gamechanger.org.uk

BLENDED LEARNING: THE GAMECHANGER APPROACH

THIS WEEK, OUR NEWEST TEAM MEMBER JULIET SAT DOWN WITH GAMECHANGER DELIVERY LEAD GREG TO TALK ABOUT A BLENDED LEARNING APPROACH AND WHY THIS IS AT THE CENTRE OF GAMECHANGER’S PROVISION. 

Blended learning is a combination of different in-person learning experiences and technology-based learning.  It is arguably one of the greatest changes to occur in educational practice in the 21st Century, and technology is now incorporated into most aspects of the UK school curriculum. 

At Gamechanger, we extend the blended learning approach to incorporate the VARK model of learning (visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic). This combined, experiential model is at the core of our programmes for young people, which have been designed to accommodate a wide range of learning styles. According to a study published in the Journal of Experiential Education, students who participated in experiential learning activities demonstrated a 70% increase in knowledge retention compared to traditional learning methods alone.   

 

J: Can you please describe how Gamechanger sessions use blended learning? 

G: The Gamechanger blended learning approach has been developed by our educational and behavioural specialists, who draw on over 30 years of experience in experiential learning processes, encompassing a range of approaches and styles. A Gamechanger session begins with visually stimulating live drama or absorbing virtual reality, followed by opportunities to move around throughout the ‘making meaning’ section. Participants can then ask questions of our actors during ‘hot seating’ before becoming actively involved in physical and collaborative challenges during the Gamechanger Challenge section. 

 

J: Sounds brilliant. I’d imagine that all these different sections help young people to remain focused on the difficult social issues Gamechanger sessions raise? 

G: Yes, absolutely. Although there are scholarly articles that question theory around the VARK preferred learning styles, we have found that we are able to engage with all young people and that the focus and energy remains high throughout our programmes. The blended learning approach and its high engagement levels maximise opportunities to learn and improve access for young people, especially those who are at high risk from such serious threats as criminal exploitation and knife crime, for example. It is crucial that we are facilitating the learning of wider, applicable skills and behaviour change. These will help young people to make strong and positive choices in any number of situations in their lives. 

 

J: At Gamechanger, we are always inspired to maximise our reach within the time that we have. Do you think the blended learning setup helps with this? 

G: Yes: we present the topics in experiential, real life settings with as much authenticity as we can. This combined with the range of preferred learning styles maximises reach, understanding and impact. Of course, it is very important to be trauma-informed in the way that we work, so that nothing is glamourised, and we foster a safe environment for anyone with previous adverse experiences. 

We also encourage all adults, including teachers, teaching assistants and learning mentors to get involved in the sessions. And we even run INFORM information evenings for parents and guardians to increase community awareness. We’re all in this together, we have a collective responsibility as a community to be ‘upstanders’ rather than ‘bystanders’!

 

J: I agree! Can you talk about some of the feedback you have received so far through Gamechanger’s IMPACT and INTERVENTION programmes? 

G: We have now delivered over 40 sessions of IMPACT and INTERVENTION for thousands of young people across the UK. The socioeconomic demography of the areas and schools we have worked in has been varied, as has the school culture and the attitudes and behaviours of the young people. We have been humbled but not surprised by the hugely positive and encouraging feedback received from these sessions. We believe this is largely due to our pedagogical approach; constructivist, collaborative, integrative, reflective and inquiry-based learning. This is blended learning put into practice! 

 

Take a look at some of the below feedback from our recent sessions. Looks like blended learning is a hit!   And many thanks to Cleeve Primary School in Hull for the photos from their IMPACT session last month.

Get in touch today to find out more about Gamechanger’s transformational learning platform and programmes. 

Meet Gamechanger’s Partnerships and Business Development Executive, Juliet Chappell.

Juliet is a trained facilitator with over 10 years of experience in Theatre in Education (actor, writer workshop leader and director). She has a BA Hons in Modern History from the University of Oxford and a BA Hons in Acting from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. She is a qualified TEFL teacher and spent many years working across mainland Europe with a number of English language theatre companies and education providers. Juliet has also worked within the UK as an actor on stage and screen.

Juliet joined Gamechanger at the start of 2024, in a change of role from her career in the NHS. She is looking forward to focusing on business development and partnerships, with the hope of expanding the national provision of Gamechanger’s Impact and Intervention products. She is excited to see the portfolio evolve and is proud to be involved in the company’s mission to reach many vulnerable young people at risk of Child Criminal Exploitation and other major social issues.

Away from work, Juliet enjoys exploring the coast and moorland of her home county of Devon. Aside from hiking and sea swimming, she is interested in travelling, languages, theatre, current affairs and food (cooking and eating!)

Meet Gamechanger’s strategy and financial planning expert Richard Adam.

Richard’s role is to provide financial oversight and strategic support for Gamechanger. 

Richard is a qualified accountant and experienced Director with a background in manufacturing and digital businesses, including shared immersive spaces for education and simulated training environments. Richard is supporting the team with financial and strategic enterprise planning, providing a robust framework and development pathway underpinning the consistent and highest standards of service delivery and client satisfaction now and in the future.