Curriculum Support Activities

(Home Learning)

Home learning (independent learning) is a vital skill. It provides experience of working independently, where students plan their own time and are self-reliant. It also equips them for exam preparation, further and higher education and the world of work.

We revised our home learning approach in 2022, reflecting themes that arose from research and from feedback from staff, parents and students. 72% of parents either agreed or strongly agreed that CSAs have a positive impact on learning. The key principles of CSA at The Swanage School are as follows:

  • Consolidation and assessment of learning - short quizzes which are proven to have a significant impact in helping students to know more and remember more. These work well after a lesson
  • Flipped learning - tasks completed before a lesson are effective in helping students take responsibility for their own learning and increase involvement and confident in lessons
  • Interleaving and fluency - returning to previously taught material to ensure key knowledge and skills are embedded 

We want parents to support Curriculum Support Activities but it is not the parents’ work. Instead parents should draw answers from their son/daughter by using open questioning. If neither of you know, you can learn together! This is the ideal situation for having learning conversations.

The structure of CSA at The Swanage School

In Years 7-9 we have a 20-20-20 approach, where students are asked to spend 20 minutes on reading, 20 minutes on maths and 20 minutes on science each day from Monday-Wednesday. In Years 7 and 8, Thursday is devoted to activities such as self-directed projects, digital portfolios and research and in Year 9 to humanities subjects (geography and history). Fridays are free of CSA. 

In Year 10 and 11, students are expected to spend between 60-100 minutes a night on CSA, with two subjects set each day (30-50 minutes on each). 

Read the full detail of our CSA framework.

CSAs are set on Teams Assignments.


Learning Conversations

How you can help at home

At The Swanage School we believe a child’s parents/carers are an integral part of the learning process. We encourage parents to have regular ‘learning conversations’ with their son or daughter.

This is not a ‘nag’, where a parent chases up homework and so on. Rather it is a chance for your child to explain what they have learned and experienced during the school day. It might be that they explain a concept to you or an idea they had during a lesson.

For instance, you might ask: ‘So tell me about your favourite lesson/activity today... What was enjoyable about it?’, ‘What did you learn from it?’, ‘I’ve not heard of that, can you explain it to me?’, ‘That’s interesting, tell me some more...’, ‘Tell me about something you found difficult (and why). Can we work it out together?’