The Flipped Classroom - how can my child benefit?
What is a flipped classroom?
This learning model flips the traditional lesson-then-homework model, so that pupils take their lessons at home online, and then ask questions, engage in discussions and complete exercises (traditional homework activities) via interactive sessions with the teacher and other students in the classroom.
It’s a model that’s found most often in universities, but growing evidence shows it has value for secondary school pupils too.
The benefits of a flipped classroom
In one survey, teachers reported that the flipped classroom allowed them to do more activities that had higher impact. They could guide discussions, supervise group work, and target support to learners who need it – instead of spending class time explaining concepts in a one-size-fits-all way, which can be too slow for some learners and too fast for others. Meanwhile, each student can learn the concepts at their own pace, at home.
At first, pupils may say they prefer the traditional classroom model and feel they learn more in this way, which is not necessarily the case. Thanks to learning technology, flipped online sessions can be designed to promote ‘active learning’, which has been shown to increase the effort pupils put in, especially if the benefits of the flipped approach are highlighted to students from the outset.
Another study found that the flipped approach helped students deepen their learning by asking more meaningful questions in class, because they had time to develop new knowledge and reflect on the course content at home. Many students from this particular study said they would welcome more flipped lessons in future.
The flipped classroom at Harrow School Online
At Harrow School Online, students work through interactive self-study materials to develop an understanding of subject content, and then have targeted lessons in a virtual classroom where teachers explore their understanding of that material.
Class sizes are small – no more than ten pupils – so teachers get to know their pupils well. Lessons are highly interactive, and teachers make use of tools like polling, interactive whiteboards, and break out rooms where pupils work with their peers.
Laurie Phippard, Mathematics and Further Mathematics teacher at Harrow School Online explains the advantage of this approach well: “One of the fantastic benefits of studying maths at Harrow School Online is that you can access the mathematics content at your own pace. You can revisit it as many times as you wish. Your tutor will support you with topics that you might find daunting, but in addition enrich or extend as needed for other topics, and of course encourage.”