Schoolzone | Discovery Espresso summary review

Discovery Espresso summary review

Date: 16.06.2022

Review phase: primary

Subjects covered: 

 

 

Overall star rating for Discovery Espresso: 3.7/5

 

Overview comments:
 • An excellent site that just about has everything
 • It is a very good website that has been developed well over the years to move with the curriculum and introduce new experiences for the children
 • Great resource, updated regularly and very current 
 • I would recommend it; the children like it and it is visually appealing
 • We love the resource and are slowly discovering more and more about the resource (have only used for about 1 year). We look forward to using it further over time, and making fuller use of everything it offers
 • Really nice and have used it for many years 

 • A well constructed resource but it is expensive and the company doesn't offer any flexibility in purchase options.

 • We really enjoy using espresso and so do the children! 
 • A fantastic resource that not only reduces workload but is a fantastic resource for children. It brings their learning to life which isn’t always easy to achieve.
 • A brilliant resource that helps reduce teacher workload but is an effective tool that helps get the best out of our children. They need engaging and inspiring lessons and this helps to achieve that.
 • It is a good resource for dipping in and out of to support all areas of the curriculum
 • A user friendly, relatively easy accessible catalogue of resources for aiding teaching and learning
 • Great for neurotypical but for neurodiverse it can be tricky to navigate
 • It was once a great resource but needs updating 
 • A very useful website all round.
 • I think it is good for supporting teachers that are getting familiar with the role but needs to improve significantly for me to consider continuing subscription 
 • It’s a useful resource which the children seem to enjoy. 

 

How well does it match the curriculum?
 •  5* Great topical ideas for a busy teacher
 •  5* Children are motivated by the clear, colourful content.
 •  5* Relevant material and regularly updated information is available.  Very accessible by all service users 
 •  5* Excellent videos which bring a topic to life. The website is well organised too. I like how each key stage is well laid out. 
 •  5* Relevant and constantly updated content which our children really enjoy. Especially the news bites as this really helps children understand the situation around the world.
 •  5* Such a wide range of activities and it covers everything and much, much more! It is clear to see what is being covered as well. 
 •  5* Strengths: A wide range of ways to teach the same objective i.e. through block coding and through Python.Weaknesses: Setting up child access is time consuming and logging in using QR codes doesn’t always work.
 •  5* There is loads of content, all relevant and all related to national curriculum ks2. Searchable by subject when required and a variety of resources 
 •  5* Super short clips covering world religions in RE. Interesting clips for science. 
 •  4* Lots of resources available 
 •  4* Good coverage
 •  4* It is visual and linked to he National Curriculum. The images are attractive and child friendly. It is targeted at different age groups in an age appropriate way.
 •  4* There are wonderful video clips to support and enhance curriculum delivery. Not really a weakness but not all curriculum topics are covered
 •  4* Visual and appealing and my class loves the characters that they see on the screen. The video clips are really good to support learning  
 •  4* The content is very engaging with a broad mix of different materials, from interactive resources to videos to well presented diagrams.  Great navigation and well organised topics helps staff and children find relevant content. The weakness is that content isn't always presented at differing levels of complexity.
 •  4* It supports in a creative way with lots of informative videos.  I liked the variety of resources with curriculum links. 
 •  4* It has a wide range of subject coverage. The content, videos and activities have an awfully outdated look/feel to them. 
 •  4* The spag units are very thorough and evolve as you go through them - year on year on each element of spag. 
 •  4* Provides a bank of resources that are excellent for curriculum coverage. It brings the curriculum to life and makes it exciting. More resources needed to support children who are SEN. Particularly in Year One where they will need to access a lot of Foundation stage.
 •  4* Great curriculum content and a bank of resources that fit the curriculum. Weakness would be lack of resources to support those with SEND and particularly in year on where those children are working at foundation stage
 •  4* Engaging videos for a range of subjects and topics. The worksheets aren't very engaging. Sometimes difficult to find what you need
 •  4* A range of resources available in various formats to support all areas of the curriculum for KS1 and EYFSchild friendly language and age appropriate images in all resources 
 •  3* Not easy to use and expensive
 •  3* There are usually relevant videos we can access
 •  3* Can make it link often
 •  3* There’s lots on there. You need to filter it well
 •  3* Good but could be more precise content please
 •  3* Clear progression with good recovering of the subject matter. Little freedom and a little limited in different examples.
 •  3* A wealth of resources, often very technical. Almost too much! Hard to search. Good ideas though often need a fair bit of adapting
 •  3* Good coverage of topics. Nice range of different types of resources including videos etc. accessibility of resources and user friendly
 •  3* Find  the content out dated.  Much of it hasn't changed in a long time. Needs a broader topic base. The content that is there is matched to the curriculum. 
 •  3* Varied - cross curricular.  Don't feel it offers the value for money it used to although we haven't used it as much in last year compared to previous years
 •  3* Good videos and super interactive activities. Carefully linked to curriculum objectives. Good spelling work especially phonics for younger children. 
 •  3* It has a good range of subjects available and I like that it has news stories linked to current events etc. However, some of the video resources are a bit dated looking.
 •  3* Resources in line with the curriculum. Lesson ideas and activities are adaptable.  Would be ideal if more content for early years.
 •  3* Lots of variety within the content, easy access and the children enjoy the content presentation, which is updated regularly.
 •  3* Bright, attractive  children love it;  good range of resources especially video content. Needs more regular updates and to match curriculum content exactly
 •  3* It covers a lot but not always in enough detail. Needs more regular updates in terms of quizzes, videos and interactive activities.
 •  3* Covers whole primary phase so can be used consistently across the school.  Limited content so have to use other resources.  
 •  3* Well resourced for LKS2 with videos, tasks etc. Room for growth for UKS2 with activities that are more challenging. 
 •  3* Good video resources and things like quizzes for independent use.  Some of the print off resources are unecessary as it is better to have all resources completable online.

 

How does it support adaptation for different learners? What could be improved?
 •  5* Have used a couple of videos when covering classes
 •  5* More differentiated content.
 •  4* It would be good to be able to tailor what pupils can see in a way that would allow the focus of the lesson to be really well honed. 
 •  5* A wider range of worksheets and other resources. This would help many teachers to plan a whole lesson around the resources instead of just one-off videos which I sometimes use. 
 •  4* Maybe needs some more on cultural capital. We want our children to be angry with some things that go on in this world and want them to want to make a difference.
 •  4* Some of the less able children can struggle to read/understand tasks. Maybe videos to explain tasks. 
 •  4* There are some ‘clues’ to help but these are sometimes hard to see, especially on iPads. The help video is too prescriptive and means the children can just copy it, rather than experimenting or tinkering themselves.
 •  4* Differentiation could be highlighted when selecting  and resources be adapted for top middle and bottom.  
 •  4* The videos are good, enabling teachers to draw out whatever is needed for most groups. I think there is a wide range and children enjoy videos and videos nagged well.
 •  4* We have a lot of children with special educational needs so anything targeted towards them would be good. 
 •  3* Maybe more support for SEND children, and the potential to provide translated audio for EAL children
 •  3* More variety of learning styles approached so that this appeals to a wider range of learners. More updated clips 
 •  3* The content could be presented in layers, with basic content as the base layer and more complex concepts layered on top.
 •  3* EAL and SEND differentiation for tasks linked to the same whole class learning outcome so they are accessing the same learning. 
 •  3* There could be a Variety of activities in order to challenge and stretch more able pupils. Challenge element isn’t up to scratch
 •  3* A star system to show easier, tricky and more difficult etc.This would allow staff to allocate resources appropriately. 
 •  4* More content linked to Foundation Stage to involve those who are still working on that curriculum. Also for children who are SEND.
 •  4* Better resources for SEND children. Resources for children that are working at Foundation Stage to help support them in these subjects.
 •  3* Challenges for those higher attaining pupils and ideas for staff to support those who might struggle. Videos with challenge and extend. 
 •  3* Maybe resources could be presented in a differentiated format....start low/easy level,  then progress to the average/mid level, ...then end with challenge and extension for more able children. e.g. video could then be stop/fast forward to the relevant sections for the needs of the children being taught
 •  2* Needs greater depth
 •  * It would be good to look at how to support the less able a little more
 •  * Could do with further activities 
 •  2* The brighter children gain the differentiation but the less able do not get it!
 •  3* Symbols for non-readers or places to click on text and then it reads for you and highlights the buttons you need to press.
 •  3* Further differentiation, more ways to support SEND. Teacher videos  to increase subject knowledge; we're expected to know A LOT as primary teachers 
 •  3* More open ended resources and support to challenge. Reasoning and investigation type questions. Open ended tasks like escape rooms maybe
 •  3* Longer activities that have levels of difficulty.  So children could see their progress.  Greater depth of topics covered 
 •  3* Hard to say - needs a radical overhaul.  Differentiation across the board would be beneficial.  This is particularly relevant for foundation subjects
 •  5* A little more for pupils who very weak. The mid range is addressed well and there are some good extensions activities. There are so many more children with greater learning difficulties which it doesn’t address. 
 •  3* It would be nice if there were resources for EAL pupils for the main lessons. It would also be good to be able to use subtitles with the videos.
 •  3* Videos with step by step to learning - tutorials for home learning and resources to support. Early years activities needed to meet the needs of nursery and reception classes.
 •  3* Just more of what there is because what there is is accessible and attractive. The children respond positively to the content and look forward to using the site.
 •  3* Stretch high flyers  Better scaffolding for all levels. Needs simpler, clearer vocabulary support for lower levels 
 •  2*  The use of specific children's profiles and inclusion of adaptive technology and tracking would drastically improve things 
 •  4* Texts available for Year group content / topics with texts available for a wider range of reading abilities. 
 •  3* A broader range of activities especially ones aimed at the group of children who need challenge/ extension 
 •  3* Further challenge in History and Geography that requires children to analyse. Certain Maths topics could also be more tailored with support resources

 

How well does it engage and motivate pupils?
 •  5* Colourful and lively.
 •  4* They like the graphics and the content. It is fun and visually appealing. The children like the bright colours and clear labels                    
 •  5* The resources are well differentiated and provide challenge to all year groups and ability types. I’d like to see worksheets to accompany the resources too. 
 •  5* Our children know they’re in for fun whenever they see their teachers access espresso! They always look forward to lessons.
 •  5* Excellent platform. It’s very easy to use and engaging, both visually and context wise. Possibly improve the search/filter aspect
 •  4* Bright colourful interface is attractive and the newer version takes children step by step through objectives, attempting to build understanding. There are issues with using iPads as parts of the screen can be hidden or difficult to manoeuvre to.
 •  4* Pupils like the videos, most are modern and relatable to their everyday lives. They like the way that it is pitched appropriately 
 •  5* Works well for visual learners of today. Nice graphics, colourful videos. Children enjoy their learning. 
 •  4* Some great IT resources especially coding
 •  5* The children really like it and love watching it as it engages their imagination. Keep on focusing on key vocabulary as this is a focus for most schools.
 •  4* The children love the video clips and extending their knowledge and understanding through watching and listening to these
 •  4* Love the visuals, would like more easy ways to navigate around the site,  especially for the children 
 •  4* The range of materials and the way the differing materials engage the children. The content is not just video based. I think subtitled videos will help children access the material and develop reading skills.
 •  4* They like the video and interactive resources. I found them quite confusing to find at times though. 
 •  4* Since technology is needed to access, pupils find it user friendly and therefore they are more willing to engage with it. 
 •  5* The videos are engaging, thorough and humorous for the children. The games and other activities engage the children well too, who love the competitiveness of them. 
 •  5* The children in my class are particularly fond of the use of videos so they love the bank of videos used in lessons. They love the quizzes also. It’s a very engaging resource that brings learning to life.
 •  5* My class particularly love videos so they absolutely love the bank of videos available and it’s a great tool for the lesson starter. They also enjoy the quizzes. Better plenary tools would be good to help draw back the children and review what we have done as a class.
 •  4* The children enjoy the characters and the videos are fun and colourful. They use real videos to engage the children. 
 •  5* Probably as today's children are more familiar with looking at screens and accessing technology regularly they enjoy viewing information on class IWB, and also images, videos etc that are presented are in child friendly formats
 •  3* Children enjoy it but not sure they learn about coding
 •  4* They all like the videos which are short but snappy
 •  3* Nice and visual with clear successes. Rewards or certificates would be nice. Children to edit their own certificates, or teacher to be allowed 
 •  4* Images, they like the images - the variety and clarity of them. It breaks up me talking! They like having them in their books too 
 •  3* Sometimes a bit immature in resourcing. I think as a resource it works better for early years children or key stage one than it does key stage two
 •  2* They can access the games and activities independently. They don't find them particularly engaging and get easily distracted 
 •  3* Children like the bright and colourful designs.  However a general update would freshen it up and make it more user friendly
 •  4* They like the interactive activities. Sadly they are too short and need to be differentiated a little more. 
 •  3* The children find videos help them to understand topics more easily but as I said before some of the videos are dated
 •  3* Activities and lesson ideas could he more inspiring with alternative suggestions and extensions to meet the needs of both pupils and the teacher 
 •  3* They enjoy the variation with the content, the ease with which they can access the information and the colourful and attractive way the the site is constructed.
 •  4* Good videos and visual stimulus always attracts and encourages users. Links from videos to text good, more regular updates.
 •  3* Ability to set home learning and interact with parents would motivate
 •  4* It looks modern and gets their attention. News features are good and up to date. More in depth content would be an improvement for older years. 
 •  3* The pupils enjoy the video clips and explorations but there is a need for more challenging activities. 
 •  4* Engaging videos.  News time resources is well used that keeps children up to date with the latest news in a child friendly way

 

How well does it support planning?
 •  4* Can be used with the whole class or individuals.
 •  4* It would be good to be able to copy and paste directly or select objectives required. It would be useful to link subjects through objectives choices 
 •  2* I didn’t find any planning on their website. Something like TES is much more comprehensive and easier to pick up and teach for supply teachers etc. 
 •  5* It supports teachers very well. They know the planning and content are well matched to the curriculum. 
 •  4* Easy to use alongside current planning. Objectives usually match up but sometimes it is difficult to use it. 
 •  5* It is clearly linked to objectives and shows progression through the year groups. Difficult to allow children who are new to the school or have missed parts to catch-up.
 •  3* There is a great variety and sorted with subjects. Sometimes there is so much relevant work it’s difficult to sort through. The training we had at the start of the year was useful to show how to search effectively 
 •  5* Can be used as a starting point to introduce topics. Could be used as a recap and reinforce learning.
 •  4* It compliments our scheme of work
 •  5* It is a good resource to include in our planning as it links in well. There are no weaknesses that I can think of.
 •  3* Generally the teachers need little further preparation to use in their lessons beyond watching to familiarise themselves with the reocurces.
 •  3* Needs to be updated regularly to ensure it keeps up with the changing styles of teaching. Perhaps email subscribers when updates are done? 
 •  3* It helps planning in providing a strong resource. It doesn't offer equally strong planning. This is an area that could be developed because this could be curated by a team of strong teachers and then adapted for children. / schools / curriculum to suit the school.
 •  3* I think it would aid planning more if the layout of the site was improved and more easy to use as I found it confusing and over complicated. 
 •  5* Especially spag, the videos and activities are perfect for introducing a theme, applying and then developing into independent writing. 
 •  4* A brilliant resource that reduces teacher workload which is what we all want more of! We still have to follow a set structure in our planning and adapt for the class and set children so can’t purely use this resource.
 •  4* It reduces teacher workload which is what we all want! A great bank of engaging resources when teachers are particularly stuck on a topic they are teaching. I still have to adapt for children’s need and ensure I am providing differentiation. 
 •  3* The planning is not easy to adapt to meet the needs of the children. It is best to dip in and out of the resources
 •  4* As the resource has a catalogue of materials for all year groups/key stages it is mostly possible to find relevant documents, videos etc to match core and foundation subject planning needs. 
 •  3* Completes coding unit but not as well as would like
 •  4* Great ideas to use
 •  2* A lot of setting up time and it is not that clear
 •  4* Really clear progression and next steps easily identified. A link to other activities within the programme would be nice.
 •  3* Ideas, stimuli and images for when I get stuck! Saves time trawling the internet for potentially incorrect images 
 •  3* Links with national curriculum but not with other topics we may evolve and follow. Could link better with things that are happening in the world
 •  2* Don't use it in that way. I might use the occasional video or activity. Dip in and out of it really.  Often get frustrated that there is nothing relevant 
 •  3* Some subjects (RE very strong) are good.  Others take too long to find to make worthwhile - this impacts its usability
 •  4* The curriculum map is very useful and links well especially in science. Sadly though there are some areas of the curriculum which are not addressed. 
 •  4* The site is easy to navigate and the resources can fit nicely into lessons.
 •  3* Some content available which is suitable and meets needs of planning.  Could be updated or reviewed in line with other platforms 
 •  3* Many strands available and it allows for use in a lesson’s main part, introduction or plenary, which is helpful.
 •  3* Not all content matches curriculum accurately 
 •  3* I find it useful for adding visual bits to lessons but further than that, it's not too useful. More specific content that closely matches the national curriculum and is flexible enough to mitigate the challenge of schools approaching things differently would be good 
 •  3* Use it as a bolt on after planning usually if it’s appropriate. An in depth planning tool would be helpful. 
 •  3* Some useful plans but not always aligned with some of the resources for planning that we use in other subjects

 

What improvements could make this better value for money?
 • 4* Good value due to wide range of content.
 • 3* It’s quite expensive as it does not offer everything as some other sites do. 
 • 4* Lower the cost as a result of loyalty to the platform? Be able to set up homework through school’s learning platform.
 • 3* It becomes a consideration as a regular resource  and is difficult to split into subject budgets to be considered independently 
 • 5* I think it’s good - but depends on individual schools and what they already have. As with anything else lower price 
 • 4* Good value. Good videos. 
 • 4* I think it is good value for the money as we can use it across the school and different curriculum areas.
 • 5* The reason we have signed up to using the resource is because of the wide range of curriculum areas it covers, coupled with the associated costs. The resource is not particularly cheap, but offers great value for money, and with everything in one place.
 • 4* Regular updates of the content of the pages and news bites updated more for the more relevant news climate etc 
 • 2* Allowing schools to purchase software for just some groups of learners. The company only allows you to buy licences for the whole school even though it is not used by some year groups. This makes it very expensive and an inefficient use of resources as I would rather invest in an alternative software for those where Espresso isn't appropriate.
 • 3* It is more expensive than similar products with less available that can be directly implemented with ease. 
 • 5* Continue to develop resources to further develop elements of curriculum not yet covered - such as further spag elements, reading techniques and handwriting. 
 • 3* Many of the resources are free which is great to see and not always the case with other resources. It would be good to have resources for the younger pupils in school.
 • 4* Some parts of the website can be accessed for free. Content for the younger children in Foundation Stage would be good so it can be accessed by the whole school.
 • 4* Good value for money. It includes a range of activities for EYFS, KS1 and KS2. It covers all areas of learning and national curriculum subjects
 • 3* due to cut-backs and limited budgets schools are thinking twice about continuing with subscriptions, ultimately this means that children do lose some experiences....therefore costs to subscribe are key!
 • 2* Would like something better
 • 4* I will always recommend this to colleagues
 • 3* Good value 
 • 3* We’ve found other resources better value, if you place value on that teachers prefer them and therefore used it! We fizzled off this fairly quickly
 • 2* Not for me
 • 3* Link more objects throughout the functions. Opportunities to use the skills learnt in the ICT in order to other skills
 • 3* We have found that after the inital purchase teachers quickly stopped using it. Something to keep it used! 
 • 3* Much more content across the curriculum.  Some new topics that the children can better relate to.  Assessment opportunities 
 • 3* I feel other resources have overtaken it for value for money - hence why we are not using as a school going forward
 • 3* More resources to address all curriculum areas especially in science. This would make it even better value as we have to look to other resources to plug the gaps. 
 • 3* Would pay more if updated and catered for all needs. More ideas and resources would be ideal. More videos and online activities 
 • 4* Adding further content if possible with a little more depth would be helpful. Maybe have an opportunity for children to feedback on aspects of the site and rate their enjoyment might be beneficial.
 • 3* The range of content is good and broadly comparable to other products. My issue is that it still has many resources and activities I was using 8 or more years ago 
 • 3* Cost is always a major consideration and is always under review. A lower charge might encourage us to keep it. 
 • 3* Lower cost per pupil especially for a one form entry smaller school.  Discount for long term subscription

 

How well does it support home use / independent learning?
 •  3* It’s accessible only to users with fast internet capabilities - it loses its accessibility when families have slower bandwidth. 
 •  3* The resources are very good in video format. I don’t think it would relate well to home learning because there’s not enough content to make a whole lesson around it. 
 •  5* Easy for children to access content on many platforms in their own home. Parents use it to help children with homework on occasion.
 •  4* As mentioned earlier, it is time-consuming to set up the children’s accounts and the methods used to login sometimes don’t function as they should especially the QR code reader login.
 •  5* We like resources that children can access from home and this enables the children to do this.
 •  4* Again, this is not something we have really focused on using, but I do know children independently log in at home to further their own knowledge and understanding
 •  4* Was really useful driving lockdown once all the pupils could get on the site. Parents found it really friendly to use. 
 •  4* Very easy to access remotely. We used this software during both pandemics and this means that children can access similar content to what would have been provided in the classroom in 'normal' times.
 •  5* Videos and activities that are available can be embedded to school portal if required. In addition, children logins allow them to access at home, with activities set for them to complete. 
 •  3* Parents struggle to engage with home learning and many would need a simple task to be able to effectively help at home. Many prefer printed tasks and don’t have access to a computer so would not engage with the quizzes etc. 
 •  5* School can provide the children with access at home
 •  3* home access is an option, which would offer lots of learning opportunities for the children and their families. however, due to costs we do not consistently offer access to school subscription sites
 •  4* Easy for non teaching staff (parents etc) to be able lead their child without specialist knowledge

 

©Schoolzone 2022. Please contact us if you would like to reproduce any of this review

Search all reviews