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Discovery Education Espresso – An Engaging Digital Resource for Prep Schools

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Charlotte Baly is Director of Studies at The Roche School, a co-ed prep school in South London. Having used Discovery Education Espresso throughout her teaching career, Charlotte explains why the platform is one of her go-to resources.

Espresso gives me a library of engaging, subject-specific content which I can easily add to my lessons. The platform has lots of great videos and research articles, especially in the Foundation Subjects. In RE, for example, it gives me a range of different media that I can use in my planning. I always use it when teaching about Islam, because it allows me to cover the subject in depth. There are some excellent videos and interviews with practising Muslim children, which my students find very engaging.

The pitch of Espresso’s videos is really suitable for children. The language used is topic- appropriate and the accompanying visuals and text make everything very accessible. Some of the videos feature children being interviewed, which makes them relatable. So, for example if we’re learning about a religious celebration, Espresso often shows this in a whole family context, with children talking to camera. It’s as if they are speaking to the students in my classroom, which is lovely.

When it comes to making lessons more engaging, Espresso is an invaluable resource. The interactive content creates an active learning experience for my students. Digital resources are naturally more appealing to children, but Espresso also provides lots of excellent offline content and activities to embed learning. It allows my students to engage with information in a variety of ways, which definitely increases their engagement.

Espresso also supports retention, especially when it comes to the Foundation subjects that we don’t study every day. Because my students are full engaged when they use Espresso, their subject knowledge is retained. In this way, Espresso contributes to their attainment as they go through the curriculum and move up into new year groups.

As a teacher, I’m always looking for resources to support my planning and to help me showcase subjects in new and different ways. Espresso helps me to vary the content I use and it’s so helpful to have everything in one place. If I’m teaching about a country, for example, I simply type this into the search bar, and find Fact Files, articles, videos and other resources. I can quickly see how everything fits with my lesson objective and I don’t need to look elsewhere.

I like to encourage independent learning and Espresso is great for this. My students can use the platform to look up things for themselves, which is wonderful. It helps to build their research skills, because there are so many different resources to choose from. It also gives them a safe space to search and I know that everything they find will be age-appropriate and relevant.

Espresso is very well mapped to the National Curriculum and the topic based content is particularly strong. There are lots of Fact Files, spanning different subjects. I find these particularly useful, because they present information in a way that is really accessible for children. And you can tell that that they have been researched thoroughly. All of Espresso’s content is of a very high standard.

Espresso is a tool I’ve relied on throughout my teaching career. It’s always been something that I’ve known to reliably provide resources that include high quality subject knowledge and activities, particularly in the foundation subjects. The pitch is really good, which is one of the reasons why my students enjoy using it so much. It’s super accessible, aids retention and it makes learning fun too.

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