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Independent Study Policy

Aims and Purpose

At Park High School Independent study work is designed to help our pupils to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful lifelong learning. Independent study also supports the development of independent learning skills and provides parents with an opportunity to take part in their children's education.

Learning at home is an essential part of the pupils’ education. Regular Independent Study work is set because it gives pupils the opportunity to practise at home the tasks covered in class, and helps the pupils work towards improving important skills. It also helps our pupils to become confident and independent in their learning, which will help throughout their time at Park High School and in adult life.

The objectives in giving Independent Study work are:

  • To establish consistent study patterns
  • To embed knowledge
  • To reinforce and consolidate subject matter learned in class
  • To develop wider reading and research skills to develop a love of learning
  • To establish independent learning skills.

Frequency and Duration

The following guidelines should be taken as a minimum and greater amounts and duration will be necessary with some classes, individual pupils and at certain times.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

All subject areas set Independent Study work for examined/assessed courses. This includes vocational and GCSE subjects. As a minimum Independent Study work is set every third lesson. For example, if a class is taught for 3 hours per week then Independent Study work is set once per week. If a class is taught for one hour per week then Independent Study work is set once every three weeks. The duration of each Independent Study task is a minimum of 60 minutes.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

All subject areas set Independent Study work. As with KS 4 the minimum amount of homework set is every third lesson. For example, if a class is taught for 3 hours per week then Independent Study work is set once per week. If a class is taught for one hour per week then Independent Study work is set once every three weeks. The duration of each Independent Study work is a minimum of 45 minutes.

Marking, Monitoring and Feedback

All subject teachers ensure that Independent Study work is set, marked and recorded according to the above guidelines. The feedback to pupils helps to inform them of possible improvements and will be varied in type (comments, targets, grades, scores etc) depending on the nature of the task set.

Pupils are allowed ample time to complete the Independent Study work. The high standards of quality and hard work that pupils put into their classwork and Independent Study work are recognised through the school’s reward system (comments on the work, verbal feedback, allocation of credits, postcards for outstanding work). As with previous years, and in line with school policy, the following steps are taken to ensure that pupils complete Independent Study work on time and to a high standard: first and second verbal warnings, subject detention, contact with parent, record on BROMCOM. Then teacher and pupil to work with Curriculum Leader for a further resolution if needed.

Appropriate tasks for Independent Study

The range of tasks which are appropriate for students of various ages are many and varied.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Written assignments
  • Learning assignments
  • Essay writing
  • Examination questions
  • Reading
  • Wider reading
  • Rote learning
  • Quizzes
  • Spelling tests
  • Investigations
  • Interviews
  • Simple experiments
  • Research
  • Drafting
  • Report Writing
  • Designing
  • Revision Work
  • Practise of some procedure
  • Problem solving
  • Preparing for debates, role-plays etc
  • Preparing for class tests or exams
  • Responding to feedback
  • Making a model
  • Drawing/ sketching
  • Extended projects
  • Watching a television documentary

Independent Study Support

Pupils must bring their Contact Book to each lesson and record all set Independent Study work in it. Independent Study work will be checked for completion by the teacher. There are opportunities in school for pupils who require additional support with Independent Study during the course of the school day.