Independent Study

Independent study is a key part of A Level success. It is not possible to achieve the higher grades without it. The Personal Study element is particularly demanding in terms of students’ ability to organise themselves and work independently. Students need support to become independent learners, especially in the early stages of their A Level course. In this section you will find helpful articles, guides and resources to enable you to help your students to become more independent in their learning. 

Sort by: Date (Newest first) | Title A-Z
Show: All | Articles | Podcasts | Multipage Articles
  • Allowing A-level students to choose their own coursework focus

    Article

    Faced with the introduction of the new A-levels in 2015 and with a move to a new school, Eleanor Thomas took the opportunity to embrace yet another challenge: giving her students a complete free choice about the focus of their non-examined  assessment (NEA). This article presents the rationale for her...

    Click to view
  • Reading? What reading?

    Article

    Discussions with sixth-form students about reading led Carolyn Massey and Paul Wiggin to start a sixth-formreading group. They describe here the series of themed sessions that they planned, and the student discussion and reflections that resulted. Listening to their students discuss their reading led Massey and  Wiggin to reflect on what is meant by ‘reading around’ the subject, and its role in students’ intellectual...

    Click to view
  • ‘This extract is no good, Miss!’

    Article

    Frustrated that her A-level students were being overly dismissive when asked to judge the convincingness of academic historians’ arguments, Paula Worth drew on previous history-teacher research and theories of history for inspiration. After noting that her students would unjustly reject esteemed historians’ accounts for lack of comprehensiveness, Worth explains here...

    Click to view
  • A-level for the New, Novice and/or Nervous!

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2017 in Manchester. Helen Snelson, The Mount School Are you pretty new to, or uncertain about, A-level teaching? If so, this workshop is for you. Ideas and resources begged, borrowed, stolen and even created myself over the years are shared...

    Click to view
  • Getting away from the A-level trudge

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2016 in Harrogate. Sacha Cinnamond, Mildenhall College Academy This workshop provides some ideas for navigating through the mass of content at A-level yet still making it interactive, engaging and fun. While acknowledging that when the exam devil drives, enlightened ‘spoon-feeding’...

    Click to view
  • Achieving higher-order thinking with sixth-form

    Article

    Hark the herald tables sing! Achieving higher-order thinking with a chorus of sixth-form pupils On 9 April 1930, a philanthropist called Edward Harkness donated millions of dollars to the Phillips Exeter Academy in the USA. He hoped that his donation could be used to find a new way for students to sit around a table...

    Click to view
  • Why we would miss controlled assessments in history

    Article

    A place for individual enquiry? Why we would miss controlled assessments in history Most history teachers will, at some point, recognise the tension between teaching an engaging history course while at the same time meeting the requirements of an exam specification. Mark Fowle and Ben Egelnick reflect here on how...

    Click to view
  • Marr: magpie or marsh harrier?

    Article

    The quest for the common characteristics of the genus ‘historian' with 16- to 19-year-olds Diana Laffin writes about historical language and explores how understanding different historians' use of language can help sixth form students refine and deepen both their understanding of the discipline of history and their abilities to practise...

    Click to view
  • Creating confident historical readers at A Level

    Article

    Why was Pitt not a mince pie? Enjoying argument without end: creating confident historical readers at A Level How can we help pupils learn to read historically? Gary Howells explores this question by explaining how he builds reading challenges into the course of his pupils' post-16 studies and by describing...

    Click to view