Recapping with GCSEPod: Consolidating knowledge at the start of A-Levels

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?

Online learning tools

Many schools are now using GCSEPod to great effect. Here’s how.

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 12s 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

 “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, Thomas Alleyne’s High School

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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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