Since taking on a head of department role four years ago I have had the same flashback every time I sit down at my desk on the first morning back. I was up on the bleak wilds of Dartmoor in October with the daylight fading and rain coming down fast and furious. I wasn’t sure where I was or where I was going. Panic rose in my throat. I was lost.
James and Louise play a game of pool. Louise strikes the ball at a 45-degree angle and watches with great fascination to see how many times the ball bounces against the cushion. She wonders if the number of bounces would change if she had a bigger or a smaller pool table. She drags James around countless pool halls, keeping a record in a hand-drawn tally chart attached to her clipboard, until she believes that she has collected enough data to find a pattern. After several hours of puzzling, Louise finds a rule and is able to use this rule to find out how many bounces there will be on any pool table in the world!
For the 2016/17 academic year I was determined that I would use a more flipped learning and independent learning style with my A Level students, and start introducing it with my GCSE classes as well. I wanted to do this as I felt that by spoon-feeding the students the information I was doing them a disservice and, rather than educating them, I was just schooling them for the exam. I also selfishly, wanted to try and create a better work/home balance and be more organised in my planning.