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Home and independent learning

At Ashlyns we believe home learning should be purposeful and useful: it should be a vital part of each student’s progress in every subject. It should seek to consolidate and extend already existing knowledge and skills, and should build important skills, such as revision, research, independence and organisation, literacy, and numeracy, amongst others. 

Teachers assign home learning where it is necessary within their units of learning. This means that it is purposeful and beneficial to knowledge and skill development as teachers have decided where within their lessons it most aids progress to assign the task. 

As a guide, home learning in each subject will on average be set as below:

Years 7, 8 and 9: 
Core subjects – twice per fortnight
All other subjects – either once per fortnight or once every three weeks depending on subject
Average length for tasks:
Year 7: 35 minutes
Year 8: 40 minutes
Year 9: 45 minutes

Years 10 and 11: as students move through their GCSEs, the frequency and length of home learning tasks will be dependent on the topics and assessments that students face.  On average, staff will aim to set home learning as follows:

Core subjects – two to four pieces per fortnight
Options subjects – twice per fortnight
Average length for tasks: 1 hour (though this will fluctuate dependent on need)

Years 12 and 13: as students move through their A levels, the frequency and length of home learning tasks will be dependent on the section of the course. As a rough guide, students should expect 3-5 hours of home learning per week. In all cases, students are expected to supplement this with independent research, revision, and reading around the subject. Independent work at home is a crucial part of success at A level. 

Normally, students will be given a minimum of 48 hours to complete each task where possible to allow them to organise their time. They should check Google Classroom daily to ensure they are not missing the setting of any home learning, and should organise their home learning appropriately to ensure each piece is given enough time. 

It would be very helpful if students had a quiet place at home in which to work, where they have plenty of space to spread out their books and folders, and if they work without access to mobile devices. Please encourage your child to indicate to the teacher in their exercise book how long each piece of home learning has taken. 

Students should be in the habit of checking and completing home and independent learning daily: it is an important habit to build. On nights where students have no home learning assigned, we would encourage them to undertake independent learning activities: this type of learning is of crucial importance as students move through the school and need to begin programmes of revision for GCSEs and A levels. A suggested list of independent learning activities is below for KS3 and KS4; at KS5 students are able to undertake and plan their own independent learning. 

KS3:

  1. Read a book appropriate for age and reading level. 
  2. Use Seneca – https://www.senecalearning.com/ – which is a revision website for all key stages. It’s free to use and students can work independently through various KS3 subjects. 
  3. Take the exercise books from lessons of that day/ that week and review what was learned. Is there anywhere the learning could be extended?
  4. Take something you’ve learned in the past week and find out five more facts about it using google. 
  5. Take something you’ve learned in the past week that you found hard and go over it again. Ask your parents, friends, or a teacher for help if you don’t understand it. 

KS4:

  1. Use Seneca – https://www.senecalearning.com/ – which is a revision website for all key stages. It’s free to use and students can work independently through all subjects. Parents are also able to see which topics students have completed and how long they have spent on revision.
  2. Choose a topic you have learned in the past month and review it using BBC Bitesize. 
  3. Work through the appropriate CGP revision books for your subject and exam board. 
  4. Use Mathswatch or other revision websites your teacher may recommend.
  5. Using your exercise books for each subject, list topic areas for revision and use your exercise books/ Seneca/ CGP guides to revise them.