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How to improve pupil progress by flipping learning

Andy Goodeve

Written by Andy Goodeve

Andy is our Head of Pedagogical Services with extensive experience in education leadership across a range of socially challenging diverse schools in varying locations. His experience includes differing age ranges including secondary, middle, primary and junior schools.

Have you tried flipped learning?

Flipped learning is a pedagogical approach in which 'teaching' moves from the normal classroom learning space to the individual learning space. The classroom is then transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the teacher guides and facilitates pupils' learning as they apply skills and engage creatively in the subject content.

What is flipped learning?

The Flipped Classroom is: ‘a classroom in which all the instructional content is viewed prior to the lesson, and the task is done in class'.  There are some practitioners who believe flipped learning is just for older pupils, or for the more able. But this is not necessarily true - provided the learning materials are appropriate to pupils' level of ability. 

The days of a teacher standing at  the front of the class 'preaching' to an audience delivering  to the class, at one speed, at one time are a thing of the past. The teacher is no longer the 'sage on the stage', but the 'guide on the side'. 

Jon Bergmann is a Flipped Learning 'Evangelist'. He is co-founder of the Flipped Learning Network™, a non-profit organisation which provides resources and research about flipped learning. He says ' I experienced this transforming reality myself when I taught. I remember one student telling me: “Mr. Bergmann, you weren’t really here, but you were here. It was kinda weird.” 

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How can you get started?

For successful flipped learning, make some learning videos. There maybe some already on You Tube, but pupils seem to prefer them when they have that personal touch. The videos do not need to be Hollywood productions, they just need to be fun and engaging. Maybe older pupils could create videos for younger pupils, taking flipped learning to the next level! 

How you use the videos is entirely up to you. You could set pupils homework to watch them before the lesson. Or pupils could use the videos in class in small groups, differentiated according to their ability. 

What are the benefits of flipped learning?

In the flipped classroom, pupils are more in control of their own learning, and therefore more motivated. Using this approach can also help to minimise the impact of teacher absence, enabling pupils to engage in meaningful, content-based learning. 

Setting up a successful flipped classroom could help you to improve pupil progress and reduce teacher workload - especially if you collaborate with colleagues to produce the video materials. 

Have you already tried the flipped learning approach? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below so that we can credit your ideas in a future blog post.  

 Download our first 'Assessing Without Levels' whitepaper