Prep may sometimes have been referred to as After School Learning in the past.
Purpose and Aims
The purpose of Prep and the Independent Learning Policy is to promote and develop:
Positive attitudes toward personal learning;
Learning that actively involves the learner;
Shared responsibility in learning (between student, teacher and parents);
Learners taking personal responsibility for their learning;
To fulfil this purpose the school will aim to:
Develop independent and autonomous learning skills;
Strengthen the relationship between after-school learning and assessment for learning;
Support and encourage less able;
Challenge more able;
Extend the learning of everyone;
Breakdown/remove the barrier between work done ‘in – school’ and at other times;
Promote family learning / parental involvement – sharing and communicating.
Skills and Attributes
The skill and attributes associated with good ‘learning beyond the classroom’ that promote positive attitudes and effective independent learning include:
Attributes (DCSF Standards Site)
• Staff and pupils regard after school learning as an integral part of the curriculum - it is planned and prepared alongside all other programmes of learning;
• The foundations of effective after school learning are established early on and develop progressively across the key stages;
• after school learning is set and managed effectively and contributes to the challenge of raising attainment;
• Tasks are differentiated and are appropriate to the needs of individuals;
• The support of parents and carers is seen as essential. They can assist in many ways, for example, providing encouragement, monitoring after school learning, and even assisting with the evaluation and marking;
• Common assessment and marking policy;
• The quality of completed prep is monitored and reviewed at regular periods in consultation with pupils and parents;
• after school learning completed well is acknowledged, praised and rewarded;
• Innovative homework practices that reflect developments within education and the range of learning styles.
Within the context of Sexey’s this means that students and staff promote and develop a positive ethos regarding Prep. The school will provide a flexible structure that offers access to appropriate resources at appropriate times to meet the needs of the individual learner and their preferred learning styles. The school will provide a range of environments that will enable learners to work safely and productively, providing choice of task, time and location where students are fully autonomous, and support, through enhanced supervision and direction for those who need it.
Involving and informing parents can present unique challenges to a boarding school. However, there are opportunities for effective partnership to take place and these are an integral part of the school’s policy.
For Prep to be effective learners must possess a variety of skill such as the ability to plan, prioritise and self-manage. The personal traits of learner, not least maturity, trustworthiness and self-motivation, will have a significant effect on the learner being able to deploy these skills successfully. Learners who have not
developed the appropriate personal traits sufficiently or who have yet to develop a sense of responsibility or positive attitude towards after school learning can be helped to develop these by ensuring: learners have ownership of the learning; they understand how the work is relevant to them and that their learning, in what ever field, is valued, acknowledged and where appropriate rewarded.
What constitutes Prep?
Prep is any task or activity undertaken by the learner out of lessons which offers an appropriate level of challenge to extend and develop the individuals learning and enable them to make progress and improve their knowledge, understanding and skills. To achieve this, the following may form part of an individual’s Prep programme:
Consolidation exercises (practice to improve skills and confidence)
Open ended exercises with a choice of outcome
Directed/guided/self-selected task on a specific topic.
Learning styles specific task.