, are reaping the benefits of embracing GCSEPod for GCSE learning and revision, which has revitalized their students’ thirst for knowledge just weeks after being introduced to the school. “GCSEPod allows students to work independently and it didn’t increase teachers’ workload. GCSEPod ticks all boxes.”

Details

Manor Croft Academy

Manor Croft Academy in West Yorkshire is reaping the benefits of embracing the online teaching and learning platform GCSEPod, which has revitalised their students’ thirst for knowledge just weeks after being introduced to the school.

Not too long ago, schools were doing all they could to get their tech-hungry students to switch off their smartphones and tablets and turn back to more traditional methods of learning.

But students at Manor Croft Academy in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, are being actively encouraged to get smart with their phones and iPads – with the blessing of teachers and parents.

The 700-strong coeducational academy for 11 to 16-year-olds introduced the online GCSEPod teaching and learning platform into the curriculum at the start of the 2018-2019 academic year.

And within weeks of adopting the resource, it had already had a phenomenally positive impact on Manor Croft’s Year 9, 10 and 11 students. The school’s Vice Principal, physics teacher and GCSEPod lead, Kion Nikoumaram, explains.

“There are a lot of students who are mid to lower achieving who have really got into GCSEPod. Our high achievers are using it, and you would expect that. But we have found that a lot of students who wouldn’t usually engage with traditional teaching methods are really engaging with this,” Kion says.

“When we have looked at who has watched the most Pods (the name given to GCSEPod’s short three to five minute online revision videos), it has been interesting to see it is these mid to lower achieving students who are among the most prolific users.”

GCSEPod has become such a popular teaching and learning tool at Manor Croft, that by the end of November 2018 the Pods, which can be easily watched on a smartphone or tablet and cover 20+ subjects and all the major exam boards, had been viewed a staggering 45,000 times by students in the upper three years.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that Manor Croft had shot to the top of the Pod Games league – the competitive contest run by GCSEPod that ranks schools by the number of videos watched, with awards and prizes presented to the winners regionally and nationally.

GCSEPod is playing a central role in what has been an astonishing turnaround for Manor Croft – one of nineteen Delta Academies Trust secondary schools.

In 2015, Ofsted judged Manor Croft as requiring improvement. But following much hard work on the part of teachers and the Delta Academies Trust – which took control of the school in 2015 – a subsequent Ofsted inspection in 2017 rated Manor Croft ‘good with outstanding leadership.’ Kion sees GCSEPod as an essential component in the school’s ongoing success.

“For students, for teachers and for parents, if you look at the exam predictions, then GCSEPod is going to play a big part moving forward.

It is already playing a big part, and we are seeing positive results in terms of student buy-in and achievement.” It was a teacher from another school who alerted Kion to GCSEPod’s existence.

“They were very impressed with it, so I went off and explored what GCSEPod could offer us. Ironically, around the same time we were contacted by Delta asking if we had heard about this wonderful learning resource called GCSEPod, and did we want to think about introducing it into the school? But by then we had already decided to subscribe.

“For us, GCSEPod perfectly fitted into everything we wanted to achieve. We wanted something that could sit successfully alongside the other online resources we already use in school, that would allow students to work independently at home, and that wouldn’t increase teachers’ workload. GCSEPod ticked all the boxes.”

Thanks to GCSEPod’s easy to use format staff too have responded with enthusiasm. “

All departments are united in setting four Pods a week. Some teachers will also set questions,” Kion explains “We currently have an extremely succesful intiative running called Pod Points., where students must watch a video and then write down threee Pod points in their workbooks.

These are essentially three facts they have learned from the Pod, ready to discuss in lessons”.

Student interest has shown no signs of wavering. Kion syays, “Manor Croft has a clear focus on progress, and therefore students are keen to see improvement. It helps that students can complete homework via GCSEPod and that staff can duplicate these assignments and test knowledge again the next week or later in the year.

“We also have a leader board for the top Pod users with regular rewards. The top 10 are our ‘Pod Squad’, with the top three being awarded a ‘Tri Pod’ prize.

“But at the end of the day, it is not about prizes. It is about students being motivated to work and not having a requirement to have everything fed to them. And thankfully, they genuinely enjoy using it. It is a natural progression of something they already do – watching videos on their phone or tablet.

They can watch three or four videos a week and get a massive amount out of them. From the teaching perspective this is fantastic, as thanks to GCSEPod students now come to class already armed with knowledge which allows you to make quicker progress and reach higher.

“Some students are even getting ahead of the game with their Pod viewing.”

The Results

Technology is often decried, but GCSEPod is proof that for teachers and students alike, if used wisely, going online can open up a whole new world of hands-on, minds-on learning.

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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Case Study: School of Research Science https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-school-of-research-science/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-school-of-research-science/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 15:11:52 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4438 The post Case Study: School of Research Science appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Using GCSEPod to impact results

After seeing GCSEPod at the GESS conference, Principal, Nan Billingham recognised how well it would fit into the teaching ethos and practice at the school. “We took part in the Value Added Project, which directly compares CAT4 target grades to actual GCSE grades achieved. The usage of the GCSEPod had a positive impact and was used as a strategic resource during revision.”

Details

School of Research Science

The School of Research Science (SRS) was founded in 1998 to provide education for the children of local Emirati families. Since that time, the school has seen a dramatic expansion linked directly to its growth in popularity and now around one third of the school’s intake is from non-Emirati background. Today the school is a very successful 3-18 school with a student role of 3,500 with specialist state of the art facilities. 

As the name suggests, one of the core philosophies of the school is a belief in knowledge through self-learning, exploration, critical thinking and enquiry in the context of the theory of multiple intelligences. With that in mind, when Nan Billingham, Principal of the school saw a presentation on GCSEPod at the GESS conference in February 2018, she immediately recognised how well it would fit into the teaching ethos and practice at the school and decided to subscribe.

Nan put Eloise Morgan, Assistant Head Teacher, in charge of launching and rolling out the programme, with the support from the specialist Project

I have no hesitation in recommending GCSEPod to other international schools.

Management from GCSEPod. This year, the school also launched Google Classroom right across the Secondary School. GCSEPod integrates with many MIS, including that used by SRS (SIMS) which meant it was quick and easy to set work for students. As soon as Eloise showed the teaching staff how GCSEPod pods (the 3-5 minute subject knowledge videos) could be embedded into Google lessons, the teachers took to it and it rapidly became an essential teaching tool, supporting Flipped Learning inside the classroom as well as provide on-going learning resources outside the classroom. GCSEPod is also now also used for intervention support as well as helping parents to guide their children through their home studies.

Nan Billingham, Principal, said: “The School of Research Science took part in the Value Added Project, which directly compares CAT4 target grades to actual GCSE grades achieved. The usage of the GCSEPod had a positive impact and was used as a strategic resource during revision.”

Eloise, Assistant Head Teacher, said: “Using GCSEPod as a revision resource had a positive impact on our 2018 GCSE results and it was noticeable that our subjects with the highest GCSE performance also had the highest GCSEPod usage.”

%

Biology

52% of students achieved a 9-7 grade. 86% exceeded targets.

%

Chemistry

57% of students achieved a 9-7 grade. 89% exceeded targets.

%

Computing

75% of students achieve A-B. 83% exceeded targets.

%

English Lit

60% of students achieved A-B. 77% exceeded targets.

%

Geography

78% of students achieved A-B. 100% exceeded targets.

%

Maths

62% A-B. 74% exceeded targets.

%

Physics

48% 9-7. 69% exceeded targets.

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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Case Study: Xabia International College https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-xabia-international-college/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-xabia-international-college/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 15:03:54 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4428 The post Case Study: Xabia International College appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Interactive learning for more diverse revision and learning

Xabia International College, Spain, wanted more diverse revision and learning materials to suit the differing needs of their cohort. “Many students travel regularly, and GCSEPod helps them to keep up with their learning and revision. I have no hesitation in recommending GCSEPod to other international schools in Spain and elsewhere.”

Details

Xabia International College

We are a small international secondary school on the Costa Blanca, Spain. Over 20 nationalities of students are represented but all classes follow the English curriculum, studying towards Cambridge IGCSE and Edexcel International exams.

Before GCSEPod, the school provided limited online resources to students, but parents were keen for the school to be providing more interactive learning opportunities, especially at home. At KS4 we were looking for more diverse revision and learning materials to suit the differing needs of our cohort, so GCSEPod provided a perfect match for us.

The roll out of GCSEPod coincided with each student in years 7-11 being issued with a tablet for use in and out of the classroom. This easy access to GCSEPod resulted in a huge uptake of GCSEPod straight away. The students reacted extremely positively, and GCSEPod quickly became part of classroom teaching (used for introductions and summaries), set as homework and incorporated into all aspects of revision planning.

 

Although GCSEPod was well received by students of all abilities, we discovered that it worked particularly well with our C/D students, where there was a clear correlation between those students that used GCSEPod the most and those that achieved more C grade passes than expected which clearly correlates with their usage.

As an example, one student was completely disengaged in the classroom and was a student who certainly did not want to appear to be learning or seen to try hard.

However, when we checked his usage we saw he’d watched hundreds of videos.

This student achieved far greater results than anticipated in his GCSE exams, much to the surprise and delight of his parents.  

I have no hesitation in recommending GCSEPod to other international schools.

For those students for which English is a second language, GCSEPod provided additional benefits. Subject knowledge is delivered via 3-5 minute videos (Pods), combining clear images and a professionally narrated audio recording. Students hear and see precisely the key words, terminology, dates and facts for each individual topic in bite size chunks, exactly the right length to keep their attention. We found that second language students’ comprehension, pronunciation and learning improved, particularly in subjects like Science, which is very difficult for students to access through other means. 

Parents have been hugely gratified that the school has a resource which students can use at any time.

Many students travel to other countries regularly to see family, and listen to the Pods on their mobile phones or tablets whilst travelling, helping them to keep up with their learning and revision (rather than using their weight allowance for heavy textbooks). 

The Results

Interestingly, when we subscribed to GCSEPod, a lot of the teachers noted that they’d already used GCSEPod successfully in their previous schools and they were delighted that we had decided to buy. In fact, our last five appointments from the UK have all used GCSEPod in their previous schools and were surprised and thrilled to see it at a small international school!

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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Case Study: British School Al Khubairat https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-british-school-al-khubairat/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-british-school-al-khubairat/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 14:56:21 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4412 The post Case Study: British School Al Khubairat appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Named as one of the top 10 schools in the UAE

The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi has good cause to celebrate; the school which has been helping students to thrive for nearly half a decade announced record GCSE results at the same time as securing one of the highest inspection ratings across the Emirate and being named one of the top UAE schools.”

Details

British School Al Khubairat

The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi has good cause to celebrate; the non-selective, not-for-profit co-educational school which has been helping students to thrive for nearly half a decade announced record GCSE results at the same time as securing one of the highest inspection ratings across the Emirate and being named one of the top 10 schools in the UAE by Schoolscompared.com Top School Awards 2017.

This summer, despite widespread changes to the curriculum and more vigorous examinations, a staggering number of The British School Al Khubairat’s students achieved top grades in their exams; 92% achieved A*-Cs and amazingly 20% of GCSE students secured the new Grade 9 in English against a UK average of only 2%.

Whilst the hard work and determination of the staff and pupils is without doubt the biggest contributor to the school’s success, senior staff at the school are attributing its phenomenal achievements – in part – to its recent subscription to GCSEPod.

The British School Al Khubairat was the first school in Abu Dhabi to follow in the footsteps of a number of Dubai’s leading schools and ubscribe to GCSEPod – the award winning digital learning and revision content for students working towards GCSE and IGCSE qualifications which is used as an independent learning resource as well as a homework and classroom tool.

GCSEPod, which is used in more than a quarter of all secondary schools across the UK is increasingly being adopted by international schools following the British curriculum all over the world and staff at The British School Al Khubairat were quick to see how it could enhance their student offering and meet the needs of their digitally native students.

“Of the 10 students with the highest GCSEPod English Literature usage, 8 achieved a 7-9 grade (equivalent of the old A-A* grade); 8 achieved higher than their predicted grade (4 by two grades); and the remaining 2 were in line with school predictions. Great stuff!

In March this year, school Headteacher, Mark Leppard MBE, saw GCSEPod in action at the BSME conference and subscribed to the digital content. Within weeks the benefit was apparent.

Many of the school’s 116 Year 11 students became instant regular users and data from the school shows that there is a direct correlation between usage and exam success; students who used the resource more achieved better results, particularly in English Literature and the Sciences. Nigel Davis, deputy head teacher believes that GCSEPod has contributed to the school’s recent success.

He said: “Although we are still growing in our use of GCSEPod, the inbuilt usage reporting gave clear evidence of a correlation between those students who were avid watchers and those who achieved the top GCSE grades”

“We are genuinely excited about the future with GCSEPod and will be increasingly using it to flip the classroom and encourage independent study that we crave. ”

 

The Results

GCSEPod is a crucial element in producing students with the keen study skills and growth mindsets that will not only enable them to perform superbly in school, but also take these skills with them into the next stages of their lives.” 

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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Case Study: St Christopher’s School https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-st-christophers-school/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-st-christophers-school/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 14:47:54 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4393 The post Case Study: St Christopher’s School appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Looking back on 4 years with GCSEPod

St Christopher’s in Bahrain was the very first British International School to sign up. Adrian Walker Assistant Head tells us how GCSEPod is still making an impact at their school. “GCSEPod is the one way that we have managed to keep the focus on learning. I would recommend GCSEPod to international schools.”

Details

St Christopher’s School

St Christopher’s School in Bahrain was the very first British International School to sign up to GCSEPod back in 2012.

Back then, GCSEPod was still relatively in its infancy in the UK, as schools were coming to terms with how to harness mobile technology in education and whilst it catered for IGCSE, it is fair to say that our reach was somewhat limited.

However, when Ed Goodwin, Executive Head at St Christopher’s saw GCSEPod in action at a COBIS conference he was quick to identify just how it could work for his students and despite its then limitations for international students, he introduced it in to the school as an independent learning resource.

Fast forward four years and the school which offers British style education for pupils age 3 – 18, still has the highest usage and downloads of all international subscribers and usage amongst its core Year 10 and Year 11 students continues to increase year on year.

“I would recommend GCSEPod to international schools.”

The product itself has moved on significantly since 2012 and whilst it still remains a well-used revision tool, it now offers a far wider range of content suitable for students studying iGCSE as well as a host of additional features which have helped to embed it in to every day learning.

We spoke with Adrian Walker Assistant Head of the Senior School who has been instrumental in rolling out the resource across school to find out more about GCSEPod at St Christopher’s.

“GCSEPod was introduced in to school as an independent learning resource, targeted predominantly at helping our students to revise for examinations.

“As a school we adopt a distributed practice approach, helping our students to revise regularly and effectively. We are fortunate to have students who are keen to learn, so access to a resource like GCSEPod, which allows them to develop their own independent learning, was received well.

“In the past 18 months, usage has grown significantly more or less doubling from one year to the next. It is important that students make best use of their mobile devices, both in school and at home.

The Results

“GCSEPod is one way that we have managed to keep the focus on learning, rather than the potential distractions of social media.”

Some new features of GCSEPod have been added as well as changes to reflect new examination syllabuses. Setting assignments using the question bank has enhanced the appeal of GCSEPod amongst teachers. More teachers now use it to set homework assignments as well as a valuable classroom resource.

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

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Case Study: Sunmark School https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-sunmark-school/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-sunmark-school/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 14:30:06 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4370 The post Case Study: Sunmark School appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

Reducing teacher workload whilst improving grades

Sunmarke School delivers a rigorous and enriched education with academic excellence and character development at its very heart. “Not only has GCSEPod reduced our teacher workload, it has also become one of the best revision aids available to our students.”

Details

Sunmark School

Fortes Education has been an established education provider for over two decades with Regent International, the Jumeirah International Nurseries and Sunmarke Schools supporting students in Dubai. 

With an overall capacity of 3,000 nursery to year 13 students and located at Jumeirah Village Triangle, Sunmarke follows the National Curriculum of England, and also offers the International Baccalaureate® (IB). Respected as premium international educational institutes, the schools are rated amongst the leading schools and preschools in the UAE.

“Our teacher workload reduction idea has worked, it has also become one of the best revision aids available to our students. Due to it’s success, by the end of the first year having GCSEPod, both teachers and students were asking if it was available for Key Stages 3 and 5. It therefore came as no suprise when we received our GCSE results in the summer.”

Background

Back in 2018, Benjamin Atkins, deputy headteacher at Sunmarke School set an objective of finding a way to reduce teacher workload. They started using GCSEPod an engaging online resource thatprovides students with short (typically three to five minute) video pods that demonstrate numerous learning concepts across more than 20 GCSE and IGCSE subjects from every exam board. Its bank of 50,000 dynamic questions provide accurate reporting and monitoring to ensure in-depth subject knowledge. The resource is ideal for independent learning in the class, homework and revision. More importantly the homework ‘marking’ is carried out automatically by the resource, removing significant teacher workload.

Benjamin Atkins explains, “originally we looked at GCSEPod as a tool to reduce marking for students’ home learning. We launched the resource across Years 9 to 11, and students instantly took to the platform and started streaming the video ‘pods’ from GCSEPod for each of their subjects.

“We could see and track the amount of hours each student had spent online and the work they had been putting in outside of lessons. However, as Year 11 got closer to their GCSEs, students’ streaming usage started to rapidly increase.”

The school soon realised that GCSEPod was not only reducing teacher work load but was becoming a sought-after independent learning tool by all the students.

Autonomous Learning

In addition to enhancing student motivation to learn, countless research highlights the benefits of schools offering a level of independent learning. It not only increases their motivation to learn but also results in higher levels of student awareness of their own progress and achievement.

“I definitely recommend GCSEPod as it helped me assimilate incomprehensible concepts.”

Using GCSEPod

Taking chemistry as an example, GCSEPod offers the ideal way to explain complex concepts such as molars. Once the students have watched the videos it’s so much easier for them to grasp the concept rather than sitting listening to a teacher or reading from a book.

In physics it could be the concept of forces that a student is wanting to understand. Students may have had a lesson on this in class and use GCSEPod to consolidate their learning as homework, or they may watch the relevant GCSEPods before a lesson so they can come to class with a level of understanding and in turn, engage more comfortably with the classroom activities.

Whether it is the revision of a particular learning concept as homework or full revision before exams, GCSEPod is ideal. The teachers can easily create revision playlists, on calculus for example, providing the students with invaluable, rich independent learning content.

As Favour Adewumi, a Year 12 student at Sunmarke 6th form explains, “GCSEPod helped so much during my GCSE, it helped me understand the lesson after my classes in school. It was an easy form of revision because I could listen to it everywhere; in the car ride on the way to school or after school, during revision, in your room. GCSEPod helped me achieve my goal and I am forever grateful.

Extending the school day

Benjamin Atkins explains that many students spend time travelling to and from school each day. He has found that the students have been so engaged in using GCSEPod that they are watching the Pods on the bus on the way to and from school; extending their learning time. He said, ”we would see them stepping off the school bus in the morning having spent their twenty-minute travel time re-capping previous lessons such as science or geography. At lunch time and after-school, students would be plugged into their devices taking revision notes.”

Peter Sklavounos, a Year 12 student at Sunmarke School agress with Mr. Atkins, “GCSEPod is a great platform that offers students an enhanced learning experience and provides them with long-term memory capabilities through individual audio-visual pods.” “Personally, I found that the save-for-later option helped out the most as it allowed me to access the videos while travelling.”

The Results

As Benjamin Atkins concludes, “our teacher-workload reduction idea has worked, it has also become one of the best revision aids available to our students.

“Due to its success, by the end of the first year of having GCSEPod, both teachers and students were asking if it was available for Key Stages 3 and 5.

“As the year ended, we were delighted to hear that the amount of revision our students at Sunmarke had done, had actually meant we had won the regional trophy for the POD Games. With the highest streaming rate internationally (based on our size).

“It therefore came as no surprise when we received our GCSE results in the summer.

The biggest impact GCSEPod had on our school was the impact on progress in science. Over 80 per cent of Year 11 students either met or exceeded their CAT4 ‘If Challenged’ target. Similar results could be seen across the humanities and mathematics as well, giving us an amazing set of GCSE results across the board.”

The success of GCSEPod is probably best summarised by Esraa Kamel a Year 12 student at Sunmarke when she said, “GCSEPod is very informative and explains the hardest topics in the simplest ways and in a short amount of time.”

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

Read more case studies

We have a wide range of case studies showing how GCSEPod is reducing workload and helping students achieve more. Click on the link below to view all our case studies.

The post Case Study: Sunmark School appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study: Kellett School https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-kellett-school/ https://www.gcsepod.com/case-studies/gcse-case-study-kellett-school/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 14:15:39 +0000 https://www.gcsepod.com/?p=4355 The post Case Study: Kellett School appeared first on GCSEPod.

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Case Study

GCSEPod brings Kellett School’s library to life

“The thing the students enjoy most about GCSEPod is the audio-visual nature of the GCSE/IGCSE resource. We have many students who enjoy reading and GCSEPod really compliments their learning. The pods have also had a big impact for more visual learners.”

Details

Kellett School

Lisa Share is the School Librarian at Kellett School, the British International School in Hong Kong which provides outstanding learning for children from Reception through to Year 13. 

Lisa has been working at Kellett School for 11 years and has watched the school expand from just primary to include secondary, growing in pupil numbers and size.

As the school grew, Lisa started to collaborate with the teachers to think of ways they could engage the older students, and encourage independent learning, in particular during their GCSE years.

As all teachers will recognise there are some subjects and learning objectives that are harder than others to both engage the students and teach. Having initially been trialled by the History Department, Lisa was given the task in 2013 to expand to use of GCSEPod to cover all subjects at the school. “In the digital, visual world in which our students operate it is great to offer students an accessible online resource to supplement their traditional textbooks,” explained Lisa.

Marketing GCSEPod, and providing training, to teachers was the first step to ensure student uptake of the product. “I can show the product to students, but what really encourages them to use the Pods for revision and homework is endorsement from the teachers of its worth, either through setting assignments or use of GCSEPod in class. Several of our teachers are now expert users who I can draw upon as exemplars.” Seeing the success of the history pods to engage and excite the students, other teachers came on board.

“GCSEPod is visual and informative. I see the value GCSEPod adds for children in all subjects from History to Maths, English to Chemistry, and it really provides a consistent approach to the students learning across all subjects.”

The solution

GCSEPod offers short three to five minutes videos to visually show a learning point. Whether it’s used as an introduction to a learning objective, a resource for teachers to set as homework, or as an additional revision tool to allow students to consolidate what they have been learning in class its versatility is ideal. The resource is tailored to 27 GCSE subjects, including maths, English, science, history and languages to name a few. All the students at the Kellett School who are studying for their GCSE have access to this tool in the classroom, on the bus home and at home.

Lisa explains in more detail, “GCSEPod is a key component of the range of revision tools we make available to students. I use the LibGuides platform to create resource collections for each subject which allows me to combine external links, library materials and books, as well as other subscription resources such as GCSEPod.”

Lisa holds sessions with each tutor group at the start of the year to show them all the benefits they can reap from using GCSEPod. This has proven to be a great way for her to get to know the children at the start of the year and build relationships with those students who use GCSEPod diligently and who need additional support with certain subjects.

In addition, Lisa acts as the central contact for teachers who wish to know more about the product or require training.

“I think the thing the students enjoy most about GCSEPod is the visual/audio nature of the resource. We have many students who enjoy reading and fully utilise our written materials, and GCSEPod really compliments their learning. The Pods also have an impact for those children who are more visual/audio learners and who benefit from a different style of learning. We even have students in Year 9 using the Pods to get them prepared for their studies.

The Results

When talking about GCSEPod, Lisa highlighted the benefit it has for her, in the role: “GCSEPod is visual and informative. I see the value GCSEPod adds for children in all subjects from History to Maths, English to Chemistry, and it really provides a consistent approach to the students learning across all subjects.

“It allows the library and my role to go above and beyond and connect with children across all students studying for their GCSEs.”

What could we help your school achieve?

Are you a high achieving school with record results, is your Progress 8 score currently below average, or maybe you somewhere in between? No matter what your current standing, all types of schools are finding huge GCSE learning and revision success using GCSEPod. Let us show you how GCSEPod could help reach your school goals.

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