Using a Variety of Social Media to Reach & Motivate GCSE English Retake Students in FE

I’ve picked up from teacher edu blogs and Twitter that there’s a body of people out there against the idea of revision sessions or specific events leading up to the exam. Some teachers and heads even say that they have seen exam results plummet because of too much intervention. However, my setting for teaching GCSE English is a bit different. In FE we deliver the subject from the end of September to Easter as a repeat of coursework / controlled assessments. And then we get the last five minutes of the year from Easter to the Spring Bank hols to focus on the reading and writing of non-fiction topics for the GCSE English exam at the beginning of June. Therefore, all our lessons from Easter to June are focused on exam prep, and you could call it revision. 

It is revision because students already had five years of it at school. But for some of them it seems like the first time they’ve ever been taught it. 

This year, the final year of the old spec, I’ve gone all social media mad to deliver bite size revision tasks in the run up to the exam. I’ve told students to pick a channel of choice to follow: Twitter, blog, Instagram or snapchat. They then need to engage to do the tasks and send to me by email for feedback. It’s an experiment in progress right now. Quite a few have followed my englishteach101 snapchat feed, and at least one has followed my Instagram feed (English.teacher.101). I’ve yet to see them follow by Twitter or blog. No students showed any signs of interest in the blog when I asked them. But Instagram and snapchat caused a stir. 

I told them I wouldn’t follow them back and I wouldn’t be engaging in chat via these forums. So far so good. I’ve seen that the snapchat photos of revision tasks have got at least 4 views daily. 

To be continued. 


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