Independent learning – learning outside the classroom including homework – is important in building resilience and self-organisation amongst our students. It is also vital in ensuring they develop the study skills that will support them in further and higher education. Independent learning tasks are based on knowledge and skills retrieval and consolidation.
Independent Learning tasks should be frequent (weekly for English, Maths and Science and every two or three weeks for most other subjects depending on the number of lessons) and short in length; based on current teaching in lessons and on knowledge retrieval.
Students will not be asked to learn anything ‘new’ where misconceptions could go unnoticed. The focus is on quality and not quantity – for example, learning and mastering the 10 most important quotes from a text that can be used to answer a variety of questions in English as opposed to learning 25 quotes that might be forgotten leaving students without the knowledge of the most important.
Independent learning will be most effective when it involves practice or rehearsal of subject matter already taught and when it is based around knowledge organisers that support students with core knowledge.
Types of tasks we set and online platforms
- Self quizzing to test knowledge
- Mind maps
- Revision cards
- Key terms
- MathsWatch (Maths)/Carousel (English)/Seneca (Science) or similar knowledge retrieval platforms – all accessed through Epraise
Supporting our students
All independent work set on Epraise with independent learning tasks modelled by teachers so all students understand what is required. Students will have knowledge organisers for each term in each subject to support their independent learning and staff will contact parents if they feel a student is not meeting expectations. Independent learning support sessions are available after school for those that need help and guidance and the use of computer rooms at lunchtimes can also be arranged. Students not meeting expectations will be required to attend homework club in order to be supported when completing future independent learning.
How Independent work will be assessed
Regularly, at the start of lessons there will be a review/test/quiz based on the independent learning work. In addition, the programme on which the students complete the tasks will give the teacher the scores to enable them to see if students are engaging with the activities to the standard that we would expect.
Examination Year groups
Additional independent learning work focused on preparing students specifically for their external examinations will be set by the teachers of Years 11, 12 and 13. This may include essays and past paper examination questions.