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Monday, November 29, 2021

Learning to become academically independent is an important skill to learn, as directed learning or teaching to the test usually only results in pupils passing the exams and jumping through the hoops that the educational system requires of them. It doesn’t prepare them at all for life beyond the classroom – and in most cases it squeezes out any passion, enjoyment or spark they might have had for learning in the first place. Therefore, in Science we are aiming to promote ‘independent learning’ with the aim of better preparing students for higher education and life as adults.

The ways in which the students are given support will vary with every lesson, but some key ways that I am facilitating the process are providing learners with; resource materials to study, tips on how to research, feedback on their progress and opportunities to test out their learning and to collaborate with their peers.

Since the turn of the academic year, students have been provided with access to Google Classrooms. Through the use of this program they are able to catch up on any work they have missed from absent days – or failed to complete in the classroom – and also create a plan to support their studying. The aim is to support them in being academically independent, thus relying less and less on teacher directed studying.

Being able complete projects punctually and to a high level forms a large portion of the Year 6 Science content of study, therefore advice and support has also been given prior to and throughout each project. Before each project a simple set of guidelines are provided which outline the key points that need to be discussed in order to pass. Furthermore, advice on how to use search engines effectively has also been focused on. Students are learning how to identify and use key words related to each project so as to obtain information that is tailored to their individual understanding of the English language.

Finally, the students are provided with continued feedback so they are able to reflect whilst at home with the aim that everyone will be able to attain a grade that reflects their true abilities.

Text written by Mr Joe Burman