Case Study: Using GCSEPod to support PiXL strategies

Sir Thomas Picton School, Pembrokeshire

GCSE Learning and Revision

Overview

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.

The results

“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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“A real ‘no brainer’ – GCSEPod is a high quality resource for students which can be evidenced to have an impact on both progress and attainment for all ability levels. It represents extremely good value for money.”

Nick Howe, Assistant Head,
North Huddersfield Trust School

“GCSEPod is an extremely high quality, cost effective and user friendly resource that has had clear and measurable impact in our Academy. The support given by the GCSEPod team is fantastic in all areas. Whether on their own device, or in the classroom, the resource is high quality and ever-developing! I would thoroughly recommend it!”

Dominic Howkins, Vice Principal,
Ormiston Sudbury Academy

“Test Valley School initially subscribed to GCSEPod after securing some external funding. However, the impact has been so significant that we have now subscribed in our own right.”

Andrew Page, Deputy Headteacher,
Test Valley School

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