Turn on the Subtitles - GCSEPod


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Turn on the Subtitles

We’ve been supporting a campaign called Turn on the Subtitles recently.

And we have some really exciting news to share! First, a bit about TOTS.

It’s a national campaign to help parents to double the chance of their children becoming good readers through encouraging them to turn on the subtitles on TV and other videos they might be watching. Based on a Nielsen study of 2,350 children, 34% became good readers with schooling alone. But when exposed to 30 minutes a week of subtitled tv, film or songs, that, that proportion more than doubled to 70%!!

The campaign is really picking up speed with involvement from Netflix, TikTok, Amazon, BBC………oh, and us!

The Prime Minister has endorsed the campaign publicly in parliament and it’s popped up across national news.

The aim of the campaign is to convince all media providers to get subtitles set on as default so parents and children don’t have to remember.  Also, the benefits for students whose first language is not English, are incredible, and so we want to make sure everyone is aware of this fantastic campaign.  On the 1st March 2021 – we switched on the subtitles on all of our pods.

Fans of the campaign include Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig, Phillip Schofield and Rachel Riley.

How can you help to Turn on the Subtitles…

We’re asking you, as educators, to spread this message far and wide. Please send it out to your parents, put it in a school newsletter, mention it at parents evenings, shout it from the rooftops. Just tell everyone, they’ll thank you for it. TOTS have done all the hardwork and put everything you need to share with parents all in one hard Word document. Please click on the link below to download it

Some have worried that having the subtitles on would bother the viewer, so, in our unique position, we were able to run a trial to see, empirically, whether adding subtitles as default had any negative consequences.  

Did users choose to turn off their subtitles?


In fact, 98.5% of users who had subtitles turned on as default at the beginning of the trial still had subtitles turned on when the trial ended.

Did users watch less than those with then off?


In fact, subtitles being on or off seems to have no effect on the amount of GCSEPod videos watched.

So there you have it – turning on the subtitles can only benefit and we are very proud to be associated with this fantastic campaign.