Case Study: Using GCSEPod to support PiXL strategies
Sir Thomas Picton School, Pembrokeshire
Like so many schools, Sir Thomas Picton was facing a growing gender gap. But last year, following a subscription to GCSEPod, the school saw its overall L2i results increase, moving the school from quartile 4 to quartile 2 and the L2i outcomes of boys being the highest it had ever been.
“We were very proud to see our percentage of A* / A grades increase this year and it’s fair to say that a large number of our highest achieving students were heavy users of the Pods for revision.
Likewise, there is a direct correlation between our highest performing departments and highest GCSEPod usage.”
Vicki Price, Assistant Headteacher
Sir Thomas Picton School is an 11 to 18 mixed community school located on the Pembrokeshire coast. With more than 1,200 pupils on its roll, the PiXL member serves Haverfordwest, Neyland and the surrounding rural area.
Like so many schools across Wales and the length and breadth of the UK, Sir Thomas Picton was facing a growing gender gap between the achievements of its girls v its boys. But last year, following a subscription to GCSEPod, the school saw its overall L2i results increase, moving the school from quartile 4 to quartile 2 and the L2i outcomes of boys being the highest it had ever been.
Vicki Price, Assistant Headteacher at Sir Thomas Picton School and the GCSEPod lead at the school, believes that there is a direct correlation between GCSEPod usage and outcomes.
She said: “We were very proud to see our percentage of A* / A grades increase this year and it’s fair to say that a large number of our highest achieving students were heavy users of the Pods for revision. Likewise, there is a direct correlation between our highest performing departments and highest GCSEPod usage.”
Last year, the school used GCSEPod mainly as a revision tool. While it was a huge success, with a huge number of Pods streamed and downloaded and a clear impact on results, staff at Sir Thomas Picton are starting to develop use of the assignments feature across KS4 in order to encourage independent learning and allow pupils to focus on the areas they have the most difficulty with; providing the perfect complement to the PiXL DTT and PLCs strategies.
Vicki added: “Since the introduction of GCSEPod and other educational apps, pupils and staff are increasingly keen to use devices within lessons for educational purposes whereas before some lacked confidence in knowing whether the content they were researching online was suitable or relevant.
By having access to the resources from GCSEPod, students are starting to take control of their own learning. They can read up on topics before lessons as part of a flipped learning strategy or reinforce topics at home after their lessons.
“The assignments section is a great way for teachers to set tasks and monitor learning quickly and easily, and enable teachers and pupils to feedback to one another. This function will certainly be used as part of DTT after the mock examinations.”
“In most subjects, GCSEPod content is specific to individual exam boards; I certainly don’t know of any other product that produces so many WJEC specific resources in such a dynamic way, which without a doubt enhances the appeal for both students and teachers as it’s so easy to find relevant content.
“Pods can also be downloaded so pupils can watch them when they are offline – possibly one of the most important aspects to our students who are so precious about their data usage – but I think even they would agree that GCSEPod is the best use of anybody’s data!
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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
Don’t just take our word for it. GCSEPod has gained huge recognition since our initial launch in 2010 and we continue to pick up industry awards along the way. We’re constantly listening to the schools that use GCSEPod and learning how we can best support teachers and students in times of change. Contact us to tell us your goals for the next year and discuss how we can be a part of your school improvement strategy.