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Getting students focused and ready to learn after the summer break can be hard. In fact, chances are that for many learners returning after their GCSEs, most of the knowledge they acquired during study leave will feel like it has drained away. 

 So, how can teachers close knowledge gaps that have widened over the holidays without wasting weeks covering old ground when there is lots of new material to be studied? Many schools are now using GCSEPod to great effect. Here’s how.

In most schools, rolling out technology initiatives is the job of a member of the senior management team but I thought why not turn this on its head and ask a student to take on the role. After all, someone like Tom is able to talk about his own recent experiences and offer students something they can closely relate to… The role is certainly helping to shape his own leadership qualities and will certainly support his aspirations of becoming a teacher.

Julie Rudge

Headteacher, Thomas Alleyne's High School

Bursts of re-learning in the classroom

To combat the inevitable drop off in knowledge after the long summer break, teachers can start lessons in September with a short 3-5 minute burst of information through our Pods.

Using Pods at the start of a lesson can bring a class quickly back up to speed on subject matter, helping them to cement knowledge, gain confidence and progress more quickly through the more complex challenges that lie ahead at AS level.

Independent knowledge consolidation

Having recently been through an intense revision period, it is likely that your new Year 12’s will be comfortable using GCSEPod as an independent learning tool. Set them consolidation playlists to help them bridge the gap between the previous school year in their own time and then follow it up with an assignment to ensure that the knowledge gaps have been closed.

While the A-level curriculum is designed to cover new ground, this exercise can be just as beneficial in getting your students back into the swing of learning as it is at teaching them something new. Through consolidation playlists, students can re-learn at their own pace and it is possible for teachers to measure how readily individuals are applying themselves during those first few weeks back at school.

Enlisting Year 12’s to support the next generation

Schools across the country are having great success in enlisting their Year 12 students as GCSEPod Ambassadors to showcase the platform’s functionality and inspire new Year 10 and 11 pupils. While this process can be hugely beneficial to the new cohort of GCSE students (driving usage throughout the year) it can also be of great importance to those older students. Schools have found that their GCSE Ambassadors:

  • Develop important soft skills in supporting other learners
  • Are more likely to reflect on their own studying habits and make improvements as they tackle the next stage of their school life
  • Gain confidence from revisiting subject matter they understand well
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