Independent study

Students at St James will be expected to complete study tasks out of lesson time. This may be completed at our designated study club, or at home.

I am writing to inform you of a change to our independent study process. The new process is the result of extensive research. It focuses on the acquisition of knowledge, study skills and cognitive recall, all essential lifelong skills for our students.

Today, students will soon receive an independent study pack that consists of an exercise book and a booklet called a knowledge organiser. The knowledge organiser will contain pages of essential information every subject. The knowledge organiser has been produced by our teachers, for our students. We will issue students with a new knowledge organiser every term. Students can keep their booklets from each term so that they have a comprehensive set of revision resources built up throughout their school career.

Each knowledge organiser contains an independent study timetable showing which subjects students should be studying on a particular evening. Students will need to complete one page of “self-quizzing” notes in their exercise book for each subject with the exception of Art/iArt, MFL and Maths. The work for these subjects will be completed in the same way as in previous years, with the work produced in class books and checked by the teacher. Each knowledge organiser explains clearly what students need to do and this will also be carefully explained by myself in assembly. Details of what is expected each evening will also be posted on class charts by the teacher (www.classcharts.com). Students will need to bring their Independent Study pack (exercise book and knowledge organiser) into school every day and show their tutor that the Independent Study has been fully completed. If a student fails to produce the expected work, they will attend a compulsory catch up after school, on the same day, for 1 hour. All details of our independent study system and copies of the knowledge organisers will be available on the school website. Please note that some students in Y9 and Y10 may be asked to complete additional tasks by their teachers where it is necessary to help them make progress. This will be discussed with the students by their teacher, but it will not be checked in tutor time.

It is my hope that the use of knowledge organisers will provide more clarity on what we expect from our students with regards to Independent Study as well as strengthening essential study skills. With the introduction of a timetable, we are supporting students with managing their time, which will in turn reduce the anxiety associated with school deadlines.

Your support is always greatly appreciated. Please familiarise yourself with the Independent Study timetable and check each day that your son/daughter has completed the requisite pages. Please also ensure that they do not forget to bring in their Independent Study packs each day.

 ——Please click here to download our ‘parent guide’ for using class charts—–

Knowledge organisers

Should you experience any issues accessing class charts, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Stephen Brown on sab@stjamesexeter.co.uk.

Knowledge Organisers; what the research says – https://impact.chartered.college/article/organising-knowledge-purpose-pedagogy-knowledge-organisers/