Podcasting: We recently undertook a mammoth podcast session. Essentially, we got into pairs and had a 10 minute discussion about plot/themes and characters in one of the texts we are teaching for @Eduqas_English GCSE: while recording these conversations (that is the scary bit). This was only possible, because of two things: @daveg5478 scheduled it into our meeting time and crucially we have an excellent team of teachers who are willing to discuss and record their ideas about what they are teaching @ChurchillEng.
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This isn’t new though. We did this last year and when I sent a survey monkey to Y11 before they left regarding their revision habits, almost 50% of students responded with the podcasts as: useful, informative and a good extra revision tool. So, with that in mind it seemed like a good idea to update the selection for this year.
The Language Papers
At the weekend I created a couple of approaching Eduqas Language paper podcasts which were non-discussion based. These were of formatted to give instructions clearly and coherently on how to approach this paper. As the specification uses Unseen reading extracts both fiction and non-fiction 1A and 2A and non-specific tasks and creative writing for 1B and 2B, it isn’t possible to talk about what content the exam will have in it. This specification, therefore rules out the richer discussion podcasts, which are possible with Literature. However, this doesn’t mean that the students won’t benefit from Language Reading instructions and Language writing instructions. We also have a generic SPAG podcast, which we created last year, and we hope this will be helpful in giving short handy tips and hints on the all-important SPAG elements. We still have some instructional podcasts to do about the Transactional Paper.
The Literature Papers
We have taught Romeo and Juliet, A Christmas Carol, Blood Brothers, An Inspector Calls and Lord of the Flies, Romeo and Juliet Plot understanding, as well as the Unseen Poetry and The Anthology poems. To date, we have uploaded ACC, Blood Brothers, An Inspector Calls, Lord of the Flies and one pairing of Anthology poems. Our aim is to get all the Anthology poems discussed and podcasted. Watch this space!
We created a quick schedule to play to the teaching strengths of our team. This meant that teachers who had taught specific texts were able to get together and discuss texts they were really happy with. You give teachers roughly 20 minutes, so they can plan for 10 minutes what they are going to say and then record. One person takes responsibility for uploading them onto a shared area and it’s all done with relative ease.
Students find them useful. They also enjoy hearing their teachers discuss the texts and they get confirmation in 10 minutes of what they need to do.
Podcast Link here:
We’ll continue with the podcasts, hope that the students listen to them, and enjoy making them. Ideally, I’d like some of the students to get involved and give podcasting a go, but that’ll take some more thinking about and organising. For now, I’m just happy that @ChurchillEng teachers are so collaborative and forthcoming with their time and that they have enjoyed doing these as much as I have.
Would I recommend this?
Absolutely, yes, they are a fab way of engaging the students, means they have something to go back and listen to time and time again and so far through a little bit of promotion and a few students listening to them (and forwarding the link to other Y11 students I have been reliably informed), the Y11 students have realised they are available and have started listening to them. And that is all we can ask.