AN INNOVATIVE teacher has gained international recognition for inspiring youngsters to excel in exams through social media and a popular online channel.

Stacey Rea has created almost 200 videos for her successful YouTube channel which are promoted through Twitter and designed to aid revision for pupils working towards their English Literature GCSE.

With more than 4,000 subscribers and over half a million hits this year, the young English teacher from Greenfield Community College’s Sunnydale Campus, in Shildon, last week signed a deal with Canadian digital entertainment company Broadband TV Corp to help boost her reach and rake in more advertising money.

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It comes at the same time as she received a certificate of excellence from the national Pearson Teaching Awards naming her teacher of the year in a secondary school.

“It’s nice to get recognition outside of the classroom,” said Ms Reay. “And this contract is exciting, if it takes off.”

She began creating videos five years ago to help with a class who did not do extra work outside lessons.

Following initial success, the teacher continued producing them and now uses them as a tool to help Years 9, 10 and 11 prepare for their closed-book GCSE exam.

With 15 poems and three texts to learn including a modern drama, Shakespeare play and pre-1970 novel, the videos not only cover a broad range of aspects and give sample answers but help pupils memorise quotes.

“I think it makes a difference to the kids,” added Ms Reay. “When you read the work you know if they have taken on board the revision.

“I think it (revision) is less of a burden if you are using technology and social media that they use and their phones are never far away from them.

“I just want the best for them, especially when the exam is much tougher now.”

Ms Reay uses her Twitter account to promote her videos and engage with students to encourage them to continue progressing.

Her tweets have about 3,000 views a day from users across the UK, including a number of schools who follow and retweet her and her videos.

“Twitter allows me to so send out information I need to and ask questions,” she added. “Years 9, 10, and 11 always respond.

“It’s an easy way of sharing things and they can get a quick answer.

“They’ve got access to an English teacher even though it’s not a person.”

Ms Reay has already noticed a shift in work ethic and improvement in written responses during her one-and-a-half years at the school and is hoping for a good set of results from her Year 11 pupils this summer.