In February 2023, we invited parents and carers to complete a questionnaire reviewing our homework procedures as part of our on-going school improvement work. The feedback we received has contributed to the development of a new Independent Learning policy. This will require pupils to access Microsoft Teams. Please see the guidance documents if you require support accessing Microsoft Teams.
Independent learning (previously called homework) helps to reinforce what students have learnt in the classroom. When students are assigned independent learning, they have the opportunity to practice and apply the concepts and skills they have learnt in class. Independent Learning helps to develop good study habits. They must learn to manage their time effectively in order to complete the assignments on time. This helps to build discipline and responsibility, which are important life skills that will serve students well both in and out of the classroom, and prepare them for the requirements of key stage 4 courses.
However, Pembroke Academy recognises that family life and commitments beyond the school day are different for everyone. Therefore, independent learning will only be set where there is a clear purpose:
- to enhance the core curriculum;
- to drive learning forward; or
- to help students commit learning to their long-term memory.
To allow each family to maintain the best balance for their situation, students will have two forms of Independent learning each module: a compulsory task and additional (optional) tasks.
Compulsory Independent Learning
Year 7, 8 and 9
Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 will be set at least one compulsory Independent Learning task per module in each of their subjects. This task will be written into the student’s planner, and details can also be found in the Module Curriculum update, which will be issued via In Touch and posted on the Academy website. Students will be given a week to complete the task set. All compulsory tasks will be directly linked to the core curriculum.
Year 10 and 11
Compulsory Independent Learning for students in Year 10 and 11 will be dependent upon the requirements of the qualification they are studying. In some subjects, particularly those with portfolio or coursework, compulsory independent learning will be set weekly. This is essential as portfolios and coursework must be submitted according to examination board deadlines. In other subjects, students will be set at least two to three compulsory Independent Learning tasks per module. These tasks will be written into the student’s planner and the Module Curriculum update. All compulsory tasks will be directly linked to the core curriculum.
Mathematics will continue to set weekly compulsory tasks through the Sparx Maths platform for students in all year groups.
Additional Independent Learning
Some students and families would like to engage in independent learning more regularly to enhance and extend learning. To support this, each subject will provide a variety of additional independent learning opportunities linked to the topic being studied. These opportunities will enhance the core curriculum, but will not prevent access to lessons for students who are unable to complete additional tasks.
Students will be able to select from a range of tasks that will include some or all of the following:
- Something to watch
- Something to read
- Something to listen to
- Something to do
- Somewhere to visit
- Extended projects
Additional Independent Learning tasks will be available to students through Microsoft Teams.
Students will be encouraged to complete as many of these additional independent learning opportunities as they can.
Independent Learning Feedback
All independent learning completed will be recognised, with students receiving subject points and/or Values stamps. Some tasks will also contribute to the Reading Rewards and Pembroke Pledge. Details of these rewards and recognition programmes can be found on pages 19 - 40 of the Student Planner.
Some tasks will use self-marking or instant feedback platforms, for example Seneca Learning, Duo Lingo or Sparx Maths.
For open-ended tasks, students will receive whole class feedback, identifying strengths of work submitted and any common areas for development.
Students who do not have access to the necessary resources at home, are invited to join the weekly Homework Club (Monday – Wednesday, 3.05 - 4.00). Staff are on hand to provide additional support and guidance with both compulsory and additional independent learning tasks.
If additional support is required, please contact your child's Form Tutor.