Quirky Best Practice

Here we have collated some of the creative ways in which our subscribers get their students logging onto GCSEPod.
Why not try a few to see if you can boost your schools GCSEPod usage.

If you have an idea you would like to share please email it to support@gcsepod.com.


Track usage of each form group with the POD-O-Meter

A superb bit of best practice from Lea Manor High School Performing Arts College, Bedfordshire

A beautiful Pod-O-Meter sits in the KS4 office and in each form room at Lea Manor High School, so students can track their progress towards their Pod target!  Fully laminated, the students can colour in their progress as they aim for the top of the meter.   This superb idea came from Rose Bloom and Lynn Streetem-Smith who note:

We have created a leader board for the Y11 form groups. It is up in the KS4 office. A photo will be taken and sent to all Y11 form tutors (a bit of healthy competition!) All Y11 Pod-o-meter’s are up now. I am also working on Y10 – they will also have a leader board in the KS4 office.”

Click here to download the Pod-o-meter and start tracking usage in your school >>

The GCSEPod Leader at the school, Karen Corcoran, has noticed a significant rise in usage as a result of this initiative after only a couple of weeks. See the original as shown in their KS4 office:


Engage parents with usage cards

Yatish Parmar, Dormers Wells High School

To help with Parental Engagement, Dormers Wells High School hand out Usage Cards to parents on Parent’s Evening detailing their child’s use of GCSEPod. Yatish Parmar, GCSEPod Lead for the school uses the Manage Groups area to work out the average number of Pods watched by their students (this can be done as all students or a specific Year Group), he adds this figure to the card and then merges in each student’s individual usage, along with their username and when they last logged in. Yatish also documents how many days it has been since the student has logged in and what their difference is between the average number of Pods and their actual number of Pods watched. Click here to download the usage cards and fill them in for your students >>


Skip the Lunch Queue

From Shayne Elsworth, Bede Academy
The top streamer of the week is given a GCSEPod pin badge which they need to wear. If the Lead spots them wearing their badge the following week, they are then allowed to choose a friend and they can both skip the lunch queue for that day!”

Are you up for the Challenge?

From Melissa West, Denefield School
“One of our key priorities is closing the gender gap and to help with this we’ve launched an apprentice style “Are you up for the Challenge?” incentive for students with girls on one team and boys on the other. Each week the groups compete for prizes based on the best attendance, most house points and of course GCSEPod usage among other criteria.

Boys were the top users last week and when a side takes over there is a fantastic buzz in school and the atmosphere is positively charged, motivating the students to really do their best. The challenge really taps in to the power of peers and the groups are extremely encouraging and supportive towards each other. Next month whoever wins over all will get an hour to do an activity of their choice, they could watch a film or play Rugby it’s completely up to the team.”


King and Queen of GCSEPod

From Jill Davies, The Studio School
“I just wanted to share a strategy with you that has worked really well here at The Studio. Each week in assembly we have the King and Queen of GCSE Pod (those with the most engagement).  We bought inflatable crowns from amazon and made two of the best seats the thrones. On the thrones we placed a cupcake and a hot chocolate – the year 11 students absolutely loved this. The cost was little and the students used to try so hard to be king or queen. There was a bigger prize at the end of the year but the competition to wear a crown and eat cake never ceases to amaze me!”


Get Caught Podding

From Dom Howkins, Ormiston Sudbury Academy
“I’m about to launch the ‘Get caught podding’ initiative- photos of students (in obscure locations) using GCSEPod.”

The 20/20 Challenge

From Michael Chan, Kingsdale Foundation School
“In this competition, the first 50 students to download 20 Pods and stream 20 Pods got a small prize. The competition more than doubled usage over a 2-month period!”

Keeping it Fresh

From Dom Howkins, Ormiston Sudbury Academy
“The #keepitfresh is a challenge competition. Students are challenged to watch 30 Pods within 3 weeks and those that do get a pack of GCSEPod mints in assembly. Each assembly we announce the winners, put photos up on screen to whooping and applause. The students actually really like the mints!”



From Dom Howkins, Ormiston Sudbury Academy
“Challenge students to watch 3 pods a day for 3 weeks and have them fill in
a loyalty card to help them and their form tutors track their progress.”
Download the free loyalty card template here>>


Send your teacher shopping

From Richard Clift, Holly Lodge Girls’ Collegey
“Send your teacher shopping was designed as an interform competition where the form with the highest usage per pupil got an afternoon hot chocolate and cake session and their form tutor got vouchers for Christmas shopping. By the end the vast majority of pupils had accessed GCSEPod on 20 or more occasions with some pupils having accessed many hundreds of times. The scores on the doors were read out weekly at assembly. Once completed the students enjoyed a good chocolate and cake session!”

Motivate Day

From Gillian Thompson, Mount Carmel Roman Catholic High School
“As the GCSEPod Leader, I asked curriculum leaders to send me 1 question each that the students could find the answer to on GCSEPod. I then set up stations with headphones and the students had to answer the questions after listening to Pods. There was a short feedback form to fill out at the end and students enjoyed the session while usage soared.”31806d93-f19f-4844-b460-928e8645703e

Pizza Party!

From Kenneth Laing, Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School
“In the run up to the GCSE exams, we started a “Get your grades up” club for Year 11 and we promoted GCSEPod quite heavily. Those who attended all sessions and had high usage of GCSEPod were invited to a lunchtime pizza party. We even had posters of the pizza delivery person (our Head of Year!) around the school to create a buzz.”



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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.

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