How can I help my Duke’s Sixth Form child?

Sixth Form study is different to GCSE study.  All sixth form students are expected to partake in much more independent study than previously.  Workloads are also higher both at school and at home.  As a consequence, study skills such as time management and organisation become increasingly important in order for students to keep on top of their workload. The following information outlines what successful independent study at post 16 entails.

What do I need to know about home study so I can encourage my child?

Academic courses

Exam board guidelines say that students taking A-level subjects should be carrying out at least 3 hours independent study per subject per week.

Independent study can consist of:

  • Re-reading and re-writing class notes
  • Using notes to make mind maps or flash cards
  • Organising files
  • Carrying out additional reading or research
  • Attempting past paper questions (accessible through all exam board websites)

Vocational courses

These courses are assessed largely on completion of coursework assignments rather than examinations, although most courses now have an examination module which has to be passed in order to pass the overall qualification. There is not a recommendation of how long a student should carry out independent study per week as there is with academic courses, but those students who carry out more regular and effective study practices are generally those who achieve the higher vocational grades of D/D*.

Independent study can consist of:

  • Researching for assignment work
  • Writing assignments
  • Making suggested corrections to assignment work
  • Revising for examined modules