Ashhurst School Principal, Heath Chittenden, explains how they got teachers and parents prepared before rolling out flipped learning in their school. “Flipped learning is really important to be a school-wide focus because it actually is a pedagogical change to how you approach teaching.”
Flipped learning is really important to be a school-wide focus because it actually is a pedagogical change to how you approach teaching. It’s not something that’s added into your classroom, it’s actually a part of your class for everything. And it’s even a way that your school will function.
So the first part was actually thinking about what flipped learning was and thinking about it in a primary school context, how it would actually roll out. And whether the school had the infrastructure in place to actually implement it.
The first year was really about building a foundation of skills within the staff to actually be able to feel comfortable about actually getting to a flipped environment.
Teachers planning had to be digital and online. Teachers had to be confident about actually uploading material in.
The next focus really was around getting a common voice and a common pedagogy around what flipped learning is in essence. From the flipped learning global community, we looked at the level 1 training. All the staff in their teams went through the training modules which were very clear and succinct and they worked on those over a period of time.
The flip training is very simple to follow which meant that teachers were getting that content with minimal stress or anxiety and it’s in bite-sized chunks. And I really stress to people that’s how you should view it. Once every teacher had completed that we then got together and started having greater conversations about what effective pedagogy looks like in our school.
And started to try one curriculum area, the initial goal was to start with writing because it was our highest area of need. So we took one curriculum area and started to experiment as we were going through the training and then once we started to become more confident about what approaches we were taking, and that the sites were functional, and kids could access them easily, and that parents could if they chose to, then we started to increase the content across more curriculum areas.
Some teachers have now gone on to do the flipped level 2 certification training, it’s given them a deeper level of understanding. So now we’re beginning the process of going back over and starting to think about what we’ve actually provided and whether it’s reflective of where we are now.
Now we’re looking back at the videos we made initially thinking about things like about the content and were we explicit enough? I would say parents have been really positive about it. Most parents I talk to, and particularly when they enrol their students at our school, I explain to them about the flipped model.
As far as parents and community go, we had coffee clubs on a Friday morning for a couple of terms where we had parents coming in and we talked all sorts of topics around technology and flipped learning was one of those modules in the newsletter as well. We’re going to have whānau hui here soon where we’ll do a little section about flipped learning and what it means for our whānau. At parent interviews, our teachers first off start with the site and make sure that parents know that it’s there and then it’s accessible in multiple forums so our school app has it, you can get it off our website. There’s multiple ways that parents can engage.