Learning outside of lessons is a vital part of our learners’ progress and achievement. The term ‘Extended Learning’ is used to describe work set by teachers to be completed out of lessons. This reflects the emphasis on learning and the fact that it may not always be completed at home.
Our aims in the Extended Learning policy are to:
- encourage learners to develop the skills, confidence and motivation needed to study effectively on their own;
- consolidate and reinforce the skills and understanding developed in lessons;
- provide a vehicle through which personal, thinking and learning skills can be developed;
- encourage learners to use their learning journals as a tool for reflecting on what they learn and how they are learning;
- enable learners to reflect on their learning and to connect what they have learned to the next lesson;
- provide opportunities to extend their learning;
- sustain the involvement of parents in their children’s learning and keep them informed about progress;
- support the completion of coursework and work that contributes to gaining qualifications/ accreditation.
Why is extended learning so important?
Extended learning which is relevant, stimulating and complements and links to the learning taking place in lessons can accelerate the progress of all students. Research shows that it can have up to eight months of positive impact upon attainment. There is clear evidence that extended learning opportunities homework is helpful particularly at secondary age and can support young people in becoming independent learners and help them to prepare for examinations in terms of revision techniques, time management and organization.
At the Academy, we aim to ensure that extended learning is:
- planned and focused and regular;
- integrated with activities in the classroom;
- purposeful and explicit in its expected outcomes;
- varied, challenging and adapted to different ability levels;
- achievable within 1 – 2 hours of a school day.
How this works at Bradford Academy
- Tasks are set by teachers so that learners know what is expected and how the work will be marked. Many of these tasks are visible on the Learning Gateway.
- Learners record their extended learning in their planner and include a date when the extended learning should be completed by.
- The extended learning activity does not necessarily have to be completed at home. Learners can make use of the Learning Resource Centre which is open every day after school. Learners can also use the open access ICT facilities in the Academy.
- Feedback should be prompt and clear to the learners. This may be by written and oral feedback from the teacher and also by encouraging learner’s to be active in reflecting on their own achievements using Assessment for Learning techniques. Staff should follow the Academy Marking policy as a guidance for written feedback.
- The extended learning timetable will be based on a weekly rather than daily programme. If the work is to be completed over a period of time then guidance on time planning will be included in the activity.
The following is a guide to the amount of time spent to be spent on extended learning tasks.
Key Stage 3: 5 – 7 hours per week
Key Stage 4 and Post 16: 6 – 8 hours per week
These values are approximate and it is recognised that there will be ‘peaks and troughs’ in the amount of work set during the year.
Role of Subject Teachers in Extended Learning
- Subject teachers should set extended learning tasks which have been identified in the scheme for learning.
- Subject teachers should ensure that the learners have a clear record of the learning set and understand the success criteria. They should also clearly set the deadlines for completing the work.
- Feedback should be given to learners on their learning. This will include written feedback on pieces of work. Marking should be consistent with the Academy marking policy.
Role of Directors of Personalising Learning in Extended Learning
- DoPLs will coordinate the setting of extended learning tasks in their areas of learning. Some tasks will be identified in the scheme for learning and criteria for assessment specified.
- DoPLs should be aware of how effectively the policy is implemented in the area of learning. This should include: work scrutiny, learner interviews and area meetings.
- DoPLs should check that adequate records are being kept of the work set.
Role of Learning Guides in Extended Learning
- Student planners include a section for recording extended learning tasks. Parents are asked to check and sign the planners each week. If they are concerned about the amount of work or progress being made they should contact the Learning Guide.
- Home team sessions should be used to check planners on Mondays during rituals.
- Learning Guides will also have the role of discussing with learners in the Home Team any problems that come up in completing the extended learning tasks and advise learners on where they can get the support needed.
Role of Heads of House
- To collect samples of planners from each home team to check they are being used effectively and being signed by learning guides.
- To liaise with other houses to ensure consistency of standards.
What happens if work is not completed?
A record will be kept by the subject teacher of the extended learning that learners have done. If learners do not make a reasonable effort to complete work we have three main strategies:
- Give a warning and ask learners to complete the work by a new deadline
- Arrange a time for the learner to complete the work outside of lessons but supervised in the Academy.
- Send a personalised standard letter home to let parents know of the problem and ask for their support.