Key Stage Three
Students in Years 7, and 8 follow the Extended Learning Assignment Programme. This programme was judged by Ofsted to be ‘successfully developing students’ independent learning skills’. Each week of the school year is dedicated to extended study in a single subject. This equates to five hours of learning per week. Students are, therefore, able to organize the week of study to suit themselves and their other commitments. In addition to Extended Learning Assignments students may expect to complete additional learning tasks (of no more than twenty minutes) as directed by their teachers of Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign Languages and English. These Learning Tasks should be recorded in the students’ Planner which the school provides for every student.
During Year 9 students will receive a mixture of some extended learning tasks in some subjects together with traditional style ‘homework’ from the core subject areas (English, Maths, Science) in recognition that students will have started these GCSE courses.
Key Stage Four
Home learning supports GCSE work and continues to develop the skills of independent learning. Students in Years 10 and 11 have a separate Home Learning Timetable given at the start of each year.
Key Stage Five
Students in Years 12 and 13 are expected to devote at least five hours per week outside lessons to each subject. Students are encouraged to read as widely as possible around their chosen subjects to broaden their knowledge.
As well as completed tasks set by teachers, Sixth Form students are expected to take responsibility for their own study. Independent study time is available during the school day, with various locations being available for the purpose of study and writing. Such locations include the school library, two designated quiet study areas and free classrooms. Computer facilities are available for student use and the recently extended wireless network within the Sixth Form Centre allows students’ laptops and tablets to access the internet.
The tasks set for home learning are designed to prepare students for three broad purposes:
- The answering of examination questions under timed conditions.
- The completion of coursework assignments (over several weeks or months) that carry substantial proportions of marks.
- The ongoing completion of shorter coursework assignments over one or two years for BTEC courses. It is important to remember that these courses will soon change, to include a written examination element.