Homework and Independent Learning

Independent Learning for Years 7 and 8

Independent Learning is an approach to education in which students acquire knowledge by their own efforts and develop the ability for enquiry and critical evaluation.

  • It includes some freedom of choice within the limits of a given project (and with teacher guidance).
  • It places increased educational responsibility on the student for the achieving of objectives and for the value of the goals.

Why is IL important?

Some of our students will be doing jobs that do not exist yet. It is vital that they are independent learners. The aims of our IL strategy are:

  • To develop good working habits…
  • …in order to develop IL skills…
  • …to increase the chances of success.

How does IL different to Homework?

  • IL provides more choice for students about what they learn and how.
  • IL requires and develops better organisation.
  • IL is often more project-based and often makes links to real-life.
  • IL is often open-ended to promote greater creativity and personalisation.
  • IL requires and develops resourcefulness.

How is IL organised and what is an ILP?

Some subjects will incorporate IL principles into regular assignments over the course of the year but, in most subject areas students are given differentiated Independent Learning Projects (ILPs) to complete over an extended period of time. Each ILP will have 2 ‘pit-stops’ before a final deadline. One of these will be peer assessed; one will be self-assessed and the final ILP will be teacher assessed.

A schedule is issued in consultation with staff at all levels. This schedule is made available for parents and is displayed in each Faculty area and on the school website.

Independent Learning for Years 9, 10 and 11

IL for years 9, 10 and 11 will be set as homework has been previously but we want to emphasise the focus on learning and the development of independence. We also recognise that IL may not take place at exclusively at home but in after school clubs, via mobile technology etc.

IL outside of lesson time is a recognised learning tool that not only allows students to extend and enhance the learning they have completed within the classroom it also enable students to develop the skills and attitudes they will need to become successful lifelong learners. IL in these years will be set regularly by subject teachers.

As a guideline examination subjects will generally be setting a minimum of 60 minutes IL per week. Other subjects may set IL of approximately 30 minutes per week. IL may include a range of tasks including research, a learning task, extended writing or essay practice. Longer projects and course work may also be included as part of the IL set for students.

All IL must be recorded in the planner and submitted to the subject teacher by the deadline set.