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Hear how This Independent day School for Girls use FlashAcademy® to Support Their MFL Department

Situated in a prosperous Birmingham suburb, Edgbaston High School for Girls is an independent day school for girls aged 2 ½ to 18. As the oldest girls’ secondary school in the city, it has a long and proud history as well as an outstanding reputation for quality teaching and excellent exam results. The school provides a ‘21st-century education based on traditional values’, and it is this ethos of bringing subjects such as languages into the 21st century which sees FlashAcademy® sit comfortably in the toolkit of the MFL department. 

We caught up with Jane Johnson, Head of Modern Languages at Edgbaston High School for Girls, to see how she and her colleagues use FlashAcademy® in the classroom and how the students have responded. 

“It is well-known that students learn best when exposed to multiple styles of learning, and FlashAcademy® enables this with its innovative word games, audio and video features and interactive, adaptive challenges.”

Jane Johnson, Head of Modern Languages, Edgbaston High School for Girls

What language challenge has FlashAcademy® helped overcome?

At Edgbaston High School for Girls, students have the option to study French, Spanish, German, Latin and Greek, and the curriculum includes languages all the way up until Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form). Jane Johnson described a feeling we find echoed a lot in secondary schools across the country – that pupils find languages difficult and at times, inaccessible. With a large government emphasis on encouraging maths and science subjects, languages often take a back seat, coupled with the fact that English is the world’s global language.

Inspiring young minds is, above all, a teacher’s primary goal, and Jane describes how FlashAcademy® helps instil a love of language in the pupils at Edgbaston High School for Girls. At the same time though, she is realistic. The system dictates that students have to pass an exam, which will require they demonstrate their abilities across all four skills of language learning: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The ability to do that within one app with FlashAcademy® is a major benefit of the platform, in her eyes.

Students also commented on the range of topics available that align with their curriculum, as well as the different styles of exercises that encourage learning new words. It is well-known that students learn best when exposed to multiple styles of learning, and FlashAcademy® enables this with its innovative word games, audio and video features and interactive, adaptive challenges. One student commented that it’s a passive way of revising, which aligns with FlashAcademy®’s ‘learning that doesn’t feel like learning’ ethos. Pupils also enjoyed the competitive element and the leaderboards, commenting that it was challenging but also helpful and motivated them to achieve higher scores. 

“The team at Edgbaston High School for Girls would recommend FlashAcademy® as a classroom resource to any school considering bringing their teaching methods into the 21st century, particularly in the tricky modern realm of languages.”  

Jane Johnson, Head of Modern Languages, Edgbaston High School for Girls

How has FlashAcademy® helped the “flipped learning” transition?

Often there simply isn’t enough time in the school day for language study. Jane Johnson states how you can never learn enough in the classroom, which is why the ability to encourage students to learn independently using FlashAcademy® attracted the school to the platform. The school had also recently introduced iPads to use in the classroom, and FlashAcademy® was the perfect method to make use of that technology. With FlashAcademy®, students quite literally have language at their fingertips. 

The aim of flipped learning is to bridge the gap between school and home; where instruction moves onto the learner’s shoulders and the classroom environment becomes a dynamic learning environment where teachers encourage pupils to engage creatively with the language and concepts they have already encountered. Jane Johnson discussed the school’s commitment to a flipped learning ethos, and how FlashAcademy® is helping this transition.  

What outcomes did FlashAcademy® help reach for the school?

FlashAcademy® has integrated successfully into the curriculum at Edgbaston High School for Girls, forging an environment where students are able to excel in a subject that is traditionally seen as difficult, but at the same time, and perhaps more importantly, to enjoy the process of learning. By bridging the gap between home and school, FlashAcademy® also helps develop skills of independent learning, which are invaluable when students progress to further study and also helps encourage a genuine love of learning that will carry them through into adulthood and beyond. 

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