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How much studying should my child do?

By now, you’ll have a good idea if your child is good at independent learning or if they struggle to do things until the last minute.

During their time at Connell, we will support students to develop independent study skills.

We need you to support us with this by encouraging good study habits at home and by also ensuring that your child does not take on too much paid work or other responsibilities as this can have a negative impact on their final grades. Level 3 study needs to be seen as the equivalent of a full-time job. 

Studying at college looks different to what you will have seen at school and although students now have ‘free periods’ on their timetable they should not consider themselves as ‘free’ because the model of learning is different. At GCSE, students are taught full-time, making up about 80% of their efforts, with 20% of the effort required for the exams coming from independent revision. For level 3 studies, this changes to 50/50 lessons to independent study. Students have contact for 4 hours 45 minutes a week for each block, and need to be putting the same in during the times they are not allocated to a lesson for each block. 

If students are able to successfully use their time during the week, this means that they will be able to have important rest breaks over the weekend. Sixth-form study is a stepping stone to university and the world of work where this effort flips to 20% being from instruction and 80% from independent efforts, so developing these habits early will not only help them succeed in their studies but also get them ready for the next stage of their lives. 

If your child is studying a BTEC subject then they have regular deadlines to meet and failure to do so can lead to them failing the course and losing their place at college. To help you support your child you will always be notified when one of these deadlines is coming up and if it is missed you also be notified and informed about the next steps. 

Each subject will set independent work across the course, which will be set via Google Classroom, meaning they will be able to schedule their workload with ease and see upcoming deadlines. Their efforts will not stop here though, as all students are expected to review their learning each week to ensure that they understand the topics and are able to remember them. This can include students reviewing their learning from classes, but also delving deeper into the subject, e.g. reading related books or articles, completing related MOOC courses and watching documentaries recommended to them by the subject team. No student should ever be able to say that they have nothing to do during their study periods – there are endless opportunities for students to be making progress and preparing for their next steps.