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Independent Learning & Homework

Rationale

Independent learning is work that is set to be done outside the timetabled curriculum. It contains an element of independent study that it is not usually directly supervised by a teacher. It is important in raising student achievement. However, not all independent work is done at home; in fact, for some students who find it hard to work at home, or for some tasks which may require resources (books, software, equipment) more readily available at school, it is necessary or desirable to carry out the task at school. Independent work enhances student learning, improves achievement and develops students' study skills and as such is an integral part of the curriculum including developing organisational and study skills for life. It requires careful planning and integration into the scheme of work of each curriculum area.

Daily, weekly and monthly review activities give students opportunities to generate versions of what they know and understand, helping to strengthen future retrieval of the knowledge involved, build fluency, and identify where they might have residual gaps or areas of uncertainty.”

Tom Sherrington, 2019

Stokesley School aims to build on the current educational research to ensure the learning in the classroom is learning that is remembered across time.

Aims

Independent Learning allows:

  • Retrieval of key concepts and facts across time.
  • Any misconceptions to be addressed by the classroom teacher.
  • Improvement in retention and linking of concepts/information.
  • Consolidate and extend work covered in class or prepare for new learning activities.
  • Develop research skills.
  • Have an opportunity for independent study time outside of the classroom.
  • Show progress and understanding.
  • Provide feedback in the evaluation of teaching.
  • To enhance their study skills e.g. planning, time management and self-discipline.
  • To take ownership and responsibility for learning.
  • Engage parental cooperation and support.
  • Create channels for home-school dialogue.
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Implementation

Stokesley School does not have a fixed independent learning timetable with time allocated for different subjects on different evenings. This is to encourage students to learn to manage their time so that they do some independent learning each evening. However, in order to support all students, a suggested timetable to support time management and organisation is shown below for each year group in KS3.

In Years 7 - 9 each subject will set 10 - 20 minutes of independent learning as per the suggested timetables below.

Year 7Week 1Week 2
MondayEnglish and GeographyEnglish and IT
TuesdayMaths and HistoryMaths and Music
WednesdayScience and PEScience and Technology
ThursdayMFL and Philosophy and EthicsMFL and Art
FridayAccelerated reader/ 20 minutes of readingAccelerated reader/ 20 minutes of reading
Year 8Week 1Week 2
MondayEnglish and GeographyEnglish and IT
TuesdayMaths and HistoryMaths and Music
WednesdayScience and PEScience and Technology
ThursdayMFL and Philosophy and Ethics*MFL and Drama
FridayAccelerated reader/ 20 minutes of readingAccelerated reader/ 20 minutes of reading and Art
Year 9Week 1Week 2
MondayEnglish and GeographyEnglish and Option A
TuesdayMaths and HistoryMaths and Option B
WednesdayScience and PEScience and Option C
ThursdayMFL and Philosophy and Ethics*MFL
Friday20 minutes of reading20 minutes of reading

*not every week

All independent work will be scheduled to appear on a Monday morning on the Google Classroom in order for students to plan their week ahead. This allows students and parents to factor in any other outside of school activities that undoubtedly support the enrichment and general well-being of any individual.

Teachers will set the independent work as a Google Assignment with a due date selected.

Students should check with the scheduled Google Classroom post to ensure they have understood the expectations of the independent learning set and record it in their Student Planner.

Note: Students in Year 10 and 11 will be set for work that meets the demands of their chosen GCSE/BTEC courses. Independent work may consist of larger, less frequent tasks, but there will still be independent work set for students to complete with clear deadlines provided by the teacher. Independent work may include completion of coursework or small retrieval style tasks.

Typical Independent Learning Tasks

The table below is designed to help parents to support their student by knowing what “to look out for” as typical independent work is set.

Subject KS3 Typical Independent Learning
English Google multiple choice quiz
Extended writing
Reading
Mathematics HegartyMaths Quizzes
Science Revision tasks (“GOALs”) (Go Off And Learn)
Skills practice and consolidation
MFL Google Form Quiz
Selection of Activelearn Tasks
History Booklet for each term with various tasks; one will be specifically allocated each time.
Geography A physical booklet with tasks (Q&A, colour coding, comprehension etc) to complete followed by a short multiple choice google form in their google classroom
Philosophy and Ethics BBC Bitesize quiz/research tasks.
IT Google multiple choice quiz
Technology Google multiple choice quiz
Music Multiple Choice Quiz
Listening extract analysis
Art Sketchbook work
Internet based research
Drama Multiple choice quiz

Support

At Stokesley School we believe every student should receive the support they need to complete their independent learning. We currently offer the following support:

  • After-school Homework Club
  • Email support from teachers (up to 48 hour response time)
  • Student-Student support via Google Classroom stream
  • Asking for support at break/lunch time from teachers

Rewards

In line with Stokesley School’s first attention to best conduct, high quality independent learning and a good work ethic should be sensitively praised in class. Ambition points can be awarded on SIMS to alert parents/carers.  [AMB 1 – Outstanding Independent Work]

Additionally, at key points throughout the academic year, there will be celebrations and rewards for those students who consistently meet the highest of standards of independent work.

Sanctions

We do not expect our students to require sanctions for missing deadlines or not completing independent learning (including to a not completing to a satisfactory standard), but if they do, the information below makes clear the stages they will go through.

Flowchart found here.

When independent learning is set but not completed or completed to a satisfactory standard, as outlined by the classroom teacher, students will face a sanction.

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