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Broadening Access to a Cultural Education through

Flipped Learning in KS3 Arts

1. Making the case: why flipped learning in arts?

In a climate of curriculum change and focus on the EBacc and Progress 8, access to arts education is
diminishing for young people. Entries to arts subjects in 2016 were at their lowest level in a decade (EPI,
2017) and squeezed school budgets mean that providing opportunities for all students to access high
quality arts and culture can be difficult. A number of Whole Education's schools are bucking this trend and
committing to cultural education and many are also successfully using 'flipped learning' as a way to
engage all young people in their learning - though few had explored flipped learning in arts prior to this

Flipped learning utilises digital content to take lower-order thinking skills outside the classroom, increasing
student independence and personalised learning. There is a growing body of research on the benefits of
flipped learning, particularly for students prone to falling behind, those who risk becoming bored with
'easy' content, and students for whom English is an additional language (Flipped Learning Network, 2013;
Nesta, 2015).

2. Project outcomes and methodology

2.1 Description of Project and Methodology

Through the project, staff in three Whole Education schools have trialled approaches to flipped learning in
their chosen arts subject at key stage three, learning from approaches seen at our ‘Expert School’,
Shireland Collegiate Academy (SCA), who have been developing flipped learning practices over a number
of years.

The timeline below details the main activities and outputs of the project:
Term Activities Who?

Term 1 -Launch event to see flipped learning practice at -Project leads from each of the three schools,
(Spring Shireland Collegiate Academy; initial meeting with staff from SCA, bridge organisation leads.
Term 2017) bridge organisation leads
-Planning for summer term scheme of work that
incorporates some flipped learning tasks

Term 2 -Delivery of flipped learning scheme of work, -Project leads from each of the three schools
(Summer evaluation and feedback to department/faculty -SH and bridge organisation leads
Term 2017) -Visits to observe flipped learning in action and
reflect on shared learning to date (summer and
autumn term)

Term 3 -Event to share learning and progress to date; Project leads from each of the three schools
(Autumn visit to Shireland Collegiate Academy to see arts-
Term 2017) specific flipped learning in action
-Delivery of second flipped learning scheme of
work and scaling to more classes within their
department/faculty. -SH and bridge organisation leads
-Skype meeting to share learning to date and
explore links to the cultural sector

Term 4 -Learning and next steps event - January 2018 All

(Spring -Going deeper and wider - sharing beyond the
Term 2018) department/faculty

2.2 Project outcomes and questions to be answered

The project has aimed to explore how high-quality arts education can reach all students, regardless of
their backgrounds, through high-quality inclusive and engaging arts lessons that use flipped approaches.

The key questions we sought to answer through the project are below. Reflections and learning around
these questions are detailed in section 5.
a) Does flipped learning increase student engagement with arts education?
-Does flipped learning support engagement for all students, regardless of background and provide a route
to engage with cultural education?
-Does flipped learning support engagement both in and outside of the classroom?
b) Is flipped learning a realistic approach to embed and scale by KS3 arts teachers?
-What are the barriers and enablers to implementation?
-What do teachers need to support them to implement and scale flipped learning in their school?

At the start of the project, we also planned to explore opportunities for better use of cultural providers’
digital resources. Feedback from both schools and bridge organisations showed that local/regional
cultural providers did not necessarily have a wide range of resources that could be used in this way and
that this would be an area that would need to be explored over a longer period of time, so we reduced the
focus on this and could explore this in future work. This could be fruitful to explore with larger cultural
providers to help them understand how teachers use flipped content and pedagogy and consider
implications for existing or future digital content.

2.3 Research methodology

As each school was implementing flipped learning in different contexts and with a different dosage
(different subjects, year groups, number of classes etc.) our focus was on collecting qualitative case study
data. We provided some guidance on how schools could gather both qualitative and quantitative impact
themselves, but we offered support to schools through running the focus groups and interviews ourselves.
We carried out some ethnographic research by spending visit days in schools to gather the case study
data and learning.

Each school case study included:

a) Student focus groups - c.30 mins per focus group for c.6 students from a variety of backgrounds.
Students were given a set of questions from the Learning Frontiers ‘Engagement Survey’ to rate
on a scale of 1-5, e.g. ‘I talk to my family and friends about what I’m learning in Art’. These
statements were used to get students to talk about their experiences of flipped learning and other
semi-structured follow up questions were asked.
b) Teacher interviews - these took place over the phone and in person and were a mixture of non-
structured and semi-structured questions to determine the impact and learning and help us to both
learn and adapt the project
c) Informal lesson observations
d) Collection of artefacts - including examples of work and resources

We analysed qualitiative data for each individual school to create the case studies, but also looked for any
common themes across the schools.

Teachers were supported to reflect on their own and student experiences of flipped learning and were
also provided with visit summaries based on the students focus groups, interviews and observations in
order to review and develop their practice as they went along.

3. Using flipped learning in arts to broaden access to a cultural education: school case studies

The case studies below are drawn from evidence around the pilot schools’ integration of flipped learning
tasks into schemes of work in their chosen arts subject at KS3. Full case studies are included as
appendices 2-6 and supplementary videos and resources are available on request.

3.1 Case Study: Fallibroome Academy, Macclesfield: Flipped Learning in Year 8 and 9 Drama

3.1.1 School context

Fallibroome Academy is a larger than average mixed 11-18 Academy in Macclesfield, Cheshire of around
1500 students. It is an outstanding National Teaching School and College of Performing Arts and is the
lead school in the Fallibroome MAT (a mixed primary and secondary MAT).

3.1.2 Description of school project/practice

Flipped learning has been trialled over three different schemes of work in year 8 and 9 Drama in summer-
autumn terms 2017, scaling up in number of classes and members of staff involved from 1 teacher and 1
class to 2 teachers and 4 classes. Before the start of the project, the school did not have an expectation
that homework would be completed in KS3 arts subjects.

By autumn term, the lead teacher had reflected that the below sequence of three flipped tasks would be
most effective in the scheme of work:
a) An Introductory task - students watch a video/read a piece of text etc. on the topic that they will be
b) Research based exploratory tasks - a range of resources uploaded to a common space (Google
Classroom) for students to research in advance of developing their collaborative group work
c) An evaluation task – students’ work (e.g. film trailer they have created) is uploaded to Google
Classroom and they complete a written evaluation against criteria

3.1.3 What has been the learning and impact so far related to overall project and school-specific
outcomes and any implications going forwards?

Student ● Flipped learning tasks provided some

engagement inspiration and opportunities to engage
and outcomes with the arts outside of school - e.g.
students reflected positively on
opportunities to share/discuss their work
with family and friends.
● More effective use of lesson time - “If you’re in the lesson and you get told what
students found the practical and creative you need to do, you don’t get much work
aspects of the lessons the most enjoyable, done. If you’ve prepared outside of the
so flipped learning allowed more lesson lesson and you’ve got a plan, it doesn’t need
time to spent on these, having a positive explaining at the start.” (Y9 Drama Student,
impact on student engagement focus group)

● Doing flipped learning meant that there
was more practical time in lessons and
quality of work increased. “If you’ve had to evaluate it as a homework
task you’ve got more time….you can actually
give constructive feedback” (Y9 Drama
Student, focus group)

Teacher ● Subject-specific guidance and examples

engagement were important for effective
and implementation in Drama - seeing
implementation examples in non-practical subjects wasn’t

Digital ● Exploring further use of available digital

resources, resources from cultural providers and
types of flipped potential virtual links is an area for further
task and links
development to be explored harnessing
to the cultural
sector the relationship between Fallibroome
Academy and Curious Minds

3.2 Case Study: George Spencer Academy, Nottingham: Flipped Learning in Year 9 Photography
3.2.1 School context
George Spencer Academy is a larger than average mixed 11-18 academy in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire
of around 1500 students and is the lead sponsor in the Spencer Academies Trust (a mixed primary and
secondary MAT), as well as a Teaching School.

3.2.2 Description of school project/practice

Flipped learning was trialled with one teacher (a photography teacher with 5 years teaching experience)
and one class in year 9 photography in summer term 2017. A different type of flipped task was trialled
each week, in order to evaluate effectiveness of the different approaches prior to scaling. These included:
-Use of Microsoft Office Mix - including use for quizzes
-Use of Pinterest
-Use of Google class sites for uploading resources such as photos and videos (both those made by the
teacher and those from youtube)
This was supported by engagement with local cultural organisations, including a visit to a local gallery for
a group of students and teacher engagement with Mighty Creatives, the bridge organisation, to support
development of the work.

The flipped learning approach was then scaled out in autumn term to both two other year 9 photography
groups and to year 7 art lessons, with another member of staff (the head of Art).

3.2.3 What has been the learning and impact so far related to overall project and school-specific
outcomes and any implications going forwards?

Student ● Impact on quality of work and student “After two weeks that [homework
engagement and outcomes – e.g. 100% of students making completion] wasn’t an issue, and it was
outcomes expected progress in flipped project and 78% about being consistent about it and tracking
above expected (compared with 85% and 50% it…And making the tasks so specific to what
previously) they were learning about in the lesson that
● Promotes creativity and personalisation even a few of the lads were being quite lazy
● Flipped correlates with increase in homework about it said they knew why they had to do
completion rates (now 100%) and quality, as it. ” (Teacher 1, GS)
students better understand why they need to
complete tasks “I think that all bar maybe one or two said
● More practical time and freedom in lessons they wanted to carry on doing it for GCSE.
● Early indications of an impact on GCSE uptake Not all of them are [due to options groups
already being allocated] but they did say
they all had a greater interest which was
great to see, especially some of the
disadvantaged students.” (Teacher 1, GS)

Teacher ● Flipped learning can change the way teachers “[It] helped with levels of independence in
engagement and operate, freeing them up to push students in the lesson. When they walked in they knew
implementation different directions exactly what to get started on, so I was freed
● Trying lots of different types of flipped tasks up to push them in different directions. So
can help evaluate effectiveness it’s changed the way I operate as a teacher.”
● Creation of resources became more efficient as (Teacher 1, GS)
the project progressed
● Scaling can work across arts subjects (art-
>photography) “I think one of the barriers was the IT
● Having CPD and support for IT implementation programmes, having no set up Google
is important as this can be a potential barrier, Classrooms or having used Office Mix. So we
but was found to be fairly easy to work around had to put in a bit of CPD” (Teacher 2, GS)

Digital resources, ● Office Mix (free) and online quizzes (e.g. “Now that I know we can take our photos at
types of flipped Kahoot) – useful in tracking student home…Me and a mate have organised to
task and links to completion of work and differentiation have a whole photography day at the
the cultural sector ● Using digital resources on relevant websites – weekend” (Y9 Photography student, GS)
Pinterest, Instagram etc. was useful. Students
enjoyed the creative aspects of these types of “I like when they set you tasks to do at home
tasks [and] say you can take pictures of things you
● Teacher videos available via Google Classroom like outside of school…it helps me and you
● Some of the flipped tasks are encouraging don’t have to do a certain thing and it helps
more students to engage with arts and culture with your work, instead of doing the same
outside of school thing as everyone else.” (Y9 Photography
Student, GS)

“I particularly like the use of Office Mix and

online quizzes because I could track during
the week who had done it, when they were
doing it. So I knew before they came in
exactly what was going on. It’s free as
well…” (Teacher 1, GS)

3.3 Case Study: Samuel Ward Academy, Suffolk: Flipped Learning in Year 9 Art

3.3.1 School context

Samuel Ward Academy is an outstanding 11-18 larger than average Academy in Haverhill, Suffolk and is
the lead school in the Samuel Ward Academies Trust (a mixed primary and secondary multi-academy
trust), as well being a Teaching School and Research School.

3.3.2 Description of school project/practice

Flipped learning was initially trialled with one teacher, the Head of Art (who has 32 years teaching
experience) and year 9 students in art. The resources were developed for the target audience of year 9,
but due to successes, the flipped learning approach is also being used with KS4 and 5. In autumn term,
the flipped learning approach was also adopted by a second art teacher.

The approach has been predominantly based around using videos to support flipped learning under the
three main categories below:
a) Videos and photographs of past A* graded sketchbooks, so that students are able to
independently develop their portfolios and monitor assessment objectives
b) Videos of Samuel Ward alumni who are now professional artists - so that students can study them
as artists for their portfolio and to raise aspiration
c) Videos from youtube demonstrating particular artistic techniques

3.3.3 What has been the learning and impact so far related to overall project and school-specific
outcomes and any implications going forwards?

Student ● Quality of work has increased – year 9 work is “When we were in year 8 and we weren’t
engagement and now what would previously have been considered doing the flipped learning, we were quite
outcomes year 11 standard often sitting there and we didn’t know what
● Flipped learning has had an impact on how to do and the teacher would give us one
homework is perceived – tasks are not viewed as task and then obviously everyone works at
conventional homework their own paces so we’d be sitting there
● Facilitates students being able to work at their waiting for the other people….doing it this
own pace way we know how each of us as individuals
● Creativity and personalisation work on our own and we can set ourselves
● Teacher/student interaction has changed our tasks to fit our working pace…We’re
● Impact on student wellbeing and reduction in producing a lot better work doing it this
anxiety way.” (Y9 Art Student, SW)

Teacher ● Flipped learning has been a transformative “It’s taken me 32 years to realise that
engagement and approach for the way lessons are taught and for flipped learning was what I needed to do!”
implementation teacher-student interaction (Art Teacher, SW)
● Using video technology to record flipped videos
and setting up a simple site was found to be less
complicated than expected
● Resources can be used across multiple classes –
e.g. Y9 flipped resources are being used to
support Y11 students

Digital resources, ● Videos/photos of A* graded sketchbooks were

types of flipped useful to support students to achieve assessment
task and links to objectives and to inspire them
the cultural sector

● Teacher videos and others via youtube
● Alumni videos
● Photographs etc. of previous students’ work

Other ● Creation of alumni artist videos has had a double “Parents have commented on how they
benefit of raising students’ aspirations and understand the courses we run and have
supporting alumni career development been far more involved with work.”
● Flipped learning has had a positive impact on
parental engagement

3.5 Using flipped learning in arts to broaden access to a cultural education

3.5.1 Summary of learning

Key theme Key learning and reflections

Student engagement ● Quality of work and progress made is increased – impact on outcomes for all groups
and outcomes of students, including disadvantaged students
● Development of wider skills through greater ownership – e.g. independence,
● Positive impact on wellbeing and reduction levels of anxiety for some students
● Flipped learning allows for more practical time in lessons and time to ‘go deeper’
● Flipped approach facilitates greater creativity and personalisation
● Changes in perception of homework and increase in homework completion
● Impact on differentiation and students being able to work at own pace
● Access isn’t an issue for disadvantaged students - all students had a route to access
the flipped learning resources regardless of their socioeconomic background

Teacher engagement ● Flipped learning has been a transformative approach for the way lessons are taught
and implementation and for teacher-student interaction
● After an initial outlay of time for resource creation, a flipped approach can reduce
● Starting with enough flipped tasks to evaluate success is important, as is incorporating
teacher reflection
● CPD on simple use of technology to support flipped learning ensures that this doesn’t
become a barrier
● Scaling works effectively across departments (e.g. Photography to art)
● Choosing the right project lead with enough time to test out and evaluate approaches
is important

Digital resources, ● A combination of teacher videos (narrated/demos) and those available via youtube
types of flipped task etc. were useful (quality assured by teachers).
and links to the ● Using sites like Pinterest to source visual content were useful, particularly where
cultural sector students could find images that were personal to them
● Cultural organisations didn’t always have easily accessible resources suitable for KS3
● Using flipped tasks such as quizzes, where students had to submit their work in
advance supported better differentiation in class, though students tended to prefer
the more creative tasks
● Some flipped learning tasks (e.g. planning a photoshoot) had encouraged students to
engage with the arts more outside of school

Other ● Getting alumni to create flipped videos can have a double benefit
● Flipped learning can increase parental engagement

3.5.2 What next? Recommendations on a toolkit to transfer to other schools looking to embed
flipped learning in arts

A new school looking to implement flipped learning in arts would benefit from the below:
● Selecting a project lead who has capacity to take on a leadership responsibility, perhaps as a
stepping stone to middle or senior leadership. They should have sponsorship support from the
headteacher or another member of SLT
● Attending a launch day where they would see flipped learning in practice in arts subjects and hear
from teachers who have implemented it and from students on their experiences and where they
would receive an electronic toolkit, which would provide guidance for them to refer back to
● Being part of a network of schools who are implementing flipped learning and mentoring support
from a teacher who is further ahead in the process

Key aspects to include in a toolkit (see appendix 1 for draft toolkit):

● Guidance on technology - e.g. a simple guide to creating and uploading a video
● Examples of flipped learning tasks that are relevant to arts subjects
● FAQs on potential barriers/issues
● Information on the benefits of flipped learning - to get other staff on board

4. Engaging the cultural sector and using digital resources

4.1 The current picture - what's working and what's not?
Bridge organisation leads identified the areas below as some of the key challenges in increasing student
engagement in arts and culture:
● Pressure in the school curriculum - EBacc/progress 8 and decreased focus on the arts
● School budget cuts and staff capacity
● Travel and geography (particularly in rural contexts), including schools getting cover for lessons -
both to attend CPD and for trips
● Making schools aware of opportunities available

The bridge organisations did some light-touch research with local cultural providers on potential use of
digital resources for flipped learning (e.g. a newsletter ‘shout out’ for interested cultural providers to get in
touch). Whilst there was willingness from some to learn more, there was limited existing work in this area
and this would need longer time to explore than the pilot would allow.

The project has provided a useful platform to forge links between the pilot schools, who are key schools in
trusts and alliances, and the bridge organisations in the regions, which would provide a longer-term
opportunity to develop collaboration and resources.

4.2 What next? Implications and recommendations for schools, cultural organisations and the
wider system
Some aspects to explore further:
● Integrate flipped learning into existing cultural education leadership programmes running in the
different regions, which are being led by bridge organisations. These include CALSA (Cultural and
Arts Leaders in Schools and Academies), being run in the East of England by Norwich and Norfolk
Festival Bridge and SLICE (Specialist Leaders in Cultural Education, being run in the North West
by Curious Minds.

● Explore potential for linking flipped learning into existing work on Artsmark and Arts Award,
including integration of training on flipped learning into the Artsmark Partners programme for
cultural organisations, which is developing in 2018.

5. Summary

5.1 What difference has the work made and what is the summary of learning so far? What is the
strength of the evidence collected and what are the gaps for further exploration?

The project has allowed us to see whether flipped learning is an effective strategy to increase student
engagement in arts at KS3 and collect learning around the barriers and enablers to the implementation
process for teachers, to see if this is a realistic model for scale.

We have made significant progress on the original objectives and gathering evidence around the key
questions outlined:

a) Does flipped learning increase student engagement with arts education?

For the pilot schools, the qualitative evidence collected to date is strong in its indication that flipped
learning has a positive impact on student engagement and their outcomes in arts subjects, with the
potential implication that students have increased motivation to take arts subjects at GCSE and beyond.
Some key themes emerged below:

i) Students’ engagement increased and they gained a greater sense of ownership, leading to
increased enjoyment:
 Students take greater ownership of their learning and are more independent
 Students Increased their engagement and effort both inside and outside of lessons.
For example, at George Spencer Academy, the percentage of students with above
expected levels effort in lessons moved from 54% to 72% and positive impacts
were seen outside of lessons included students planning photo shoots outside of
lessons (GSA), sharing work with their families (all schools) and buying their own
equipment (SWA)
 Homework is seen as more worthwhile and tasks were no longer always perceived
as homework, for example at George Spencer Academy homework quality
increased and students meeting deadlines moved from 90 to 100%.
 The flipped approaches supported engagement of all students, regardless of
background. Though there were limited barriers for disadvantaged students to
engage, teachers put into place opportunities for students to complete flipped tasks
in school (e.g. at lunchtimes) to ensure all students had equal access.

ii) All students make better progress in their learning in arts subjects – both academic and
development of wider skills
 Quantitative evidence suggests that students make better progress through flipped
approaches compared with previously – for example at George Spencer Academy
100% of students were achieving expected progress (formerly 85%) and 78%
above expected (formerly 50%).
 Students are able to complete more and higher quality work – for example at
Samuel Ward Academy students in year 9 were completing work that was of a
similar standard to that previously completed in year 11; in a Design Technology
project at Shireland Collegiate Academy, students completed 40% more tasks.

b) Is flipped learning a realistic approach to embed and scale by KS3 arts teachers?

Learning around teacher implementation was similarly positive. An implication is that this can lead to
increases in teacher motivation and wellbeing – essential given the current educational context and
retention issues. Two key themes emerged below:
i) All teachers believe flipped learning to be a positive approach that has transformed their
approach to teaching
 There was a change in the role of the teacher and teacher-students relationships, with teachers
being freed up to stretch and challenge. Teachers gained a greater understanding of students’
prior knowledge and artistic interests, so had the ability to differentiate and personalise to student
interests and abilities.
 There were indications that a flipped approach could reduce workload - after an initial investment
of time in resource development, teachers can re-use and adapt resources and they are freed up
to assess, stretch/challenge students better in lessons rather than having to do this all in written

ii) All teachers believe this is easy to implement and will spread across their arts departments and
 As a strategy to implement, teachers found the process was manageable to undertake within a
relatively short space of time and to scale out within their departments and schools.
 Scaling is already working well within the pilot schools – for example scaling across the Drama
department at Fallibroome Academy, scaling from Art to Photography at George Spencer
Academy and scaling across Art and into Design Technology at Samuel Ward Academy. Shireland
Collegiate Academy has already scaled to the whole school successfully over a number of years
and have learning and a whole school adoption audit that we have incorporated into the toolkit to
support others. Schools (and the bridge organisations in regions) are supportive of next phase
 The process was deemed to be financially sustainable over time - some investment was useful to
support training costs and resource development, but there were no large additional costings and
over time, as schools develop their own in-house specialisms, this would become less expensive.

The evidence collected is based on a range of qualitiative data (supplemented by quantitative data) and
gives strong indications of the above positive impacts in the pilot group of four schools. Due to the nature
of the ‘explore and test’ stage of the pilot, the schools have not all had the same ‘dosage’ and collected
common quantitative data. The evidence could be strengthened by undertaking the work on a larger scale
with a larger number of schools and classes and applying more consistent approaches across the schools
- see ‘next steps’ section for our plans.

5.2 What next? Summary of recommendations and next steps

We plan to scale this work out in each of the regions, using the existing schools as a hub to develop
flipped learning within their multi-academy trust and/or region. There is also support from cultural
organisations to link this work into their existing cultural education leadership programmes as a vehicle
through which to scale out this and engage the cultural sector in the process – such as Artsmark and
cultural education leadership programmes.

Each existing school is keen to act as a hub within their region, to train and support other schools to
implement flipped learning in arts subjects, as a basis for sustainability and scale. See example region
below, noting that we would plan to develop a bespoke model for each region to test different models
representative of the ecosystem. This would include two key elements:

a) Going even deeper in original schools – scaling across arts subjects
b) Going wider – working with other schools in the region, who will go deeper over time and
continue to cascade

A new school looking to implement flipped learning in arts would benefit from the below:
● Selecting a teacher or middle leader with enough capacity as a project lead; having a senior
member of staff as a sponsor
● Attending a launch day where they would see flipped learning in practice in arts subjects. This
would include: hearing from teachers who have implemented it; hearing from students on their
● Benefit from peer learning and support through being part of a network of schools and receiving
mentoring support from a teacher who is further ahead in the process (which is key according to
our experience)
● Receiving an electronic toolkit to support implementation

6. Documents available on request

The documents below include photos/videos and are available on request.

Appendix 1: Draft toolkit for developing flipped learning in KS3 Arts

Appendix 2: Fallibroome Academy Full Case Study

Appendix 3: George Spencer Academy Full Case Study

Appendix 4: Samuel Ward Academy Full Case Study