Skip to content
Fostering independent learning at Fernhill School in Hampshire

Fostering independent learning at Fernhill School in Hampshire

Monday, 21 October 2013

How can schools encourage and implement independent learning with hard-to-reach learners?

Craving independence is simply part of human nature. We all want the chance to make our own decisions, accomplish our goals and create a bright future.

The DfE has advised schools to encourage and develop independent learning in recent years. This approach to learning can help to promote key skills required in the modern workplace: motivation, self-confidence and self-direction.

The DfE’s Independent Learning Literature Review states: ‘There is an implicit assumption in the literature that information and communications technology (ICT) has a useful role to play and can be an important part of the enabling environment.’

E-learning is a particularly effective way to encourage independent learning. Pupils are in control of their own learning, often for the first time.

But, what about pupils who struggle to engage with learning – can learning independently online help them to achieve and thrive? Let’s take a look at one secondary school’s experience using e-learning to help a group of hard-to-reach students...

Fernhill School and Language College

Fernhill School in Hampshire has been working with vision2learn for schools since 2012. A group of year 11 learners at the school are currently in their second year studying towards a GCSE Leisure and Tourism qualification online.

Chris Beeken, Tourism and Leisure Co-ordinator at Fernhill, said: “At the start of the 2012/13 academic year I began work with a mixed group of eight pupils that would definitely be classed as hard-to-reach for a range of complex issues. Working with vision2learn has been really beneficial to this group, as the course content contains appropriate material to provide any pupil with the opportunity to progress regardless of ability.

“One of the biggest skills they have developed through working with vision2learn has been an ability to effectively gather information. In the first few sessions their tactic was to try and get me to tell them the answers. As the sessions progressed they discovered that it was far easier to find the information using the vision2learn online material. They became far more proactive.”

“Ownership over their learning”

vision2learn for schools online GCSEs are backed by tracking and management tools to help teachers pinpoint areas for improvement throughout the course. The comprehensive resources included also helped Chris work more quickly and efficiently with his Tourism and Leisure classes last year.

He said: “In terms of benefits from a teaching perspective, the fact that the resources have been so thoroughly researched and compiled is a huge plus. One of the key directives from the DfE is that it wants pupils to work more independently, and with vision2learn my pupils were able to do just that.

“The joy of vision2learn is that the content is right there. I can mix and match the resources quickly, rather than designing individual lesson plans for each pupil from scratch. After the first few sessions my pupils were able to study at their own pace, whilst I provided guidance when they needed it. This approach meant that they felt they had ownership over their learning for the first time.

“I can see potential to use vision2learn to teach larger groups than I taught last year because of the time I saved in planning and the independent nature of the platform. Time is such a precious commodity in the classroom. With vision2learn I found the time to give each of them the individual support they need.”

“An effective intervention”

Over the course of the last academic year Chris has witnessed positive change within the group. He said: “Essentially what vision2learn has helped us achieve is an effective intervention for a group of troubled pupils. Not only are they still studying in Year 11, they now have the confidence to believe that their education is worth more. They have a chance.”

Fernhill School has used e-learning very effectively to give a struggling group of learners the opportunity to learn independently, but within a context of support and collaboration.

Find out how vision2learn for schools e-learning can help to boost independent learning at your school – contact us today.

Be the first to write a comment.