In order to best use our resources, we felt it important to explain the pedagogy behind them and guide you on ways that you can use them to better aid your teaching and benefit your students.
With over 20 years’ experience in IT covering both educating of adults and secondary schools students, we have confidence in our approach. We know that not all teachers will agree with our approach and therefore the information provided below is only to act as a guide, if you feel you have a better way to use our resources then please feel free. The aim for us is that our resources will benefit your students in the best way possible.
At the end of the day there is no right way to teach, Ofsted will look for any successful approach that delivers results.
Our resources have been designed in a way that promotes independent learning and work well in a flipped classroom approach.
This approach will encourage your students to become independent learners, whilst maximising the productivity that can be achieved in your lesson. Students will enter your classroom with the knowledge required to complete the tasks set, and to the cement their understanding that they have gained prior to even passing through your doorway.
In order to achieve this, we recommend the following approach:
Preparation for the lesson
- In preparation for a lesson the student should log in to the hyperteach website and watch the topic video
- Each video has an individual activity, it is up to you is you wish for the student to complete this in preparation for the lesson, or complete this within the lesson, this may depend on the length of your lesson)
- The student should not attempt the group activity outside of your classroom
- Whilst watching the video, the student can fill in the keyword descriptions on the flipped learning mat (FLM) provided
- The student should attempt to complete the other question on the FLM, but they should not dwell on the deeper thinking question, as this is designed to challenge the student and they may find this easier after the classroom-based lesson.
- The student should attempt the end of topic quiz
During the lesson
- Get the students to read the relevant sections of which ever textbook you are using to support your course
- Get the students to complete the individual activity if you choose not to set this as homework
- Complete the group activity
- Ask the student to make any improvement to the contents of their FLM based on their improved understanding (we recommend asking the students to use a different colour pen to the one previously used, this will allow you to assess their progress)
- Spend a few minutes (we suggest a maximum of 5 minutes) discussing the different answers to the deeper thinking question from the FLM.
- Move on to the challenge tasks for the second part of the lesson.
Hyperteach resources are all developed to prepare your students for success in their exams, therefore our resources will only cover the material required. Although it may seem a good idea to stretch your brighter students by getting them to look deeper into some topics or to investigate similar topics this will only be to the detriment of their studying. If you were preparing a student for a French exam and they had some spare time, you wouldn’t get them to look at Spanish, this will just cloud their knowledge. Because of this, our resources will only provide challenge that will better prepare the student for the qualifications they are studying.
That is not to say that having a deeper understanding of a subject will allow the student to link various concepts and ideas together. However, this is a level of skill that is not necessary to achieve well at GCSE or A-Level.
By using our recommended flipped classroom lesson structure, you will deliver your challenge within the second part of your lesson, as this is when the students will be looking at tasks that can tackled in several ways. In the case of Computer Science, we recommend that this time is used for programming tasks, allowing the knowledge learnt to be explored and developed using critical thinking techniques.
At the end of the course all the students will be sitting the same exam paper, therefore we do not believe it is beneficial to the students to differentiate by task. Every student should be able to tackle every task; however, some students may require more scaffolding than others to achieve this. Differentiation should always be used to bring all students up to the same level, it should never hold a student back.
This is where the flipped classroom approach works well in delivering both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 lessons.
There are 7 methods of differentiation, these are:
- Flexible-pace learning
- Collaborative learning
- Progressive tasks
- Digital resources
- Verbal support
- Variable outcomes
- Ongoing assessment
Using these methods makes it possible to cater for a wide range of abilities within a class.
By allowing the student to prepare for the lesson outside of the classroom, you can automatically accommodate the slower paced learners. Therefore, faster learners are not held up.
In the classroom, the faster students can move on to the second part of the lesson, when they are ready, allowing the slower learners to finish off the tasks set. The only exception to this is the group activity, but you can allow students to pause the individual activity and to return to it afterwards if they have not completed it.
Group activities are an excellent way to empower quieter students to participate more in class. Using mixed-ability groups of pupils gives high achievers a platform to vocalise their ideas, and lower ability students a way of collaborating with and learning from their peers.
It is possible for teachers to set separate work or exercises to different students based on their abilities. However, we believe that this is detrimental to the students, as you are highlighting the differences in their ability publicly, and they all have to sit the same exam at the end of the course.
By using our deeper thinking questions on the provided FLM, you will see where the students have a greater understanding of a topic, without alienating the weaker students.
The second part of the proposed lesson structure will provide programming tasks that get more complex as the student makes his or her way through. Allowing students with a slower pace of learning to work at their own speed, it also gives a vehicle for more academically able students to progress to the more challenging questions more quickly.
When completing the activities set there will be opportunities to use interactive tools and digital applications, this allows mixed-ability classes get the opportunity to approach a topic or subject from different angles.
This differentiation method allows different materials, platforms and tools to be used to bring about the same learning outcome.
Dialogue is core to this differentiation method. Whilst students work on their classroom activities, the teacher can move around and question them on the topic, to see what they have learned. This is a great opportunity to identify and challenge any misconceptions that they have, and provide the opportunity to ask higher order questions, such as “Why?” rather than “What?”. However, please keep in mind that there only a defined set of knowledge required for the exam and going outside of this is of no benefit to the student achieving a better grade.
Based on different learning abilities you can adapt your vocal explanations and support for different academic levels. Using targeted questioning you can produce different levels of response.
This is not “what the students produce”, this is about setting specific goals that they can achieve. Example of this could be “Could you provide a second reason why”, “can you explain…” or “what additional benefits are there?”. This is easiest to achieve whilst differentiating with verbal support.
By using our resources, you can easily carry out and demonstrate both formative and summative assessment.
By using our provided FLM in the manner suggested, you can review the student’s level of knowledge as they proceed through the topic. You can also assess progress by allowing the student to make any improvement to the contents of their FLM based on their improved understanding in a different colour pen to the one previously used.
This will provide you with the opportunity to formatively assess each student’s ability.
You can see each student’s transcript at any time as well as tracking their progress using our custom tracking spreadsheet, this will allow you to compare each students level of progress in relation to their target grade. From this you can see which topic areas require additional coverage to best prepare each student for their exams.
This provides you with an easy to use summative assessment which includes an expected grade.