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Independent Study (Homework)

The information below clarifies our expectations with regards to learning beyond the classroom at St Anne’s. This encompasses homework tasks which we now refer to as ‘Independent Study’ and links with our Remote Learning provision in the event of students and whole year groups having to isolate due to COVID 19 (see Remote Learning tab). All Independent Study tasks should have a purpose and be set using Microsoft Teams.

Research focussing on the relationship between independent learning and student achievement has shown clear benefits, particularly for students at secondary school. We strongly believe that learning independently helps to embed knowledge and skills acquired in class and provides students with the opportunity to develop a crucial range of learning habits including independent thinking, memory, resilience and initiative. 

Why is Independent Study important? 

  • It develops collaboration, by involving parents and others in the learning process and provides an important motivational function.
  • It strengthens 'retrieval' which allows students to not only KNOW more but REMEMBER more ready for their exams.
  • It develops resilience by allowing students to develop their ability to work independently. 
  • It develops discipline, by allowing valuable practice and extension of skills, knowledge and understanding learned in the classroom. 
  • It develops imagination, by allowing students to use materials and other sources of information that are not always available in the classroom. 
  • It develops independent study skills and positive learning habits that are essential for success both at St Anne's and into further and higher education. 

Independent Learning Strategies

To support students Independent Study, St Anne's have introduced 8 Independent Learning Strategies that can be used with Knowledge Organisers. These can be used to support a specific task set by a teacher or in addition to any Independent Study or Remote Learning tasks. To access the 8 Independent Learning Strategies (ILS) document, please Click Here

Knowledge Organisers

Knowledge Organisers are content based resources that cover all the vital information being taught each term in each subject area for every year group. These vital resources serve to support students in completing pre-learning of topics that will be covered in lessons, revision of what has been covered in past lessons and support parents in engaging with specific subject content. Our Knowledge Organisers are accompanied by 8 Independent Learning Strategies that support students to interact successfully with the content in the Knowledge Organisers.

All students in years 7, 8 and 9 have been provided with a Knowledge Organiser booklet (additional copies of these are available from student services for a small charge) and students in years 10 and 11 have been provided knowledge organisers from each of their class teachers as well as a folder to store them in (again available from student services for a small charge). You can also access all Knowledge Organisers for every subject and every year group on the school website in the student section under Independent Study. 

Students should be working proactively to address their learning gaps, go back through their class notes, create resources for revision and build their long-term memory through regular revision and testing. The provision of Knowledge Organisers and Independent Learning Strategies that students can deploy at home, allow lots of opportunities for students to develop effective independent learning habits even in the absence of specific Independent Study (homework) tasks. 

Frequency of Independent Study

KS3

Subject

Frequency

English, Maths, Science and RE (core)

1 per week 

All other subjects (non core)

1 per fortnight

 

 

 

 

 

 

KS4

Subject

Frequency

All subjects

1 per week 

 

 

 

 

Independent Study tasks may take anywhere between 10 minutes and 1 hour and at key stage 4 it may take longer. Students should also ensure that they are reading and engaging in Independent Learning Strategies (with Knowledge Organisers) 2 - 3 times per week. 

 

How can parents and carers help?

Students will need to work more independently at secondary school as they move closer to their GCSE exams and parent/carer interest and input are vitally important in helping them to do well: 

1. Provide a quiet environment and necessary equipment; 

2. Have a regular independent study routine; 

3. Praise effort, rather than achievement; 

4. Show an interest (especially to support time management and attendance at live lessons) 

5. Use the Knowledge Organisers to test their subject knowledge; 

6. Contact school if you have barriers to accessing Independent study (or Remote Learning, for example, no access to a device, Internet etc)

Non-completion of Independent Study

Students who do not complete their Independent Study tasks on time or to the required standard may be set a detention and be asked to complete or re-do the task.

Reasonable Adjustments - Equality Act 2010 

We have a duty under the Equality Act 2010, to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to Independent Study for some students due to their diagnosed disability or learning challenges. In such circumstances, differentiated or adjusted tasks may be more appropriate. Adjustments will be negotiated with the student at SEND review meetings and by discussions with parents and carers

Quality Assurance

All heads of department will quality assure that Independent Study is being set and assessed appropriately. Student voice will include a focus on Independent study and offer students the opportunity to discuss the work set by their teachers.