Highgrove Education

What is flipped learning and why does it matter?

Flipped learning

What is flipped learning?

Flipped learning is an approach to teaching and learning which reverses the traditional classroom environment. In a traditional classroom, teachers will explain subject content in class, and then pupils will often be set some practice work for homework. With a flipped learning approach, pupils are asked to develop an understanding of subject content prior to joining their lesson, and classroom time is used for consolidation and practice of what they have learnt independently.  

How does flipped learning work?

The flipped learning model transforms teaching and learning. Requiring pupils to work through self-study materials gives them more freedom and responsibility, supporting them to develop independent learning skills. It provides a naturally differentiated learning environment, in which each pupil can work at a pace that suits them with the level of support they need to succeed. It also means the teacher can give feedback to them in the all-important practice stage of learning, supporting them as they apply what they have learnt.

How do we use flipped learning at Highgrove Online School?

At Highgrove Online School, we believe the reason for our success is our unique flipped learning approach. It is cognitively challenging to learn independently through self-study materials, but that means pupils retain more of the information learnt, and over time become accomplished independent learners. Our approach is also far more akin to how students study at university, and therefore prepares our learners fully for the future.

The quality of the self-study materials our pupils work through is key. Our materials are interactive, so that pupils are active learners throughout and not just passively watching a series of YouTube videos or recorded lectures. They introduce concepts through short text or video explanations, with diagrams, click throughs and flashcards. They are rich in activities and questions, giving pupils the chance to put into practice what they are learning and get instant feedback on any mistakes they make. They also include weekly teacher-marked homework to ensure pupils get thorough feedback on longer form exam style questions.

Our teachers have full visibility of our pupils’ progress through their self-study courses, and their taught lessons specifically target the areas of the curriculum that pupils have found challenging in their independent work. Our small online classes of up to 12 pupils at GCSE and 10 at A level allow fully interactive lessons, with a focus on application of the knowledge taught in the self-study courses to problems and exam questions. We expect full participation in pair work, group work, and collaborative problem solving, which is of course possible because pupils are already familiar with the materials being taught.

Our approach to online learning also frees up time for our teachers to give individual support to pupils when they need it.  Our teachers can be booked for one-to-one support sessions and are available for drop-in ‘office hours’ slots. They will proactively invite pupils to these slots if they feel the pupil needs additional support.  This one-to-one provision sets us apart from other schools and helps us provide individualised online learning programmes where each pupil gets the amount of time and support they need. 

Why should you consider trying flipped learning?

The balance between independent study, live lessons and one-to-one support creates a powerful learning environment, with fewer fixed appointments and more flexibility. Our pupils are taught to take responsibility for their own learning, allowing them to flourish as they go on to university.  As one of our pupils put it, ‘You’re tested to your own limits, as opposed to everybody’s expected level’. Another describes it as learning that is “100% efficient”. Another says, “It’s great. It’s like we’ve hacked the system.”

Flipped learning is a powerful pedagogical approach that can supercharge pupil progress by transforming classroom time and changing the roles of teachers and students. We think the results our team have achieved with this approach speak for themselves – 78% A* or A at A level last summer, with several best in the world exam results. For pupils looking for a more dynamic learning model where they have greater flexibility, freedom and responsibility, it’s definitely an approach we’d recommend.

Contact us now to see if it works for you.

Link to this Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp8q7bRgzXU&t=5s