Case Study: PiXL initiatives to raising standards

Lutterworth High School

GCSE Learning and Revision

Overview

Lutterworth subscribes to GCSEPod and within weeks of setup the school was amongst the highest GCSEPod using schools in the country. Last academic year students accessed an outstanding 32,000 Pods, of which over 11,000 were Maths (the highest Maths usage of any PiXL member).

The results

“We’ve found the quality of the digital subject content very high and all subject explanations are very clear and focused. The Pods are “no nonsense” and cover exactly what they say they do, as well as discriminating clearly between Higher and Foundation content.”

Dick Salter, Assistant Headteacher

Lutterworth High School in Leicestershire became an Academy in August 2011 and within a year, were rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Five years on, now an 11-16 Academy Trust, they have just celebrated their first ever GCSE results with a significant percentage of students achieving grades 7-9.

Lutterworth High has implemented many of the PiXL initiatives which have helped to raise standards. Alongside these strategies, the school also subscribes to GCSEPod, a platform delivering award-winning subject knowledge in short, audio-visual podcasts (“Pods”) across 20 subjects and in over 1,000 schools.

Within weeks the school was amongst the highest GCSEPod using schools in the country and last academic year students accessed an outstanding 32,000 Pods, of which over 11,000 were Maths (the highest Maths usage of any PiXL member). With the majority of usage taking place outside of school hours (nationally 73%), this amounts to over 3,200 hours of learning, the equivalent to over 400 additional school days.

Leading GCSEPod is the school’s Raising Standards Leader, Natalie Tebbatt; however, the whole school has embraced this resource and  Dick Salter, Head of Maths and Assistant Headteacher, talks about why the resource has been so successful:

“We’ve found the quality of the digital subject content very high and all subject explanations are very clear and focused. The Pods are “no nonsense” and cover exactly what they say they do, as well as discriminating clearly between Higher and Foundation content.

“Over time it has become increasingly clear that GCSEPod complements many of our implemented PiXL strategies. Students start revising a topic by watching the Pods to refresh knowledge and then move to more assessment based activities using the PLC to guide what they do. PLCs have been used with all students and fit very well with GCSEPod. The boundary leaper analysis lets us suggest which Pods are appropriate and the Pods are short enough to cover lots of ground very quickly.

Revision at Lutterworth has focused on general motivation and the GCSEPod reports and statistics on usage, especially those that act as a competitive push, give the students a stimulus and drive stamina. Our first target was 200 Pods each which many achieved very quickly. That’s 1,000 minutes or about 17 hours.

GCSEPod has also supported students’ independent learning as it enables them to get a brief burst of teacher style direction and focus when away from school and the classroom. Students get the impetus to start learning independently and then combine this with activities on the PiXL Maths app all linked through their PLC. Other departments have found similar cross over.

If a school was considering GCSEPod, I would simply ask them to look at the time students spend on GCSEPod at current subscribing schools and then ask them to think: what would my students be doing with this time that focuses them better?”

 

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“100% of our year 11 students achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C.

82% achieved at least 5 GCSEs including Maths, English and/or Welsh at grades A*-C. An impressive 27% of grades were at A* or A compared to the national average of 19.4%.

We strongly believe that GCSEPod has played an important role in improving the outcomes for some of our pupils. Indeed, some of our top users exceeded their target grades in many areas and have now returned to the sixth form to continue their studies at A level.”

Diane Evans - Assistant Head Teacher,
Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteif

There is a very clear correlation between the subjects with the most pronounced raises in attainment (English Literature, Chemistry, Biology and Physics) and those that had the highest GCSEPod usage.

In addition, the student with the highest GCSEPod usage was also our highest achiever.

Because there has so clearly been an impact on the departments that utilised GCSEPod effectively, we will be looking to increase the use of GCSEPod across the school in coming years.”

Andrew Ost - Deputy Head,
Fort Pitt Grammar School

“We’ve used GCSEPod for a year and the results speak for themselves!

Not only did we see a rise in headline measures across the board with our highest user of GCSEPod gaining 7A* – but the students and their parents love it!

It’s fun, user friendly, and easy to use in a variety of ways – on a mobile device, in school, at the heart of our mentoring and intervention strategies, for flipping learning, and to deliver positive engagement that parents can see. Plus we’ve only just scratched the surface!”

Dominic Howkins - Vice Principal,
Ormiston Sudbury Academy

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