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Independent Learning

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Our independent learning programme aims to support learning and raise academic achievement by promoting opportunities for independent study. Independent learning provides a real opportunity for the partnership between the student, teaching staff and parents/carers. Independent learning allows students to reflect on their work in class, extend their subject knowledge and understanding and to engage with subject content, employing personally selected learning styles where appropriate. Independent learning, as with all aspects of a student's work is to be provided, completed and assessed to the highest standard. All pre and post-16 students undertaking accredited courses should expect to complete independent learning regularly.


Independent learning will provide students with the opportunity to review, revisit, consolidate learning and broaden their understanding. Independent learning will, in the majority of cases, be set to address specific needs or tasks and engage students in appropriate learning activities. Independent learning will support learning through a variety of activities such as preparatory research, background reading, specific learning for assessments, recording class work activities, extension of class work, written or reading tasks and preparation for controlled assessment or coursework. Independent learning plays an important role in a well-planned examination course. Independent learning aims to develop good habits in planning, time management and self directed study. Where appropriate, independent learning will be differentiated and will, for the most able, require application to other contexts.

guidelines: pre 16

The amount of independent learning set will vary between subjects and there will be busy times when coursework and revision are required. Students taking GCSEs can expect to spend one hour per subject per week on independent learning as a minimum. In order not to overload students with independent study, they will usually be given a minimum of three to four working days to complete tasks however there will be times when a shorter timescale will be needed such as in modern foreign languages where shorter tasks are set more frequently.

Students who achieve deadlines will be praised and rewarded and parents of students who regularly miss deadlines will be informed through either the head of faculty or subject teacher or their tutor depending is the most appropriate.

Students should normally expect to receive feedback to their independent learning within 10 working days of the deadline (see marking policy). The school and individual departments will make every effort to communicate the purpose of independent learning to students and parents/carers.

guidelines: post 16 courses

Students can expect and should be capable of completing a significant amount of their work unsupervised. On all our level 2 and level 3 courses, students should normally be prepared for a commitment to independent learning of six hours a week in each subject.

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