Independent study is essential. It gives pupils the opportunity for research, develop independent learning skills and reflection. Through independent study, students are able to consolidate previous learning and prepare for future topics; extend learning in the classroom and assess progress towards their targets; receive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work in each subject area and develop the skills they will need to in preparation for exams.
The term ‘homework’ is replaced with ‘independent study’ and all independent study will be identified to students by teachers as either ‘Pre’ or ‘Post’ independent study. These changes highlight the importance of this work outside the classroom and emphasise the way that it will be fully integrated into the learning that is done in lessons.
‘Pre’ Independent Study – this could be to ‘pre-learn’ contextual information and develop understanding or vocabulary.
‘Post’ Independent Study - This comes from what students have learnt in class. This is where knowledge and skills can be practised, applied or consolidated for retrieval.
Flexible Challenge – Periodically, departments will be asked to set an optional piece of independent study (such as Microsoft Form) around a topic which is not necessarily covered in class but would be an opportunity to build cultural capital. Achievement points would be awarded accordingly and would feature as an inter-house competition.
Extra Credit pieces of work – Each department will provide suggestions of optional homework projects that students can complete which is beyond their normal studies. Students will be rewarded with achievement points and will feature in a special Extra Credit Exhibition where parents will be invited to see all the excellent work completed over the course of the year.
How frequently should independent study be set?
Students are expected to spend two hours a day on independent study. This includes general reading and literacy, and numeracy tasks such as Time Table Rock Stars. Research conducted by the EEF states that students who conduct two hours of independent study per day perform significantly better than their peers who would do less.
Student planners contain the independent study timetable for the two-week timetable. This is so students have a rough guide of what they will need to be working on each night. It will also aid parents and carers in supporting their child.
Independent study timetable.