The rationale behind Independent Studies is to reinstate the Academy belief that learning outside of the classroom is an essential part of an outstanding education.
Independent Studies is an essential part of the learning cycle and provides students with opportunities to embed and consolidate in-class learning within their own personal and independent context.
We understand that a successful student is one that has engages fully in the opportunities presented. Our policy seeks in embed independent studies as such an opportunity, to be enjoyed alongside extracurricular activities.
A policy plays a part in our mission to transform learning and transform lives.
Subjects should ask students to engage in independent study tasks that are approximately 30 minutes long.
Tasks should not be onerous and should seek to ‘extend’ students’ learning. The purpose of independent studies is to enrich the learning experience rather than supplant it. Additionally, not all independent learning should be completed outside the classroom and where relevant, learning can be completed inside the classroom.
Year 7-8 will receive up to thirty minutes per week per subject. This equates to thirty minutes each day.
Year 9-10 students will receive approximately independent study tasks of approximately 30 minutes in length. Students will be allocated one task per subject.
Year 11 in their final year of study will receive up to forty minutes per week per subject.
Where possible, peer/self marking should be employed within the learning process to develop an understanding of how marks are awarded.
Independent study timetables have been created for each year group.
These can be viewed here.
Whilst the Academy believes that the reward of completing Independent Studies is about developing a confidence and progression throughout subjects, we do appreciate the need for SMART goals and incentives.
The logging of Independent Studies will count towards the Academy-wide credit scheme; one credit will be rewarded for the completion of the Independent Studies activity and two will be rewarded for an outstanding effort.
For students who do not complete Independent Studies the Academy will implement Restorative Practice sessions each day so that the student has the opportunity to access additional support and time needed from staff to complete any studies that have not been completed during the previous weeks. In addition to this, and as support rather as a sanction, the LRC will be open each day after school until 5pm. This time will be led by our Post 16 students as part of their IB course and will offer support to those students who may need guidance or a suitable place to work.
Whilst the Academy sees this choice as part of its teaching staff’s expertise and judgement, we do suggest that the following principles are considered and outlined as part of each Independent Study:
When setting ‘revision’ as independent studies, students be given an explicit task, rather than allowing students to ‘revise’ without instruction of guidance.
Independent studies can therefore include;
Geography – practice exam questions, studies on individual case studies, locations and environments, mini fieldwork tasks.