How GCSEPod helps to close the gender gap

When it comes to studying, there’s a clear and widening gender gap in education – and it’s a global issue. According to an article published in the economist, this is down to 3 clear reasons:

black-check-mark-clip-art-at-clker-com-vector-clip-art-online-rjwcdj-clipart Girls read more  black-check-mark-clip-art-at-clker-com-vector-clip-art-online-rjwcdj-clipart Girls spend longer doing homework  black-check-mark-clip-art-at-clker-com-vector-clip-art-online-rjwcdj-clipart Boys are “too cool for school”

GCSE learning resources

However, the introduction of GCSEPod has played an important role in redressing this balance in many schools around the country. The ability to watch our Pods on “cool” mobile devices and concise bursts of information that keep learning fun and quick that makes GCSEPod a powerful tool – both during GCSE revision periods and across the entire academic year.

This belief is shared by many of our subscribing schools, where GCSEPod and mobile technology have been used in tandem to target reluctant male learners.

Steve Williams, deputy head teacher at Gwernyfed High School, explains that the introduction of GCSEPod has had a profound effect on the studying habits of boys whose attention it is often hard to keep:

“There has been a shift in culture and the boys in school know that we are working with them to help them achieve their full potential. Their aspirations have been raised and they are responding well.”

He continues:

“GCSEPod has been a really useful GCSE revision resource in particular. They respond to the technology, whether it’s being used by teachers in the classroom or as an independent learning tool. They tell us that they love GCSEPod because it provides them with the information they need in small chunks and in a format they are familiar with.”

Tailoring GCSEPod to where the gender gap is widest

According to results from the 2016 GCSE exams female entrants were 8.9 percentage points higher than male students between A*–C. This figure is reflective of a trend that has been documented as early as 1988 and has been relatively stable since 1995. However, this broad statistic doesn’t tell the whole story as the gender gap varies wildly from subject to subject.

While maths was once again the only subject in which boys were outperforming girls (0.7 percentage points at A* to A and 0.5 percentage points at A* to C), there are also only small gaps to be found between boys and girls in the sciences. In the Arts, Humanities and Languages, the gap remains very wide.

By using GCSEPod’s innovative tools, such as Boost Playlists and Questions Bank, teachers can effectively support the closing of knowledge gaps among male students in a fun and innovative way. In particular, our GCSE revision resources can support progress in subjects that young men may be struggling to grasp or reluctant to engage with.

Teacher feedback has shown that boys are particularly receptive to the style and format of our Pods: they are concise, visual and discreet. This makes them easy to digest without attracting the stigma often associated with studying independently.

As Steve Williams explains:

“Often they will sit on the bus to and from school with their headphones plugged into their phones listening and watching the Pods; their friends are none the wiser, which is a huge plus point for some of them!”

Through GCSEPod, teachers and parents can also monitor usage levels, enabling them to track engagement and progress in a way that would not be possible with traditional GCSE revision resources.

GCSEPod can help to make independent study fun and “cool” for both boys and girls. If you are looking to harness the power of digital technologies at your school, why not contact us today and let us give you a demonstration.

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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

Awards

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.

Click here to find out more about our awards