Achieving Excellence Beyond Belief
Home Learning at Sandy Secondary School
Home Learning Rationale:
Sandy Secondary School believes that home learning can play a valuable role in promoting an outstanding education for all students, and serves three primary aims:
To consolidate learning from a specific lesson or topic area.
To prepare students for new learning.
To facilitate independent review of learning from a lesson or topic area.
At Sandy Secondary School, our approach to home learning is therefore focused on enhancing learning, embedding knowledge, and improving long-term memory and cognitive skills.
Independent Knowledge Enrichment
Independent Knowledge Enrichment (IKE) is a fresh approach to home learning. IKE is designed to foster a love of independent study, the development of knowledge and the desire for cultural enrichment in the world around us.
Our decision to move away from a more traditional approach to home learning is in part a reflection of the increasingly challenging nature of GCSEs. Most subjects have lost their controlled assessments (previously known as coursework), and these have been replaced with additional exam papers. The focus of these exams is the retrieval and application of knowledge. This puts increasing pressure on our students to know and retain even more information, for longer.
Students can sometimes leave their revision until a few weeks before examinations, which presents a problem. Our short-term memory is designed to be just that, and has limited capacity to retain the full breadth and depth of knowledge that students need to demonstrate, in order to secure the higher grades. When students find themselves unable to retain the information, they become stressed and often give up, convincing themselves they are not good at revising or not good at the subject.
The secret to success therefore, is to regularly revisit the knowledge to be learned (known as ‘spaced retrieval’). This helps transfer the knowledge from the short-term memory to the long-term memory. This not only helps to make ‘learning stick’ but it also frees up our short-term memory for day-to-day learning and experiences.
This IKE policy is informed by the Sandy Secondary School Parent Forum (May 2023), the staff working party for IKE (April and June 2023), and the Student Council (June 2023).
Independent Knowledge Enrichment +
IKE+ allows all students to display a love of learning by completing tasks above and beyond the core IKE tasks. At least 5 IKE+ tasks will be set by subject teachers for students to attempt during a half term. These will be made available on Edulink, and students will be rewarded for their efforts in attempting these.
IKE+ tasks will be related to the knowledge being learnt in the classroom and will be designed and structured to foster a deeper appreciation and love of the subject content. They are also designed to support cultural enrichment among our students. Examples of IKE+ tasks may include;
Watching a documentary and writing a report on it.
Creating a model of a volcano.
Writing a diary entry as a character from a book.
Visit an art exhibition and write a review as an art critic
Each half-term, students will receive knowledge organisers containing key information, concepts, and vocabulary for each subject. These organisers will serve as a reference tool for completing IKE and preparing for the quizzes during the engage activity in their designated lessons. The knowledge organiser booklet will have a study skills section for students to learn how to revise and try new techniques as they progress and prepare for their lesson quizzes.