Sixth Form

Independent Learning

Independent study is an important part of A Levels and life at Baines Sixth. Independent study is important as it helps develop the good habits that will be needed at University.

It develops self-discipline and self-management skills. Furthermore, the A-Level courses contain too much material to get across using lesson time alone so students need to review and rework material in order to embed it and develop your understanding as well as exposing your weaknesses – these can then be followed up in lessons or intervention sessions.

At Baines you can expect your teachers to:

  • Push you to achieve your full potential.
  • Plan lessons that meet your needs and allow you to make progress.
  • Provide you with appropriate materials for your course.
  • Mark your work in a prompt fashion and give you with feedback that shows you how to improve.
  • Support you in preparing for examinations.
  • Offer support and advice when you are struggling with your work.

At Baines your teachers will expect you to:

  • Want to achieve and set high expectations for yourself.
  • Prepare for lessons and engage with lessons by making contributions and asking and answering questions.
  • Bring all appropriate materials to lessons and be ready to study.
  • Hand work in on time and respond to feedback.
  • Prepare yourself for the examinations by thorough and systematic revision.
  • Seek and act upon help and advice when you have problems with your work.

Baines offers support subject by subject for each of our students through a guided independent study programme each half-term. Students have access to an independent study timetable and are able to work in the dedicated Sixth Form Learning Centre. Furthermore, students at Baines have daily support through an Independent Learning Study Coordinator.

After every lesson you need to go over what you have just covered. Why do this?

1) It will embed the knowledge from the lesson ready for future work. One lesson will lead on to the next and eventually to the exam.

2) It gives you a chance to find out what you do not understand – this gives you a chance to close the gap before the next lesson.


Tips for success

  • ALWAYS review the lessons in your study periods. This is vital to success
  • Do it as soon as you can after the lesson.
  • Rewrite your notes – make them into revision cards, spider diagrams etc.
  • Re-read the notes before the next lesson.
  • If there is something you do not understand, get help. Other students or your teachers are a good source of help. Remember, if you do not understand it, others are probably having the same issues.

On a regular basis you will be asked to do some preparation for the next lesson. This will usually involve some reading followed by some form of task. This develops and tests your understanding of the subject and allows the teacher to make effective use of lesson time.


Tips for success

  • Make sure you do not leave this until the last minute – things can go wrong and then you are not prepared for the next lesson. Students who do not prepare put themselves at a disadvantage and let down the rest of the group.
  • Ask for advice before the lesson if you have difficulties of problems.
  • Make sure you are in a position to discuss the material and make contributions to the lesson. This allow you to develop the deep understanding of the topics need for success in the exams.

Sometimes you will be set an exam question to complete in your study time. These questions will give you a chance to learn the knowledge and develop the skills needed for the exam.


Tips for success

  • Look at the question as soon as you get it. Make sure you know the demands of the question and how to approach it. Seek help ASAP if you are unsure.
  • Write a draft of the essay and then leave it for a while. After a few days, check the essay. Get someone else to check it for you. Does it make sense? Do any sections need re-working? Have you met the success criteria for that question?
  • Make sure you have a finished essay ready before the deadline. Late essays slow down the feedback process for you and the other members of your group.

You will eventually start doing test essays in class. This will mean having to learn your notes and so you can answer a question under times conditions. These activities are aimed at getting you ready for the real exams.


Tips for success

  • Start your revision early. Spread it over time and keep retesting yourself.
  • Select the revision technique that works best for you. You are a successful student who has done well at GCSE – make sure you draw upon the skills you used to get onto the A-Level course.
  • Practise writing essays under times conditions during your study periods.