Behind Pudsey’s and Victoria Park’s differing
approaches to develop independent learners
Pudsey Grangefield School’s “i-School” concept takes a third of a KS3 year group out of traditional lessons for a term to create an environment to encourage independent learning and team-working that’s akin to a business workplace. Students work on an extended project in teams of six, with a brief and a budget to spend on learning resources they decide they need. Adult “facilitators” are on-hand to help during timetabled periods, but project work continues beyond the bounds of the school. Project teams find appropriate, safe, quality books within RM Books and request rentals of those books for their team. The majority of students prefer learning “in i-School” and Pudsey have seen a 15% uplift in attainment during the one term programme relative to the other students.
Victoria Park Primary Academy have developed a “Learning in Depth” (LID) project which is now being embedded throughout the school. Groups are created that contain a child from each school year (Reception to Year 6) and students work with an adult to study a particular topic throughout their time at school. Topics are broad enough that they can be taken in any direction by the imagination and lateral thinking of the students, e.g. “Dust” has encompassed star and galaxy formation to urban pollution. In essence, each child feels they have become a master of a particular topic by the time they leave the school.
1. Introduce the topics to your students for their independent research
2. Send out logins and show students how to choose and request books
3.Grant students’ requests promptly and positively reinforce
“RM Books has helped develop reading ability within our class. We have done a topic about soap recently where the children have had their own companies and developed their own areas of expertise.” Assistant Head – Victoria Park Primary Academy
4. Demonstrate how students can annotate books to support their research
5. Monitor the research reading that is taking place
Not only did the students prefer learning independently through i-School, i-School students showed a 15% increase in attainment relative to their peers in regular classes.