- Research suggests that the impact of homework on learning is consistently positive and can lead to an average of five months’ additional progress.
- Research shows that in the most effective examples, homework is integral to the learning, not just an add on.
- Independent Learning (homework) is most effective when it involves practice or rehearsal of subject matter already taught. Scholars should typically not be exposed to new material to learn at home, unless they are deemed as ‘expert learners’.
- Complex or open-ended homework is often completed least effectively; short frequent homework which is monitored closely by teachers is likely to have a bigger impact.
- A recent study examining the correlation between time spent on homework and academic achievement showed that homework completed by the scholar independently for 60-70 minutes a day had the biggest impact (Institute for Effective Education, 2015).
The AGFS approach to great independent learning and revision:
1. Use self-quizzing to master core knowledge.
Give yourself frequent opportunities to practise recalling the core knowledge; this knowledge must be automatic to make rapid progress.
2. Consolidate foundational knowledge.
Use online platforms and revision guides to check you know how this core knowledge fits into a bigger picture. You will receive rewards via assemblies to celebrate how frequently you use these platforms.
- www.ttrockstars.com: KS3 maths
- https://www.sparxmaths.uk/: KS3 & KS4 maths
- www.senecalearning.com: English, history, geography, religious studies, music, KS3 science
- www.my-gcsescience.com: KS4 biology, physics, chemistry
- https://uk.language-gym.com: French and Spanish
- www.groklearning.com: computer science
- www.quizlet.com: all subjects
3. Apply your knowledge to practice exam questions
Teachers will set scholars sample examination questions to complete in preparation for mid-year and end-of-year exams as part of their winter and spring independent learning.
4. Stretch and extend your learning.
Independently research the topics you are interested in and read widely around your favourite subjects. The below platforms will help:
- www.startprofile.com: careers
- www.thisislanguage.com: French and Spanish
- https://auth.digitaltheatreplus.com/: access to live theatre [GFSDigitaltheatrestudent@arkgreenwich.org Password: Redcar91]
- https://www.newscientist.com/: news and developments in science
- https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection: British museum online collection [history, geography, and RS].
5. Read widely for pleasure.
Go to https://tinyurl.com/AGFSrecommendedreads for recommendations.
Independent Learning at Key Stage 3:
- All subjects will issue scholars with the core knowledge required to be successful in a term’s programme of study to quiz via their core knowledge booklet. This will be broken down into ‘blocks’ so that scholars can master each block before moving on.
- In mathematics, scholars will be required to quiz core knowledge, as well as completing consolidation activities via Hegarty Maths.
- To demonstrate their understanding of the core knowledge, scholars will ‘self-quiz’ the core knowledge each week using their independent learning exercise book.
- Scholars will be given at least 48 hours to complete these tasks before the responses are reviewed and checked.
- Scholars are required to read independently for pleasure for a minimum of 90 minutes each week.
To support scholars to manage their time and develop effective independent study skills, scholars are encouraged to follow the below schedule:
Independent Learning at Key Stage 4:
- Independent learning will follow the same format as in Key Stage 3, but 2 x 40 min written/preparatory tasks will also be set in addition to core knowledge for each subject. The purpose of this is to give scholars frequent opportunities to independently apply their knowledge in context. As scholars progress through their courses, these additional written tasks will increasingly be replaced by examination questions to complete.
- To help scholars develop good routines, there is a standardised timetable that all scholars should follow from the beginning of Key Stage 4. This sets out the minimum expectations for work and builds in time for breaks and rest.
Instructions, links, and additional resources will be shared via Show My Homework and written into scholars’ planners. Scholars are encouraged to make use of Computer Science 3 after school each day to complete independent learning.
Research underpinning the AGFS approach to independent learning:
- Endowment Foundation (2018). Homework (Secondary). Teaching & Learning Toolkit. Available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/education-evidence/teaching-learning-toolkit/homework
- Huntington Research School (2017). Homework: What Does The Evidence Say? Available at: https://researchschool.org.uk/huntington/news/homework-what-does-the-evidence-say
- Institute for Effective Education (2015). How much homework is too much? Available at: http://www.beib.org.uk/2015/04/how-much-homework-is-too-much/
- Lee, S (2018). How all stakeholders helped redesign our homework process. Available at: https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/blog/redesign-homework/
- Vatterott, C (2010). Five Hallmarks of Good Homework. Available at: https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/five-hallmarks-of-good-homework
- Willingham, D (2016). Important New Study of Homework. Available at: http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2016/10/18-1