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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Stacey Osborne, Bay House School
“We had huge success with the Donut Challenge! We sent out a Diagnostic Letter to all parents after PPE (mock) exams which highlighted insecure areas and which Pods to watch to fill those knowledge gaps. We then set all Year 11 the challenge of logging in and watching a minimum number of those Pods. Those that completed the challenge got a donut! We ordered 175 donuts from Asda for £25 so it didn’t break the bank. Our Year 11 activation rate rose from 71% to 84%!”
Draw a Pod!
From Catherine Merrick, Swanhurst School
Swanhurst School’s Science department have been using GCSEPod in a very imaginative way. After teaching a topic, the teacher asks the class to design their own Pod (through drawing and writing), containing all the relevant information, including, key words, facts and images. Once the students have created their own Pod, the teacher then plays the class the actual GCSEPod Pod and asks them to compare what they’ve created. It’s a great way of identifying if students have missed out anything important and a way of ensuring they never forget.
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.”
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!”
3 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
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!”
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.”
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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“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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