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Supporting a leading digital school

“Teachers really value the timely nature of the Espresso content, which responds to current news, trends in culture and national and international events.”

Broadclyst Community Primary School was recently named an ‘Ed Tech 50 School’, a prestigious award which recognises teachers’ use of technology. Part of the Cornerstone Academy Trust, this leading digital school uses Discovery Education Espresso across the curriculum. CEO and Executive Headteacher Jonathan Bishop and his colleagues explain how Espresso supports their teaching and deepens pupil learning.

We’ve used Discovery Education Espresso for thirteen years. Our Academy Trust has always embraced new technologies in education, and especially those that enhance our project-based curriculum. Espresso works well to this aim, as it supports across the subject range without requiring sticking to a defined lesson structure or sequence of teaching.

Discovery Education Espresso is used across our curriculum, in every year group. It’s most useful in subjects where video content makes complex and abstract concepts clear for children. This is particularly true of science, where virtual tasks help make concrete a process or idea. One of our teachers explains how the service is used in Year 2: “We regularly use Espresso in Year 2 across the curriculum. We use the videos during our inputs and the activities during lessons. Espresso is also a good research tool for the children.”

Our pupils enjoy the Espresso activities in each curriculum area. These allow children to create original content. They also enjoy the quizzes, which they often complete as a whole class at the end of the day after watching Espresso News Bites. Teachers really value the timely nature of the Espresso content, which responds to current news, trends in culture and national and international events. These are often difficult to explain to children. Here’s what one of our teachers has to say about Espresso News: “I’ve always been really keen on the Espresso News Bites feature. I love using this as a way of discussing current events with the children, especially as many don’t engage with the news. Espresso News is often quite positive which is a good change from the mass media.”

We use Espresso most in our English and maths lessons. In maths, the video content supports the teaching of multiple methods, as one of our teachers explains: “I really like using Espresso, particularly the videos in maths to help introduce and support a new topic. I also really like that the videos cover multiple methods, e.g. there is a multiplication video which begins by using a grid method and then checks the answer using a formal method.”

Espresso is also used widely in our English lessons, to support the teaching of grammar and punctuation, and help children to build new skills. One of our KS1 teachers says: “Espresso’s short videos are really useful for grammar and punctuation sessions, introducing children to the concept. They can link to a help page where they can watch the video as a recap for each skill.”

The Espresso platform caters well for both key stages. The separate KS1 and KS2 delivery is key to the clarity for each age group–and the look of each platform is compelling for that age group. Espresso works well for us. It supports our project-based curriculum across every year group.

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