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Discovery Education Espresso – Supporting independent and guided learning

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With 5 sites across Panama, The Oxford School provides a bilingual education to students from early years to high school. The school is a Cambridge Centre and follows the British National Curriculum; Discovery Education Espresso is used daily as a learning platform. Executive Principal Farhana Patel explains how Espresso helps teachers to create engaging, authentic learning experiences, while giving students the tools and confidence to thrive.

HIGH-QUALITY DIGITAL RESOURCES

One of my first priorities as the new Head teacher at The Oxford School was to secure high-quality digital resources for our students. When I commenced leading the school in 2019, we were using two separate platforms to teach English and Maths. I was keen to find something more holistic and was drawn to Espresso because it has relevant, purposeful and engaging learning resources across the curriculum, from Early Years to Key Stage 2.

Espresso was first recommended to us by SCALA International Schools and after trialling it we were very impressed. It quickly became our daily learning platform and today we use it in all five of The Oxford Schools. We like the fact that it is aligned to the National Curriculum and gives us a central bank of content with everything in one place. It saves our teachers a huge amount of time and simplifies daily school life. Resources range from high quality videos and pictures to interactive activities and worksheets.

ONLINE AND IN-PERSON TEACHING

One of the best things about Espresso is that it supports both independent and guided learning. We can deliver lessons online or in-person and students can access Espresso in the classroom and at home. It’s a versatile platform that can flex to support teaching and learning wherever it is taking place.

Espresso is also very easy to access. We are currently offering a blended learning programme, therefore a significant amount of our students are not in school right now and being able to assign lessons remotely is so helpful. The single sign-on feature means that students don’t have to remember multiple log-ins and passwords. We’ve had lots of positive feedback from parents at home, who can see that the resources are of a high quality and help students to go further.

A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE PLATFORM

Children need a safe space to learn online, and this is the beauty of Espresso. It allows students to explore different topics and to follow their curiosity. Before starting with Espresso, we did not have a central bank for educational videos that align to our curriculum. Espresso allows children to explore high-quality content safely, which is reassuring for parents as well as other stakeholders of the school community.

Many learning platforms tend to focus on interactive independent activities. However, if students don’t fully understand the content and some additional guidance is needed, it can be difficult for them to progress, which can have a negative impact on their learning experience and self-confidence. This is where Espresso excels. It goes beyond interactive independent activities and has a significant amount of built-in support, which students and parents can access independently. The sheer number of English resources is impressive, and the videos are great for teaching English, Mathematics and Science. The resources are accessible by all students. Videos are short, engaging and the visual prompts support with the comprehension of content.

Discovery Education is committed to giving educators innovative ways to design and deliver engaging learning experiences for all pupils.

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BUILDING TEACHER CONFIDENCE

Espresso helps teachers to deliver the British National Curriculum with confidence. The videos and built-in teacher guides make it a very accessible platform for educators. They can be sure that the pitch of lessons is in accordance with curriculum requirements and there is sufficient coverage of different skills for each subject.

Throughout our journey with Espresso, we’ve had great support from Discovery Education, and this is one of the things that we appreciate most. Before getting started we received some excellent training and then we had a refresher course to make sure we are getting the most out of the platform. There is always someone on hand if we need help and we are already organising training sessions for the next academic year.

LOVED BY STUDENTS

Our students love everything about Espresso, especially the interactive games. These are great for consolidating learning in subjects like Maths and we often set them for homework instead of paper-based worksheets. The instant feedback is important to students, especially when they’re learning at home. They can see their own progress and it helps with feeling confident and enhances motivation.

Meeting individual student needs is easy, thanks to an interactive tool called Studio, which allows teachers to assign content directly. Studio is also great for teacher collaboration and for sharing lesson plans and ideas. A teacher can create a Studio Board for a topic or lesson and share it with different collaborators across our five school. This ensures that our teachers have a collaborative network and stimulates effective dialogues to enhance educational provisions and reflect on teaching and learning practices.

CAREFULLY CURATED CONTENT

One of the aspects that our teachers like best about Espresso is the fact that it is continually updated. New content is added all of the time and we see these changes constantly. It is reassuring to know that so much thought goes into the resources. It feels like a lot of love, care and time has been put into the platform!

Espresso has some fantastic topic-based resources. Recently we used these to teach our Year 4 and 5 students about the Gunpowder Plot. Our students thoroughly enjoyed learning British history and Espresso’s videos and activities brought the story to life. Our students were inspired to produce some excellent writing and even made their own Guy Fawkes costumes!

THE FUTURE OF LEARNING

We’re very happy with Espresso and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to other international schools. It’s a holistic platform with everything in one place and gives us high-quality resources to help teachers and engage students. As it supports both guided and independent learning, it’s perfectly suited to the way we teach today. The attention to detail is outstanding and this is what Discovery Education does best. Education is always evolving and so is Espresso. The platform is continually updated to meet educators’ changing needs.

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