Aim: To deepen understanding and appreciation of History through implementation of the “flipped learning” teaching strategy in Key Stages 3 and 4
Background: Bexley Grammar School has a selective intake based upon academic ability so the project was centred on enhancing the learning capabilities of the most motivated students. There were already a number of long-standing school trips in place in certain year groups.
Enrichment provision was extended with a Year 10 residential visit to Berlin and Krakow to complement GCSE studies. A student survey gave positive feedback and those opting for GCSE History increased to 120 from a cohort of 192. A new extra-curricular trip to Dover Castle was planned for Year 7 in the coming years.
Flipped learning strategies were initiated across the Key Stage 4 curriculum enabling more class time for the development of higher order learning skills. Key aspects of the content were completed by students prior to lessons in Year 10 and 11. Again, student feedback was positive in terms of the lessons being devoted to the development of skills for examination questions as opposed to just coverage of content.
Other opportunities were developed as part of the wider enrichment week for the school with visits to the Imperial War Museum, the Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast taking place. Flipped learning was maintained in Year 10 and 11 and extended to Year 9. Based on the department’s experiences developing flipped learning across Key Stage 4, time was devoted to the process of implementing a number of scaffolding techniques.
A Year 7 Dover Castle trip was planned for June 2020 with the complete cohort of 224 students. Due to Covid-19, this and the Year 10 trips were cancelled. Opportunities for “flipped learning” were consolidated in Years 9, 10 and 11 and were extended to Year 8 students with refinements and scaffolding to assist them.
- Extending enrichment provision for Year 10 has deepened understanding
- GCSE History is regularly oversubscribed
- Flipped learning has been successful at Key Stage 4 as it has enabled classes to manage content in a more productive way, creating more opportunities for classroom focus on higher order skills
- The use of a virtual learning platform (Google Classroom) was beneficial, as materials are easily available for students to prepare for lessons and it’s an effective way to obtain feedback through surveys.
Flipped learning helped engage students with the 12 skills required for Edexcel GCSE. However, providing appropriate scaffolding materials and devising these as a team initially proved a challenge. Students are sometimes reluctant to play their role in this learning strategy. The most important success for the department was that the project provided the opportunity to re-think teaching pedagogy and to move beyond both teacher and student “comfort-zone”.
It is hoped that the success achieved in Year 10 will be replicated with the Year 7 day trip to Dover Castle from 2021.
Contact: Rob Goodall firstname.lastname@example.org