Independent learning at newark academy

At Newark Academy we want your child to succeed in every area of their school life, and independent learning is an essential aspect of their curriculum provision. All students are expected to engage with and complete all independent learning tasks set to the best of their ability. As part of our enrichment programme after school revision/study sessions are available every day until 5pm in the open ICT areas on the ground, first and second floor. These areas are also available to students before school and during lunchtimes.

Independent Learning at Newark Academy supports students to:

  • develop their confidence and self-discipline to work on their own – this is an essential skill for school and adult life
  • consolidate and reinforce skills and understanding from subject lessons
  • extend their learning, to develop additional skills and knowledge
  • dedicate additional time to aspects such as coursework or extended projects

Knowledge organisers (KO) -Guidance

Students at Newark Academy will be issued with Knowledge Organisers (KOs) at the start of each new topic across most curriculum areas. A KO is a tool which sets out for both teachers and students exactly what knowledge is vital in the curriculum. A KO will be given to students at the beginning of every new topic and will contain everything they need to know about the new unit of work. In Maths students will be set tasks on MathsWatch. A record of which knowledge organiser students should be learning from will be recorded both on PARS and on the relevant pages on the department's webpage.

Students will also be given a ‘Knowledge Folder’ in which to collate all of their Knowledge Organisers from each subject. They will also be given a ‘Practice Book’ in which they will complete their independent learning tasks.

Students will be expected to keep their Knowledge Organisers, Knowledge Books and Practice Books safe and presented neatly. If they lose any of their study resources, or fail to bring them to school they will receive an intervention session with their class teacher or form tutor.

Teachers will tell students which sections of the knowledge organisers they need to be reading and learning each week. Each evening students will be expected to spend the appropriate amount of time (30-45mins) studying and completing their study to the highest quality possible.

When completing independent learning tasks students should follow the procedure set out below:

  1. Read through the relevant section of the Knowledge Organiser, as directed by the classroom teacher.
  2. Copy out the information within the relevant section of the Knowledge Organiser. Then copy this information out again for a second time. All work must be done in practice books,
  3. Students then cover up the work/Knowledge Organiser and attempt to copy out the information from memory.
  4. They then now must correct spelling mistakes and anything they have missed when writing by memory by using a different coloured pen.

What are the consequences of not meeting independent learning expectations?

If students complete the independent learning tasks and progress well on ‘retreival’ quizzes they will be rewarded through PARS.

If however independent learning is not completed in Practice Books and/or inadequate progress is evidenced in class quizzes – class teachers will issue an intervention session. This can be a detention set by the teacher to work with students on addressing gaps in knowledge or a mandatory study session after school. Attendance will be monitored and students who fail to attend will be dealt with in accordance with our detention escalation procedures.

Expectations of KO retrieval practice

  • In all subjects students will be set 10 questions a week. The questions will focus on the retrieval of knowledge which students have been studying over the course of the term.
  • 60-80% of the questions will be focused on recent knowledge. 20-40% of the questions will require the retrieval of older knowledge
  • Weekly knowledge checks must take place in examination conditions – students will not be allowed to look back at prior work.

Parents and carers can support at home by:

  • ensuring your child has a quiet place in which to work
  • ensuring they have the correct equipment
  • ensuring that your child’s extra-curricular activities are structured around dedicated independent learning time
  • encouraging your child to complete their independent learning tasks in good time and to the best of their ability
  • encouraging your child to read as widely and as often as possible

Non-completion of independent learning tasks will result in appropriate action taken by the class teacher – this action will be in line with the school’s Consequences System.

May 2022


View the calendar in full