Readers are Leaders

Andrew Stark – Head of Libraries


The idea of ‘independent learning’ can be a bit confusing.

Some boys take a while to realise that there are actually two types of work in secondary school. There is the obvious work, the work your teacher specifically tells you to do like homework, working on assignments, preparing for tests and assessments. The other is independent learning – this means you become responsible for your own learning and academic development. So, on the nights where boys do not have much compulsory work, they should be working independently. These are the additional things you do to improve your understanding of your subjects.

Some good examples of independent learning include:

  • Reading in the subject area … or completing some general, wide reading
  • Reviewing what you have been learning at school that week
  • Redoing the questions you found difficult
  • Researching an area in which you are interested
  • Making a mind map about what you have been learning
  • Making study notes on a topic
  • Reading ahead in your textbook
  • Improving your study skills (you can complete units on
  • Doing work from a different textbook or study guide for one of your subjects (check in the library)

Boys may not have time to do independent learning every night, but, on the whole, they should be able to complete some independent learning at least two or three times each week.

One component of independent learning in senior school is making your own study notes or summaries. You can learn more about how to make study notes in the unit ‘Summarising’ on

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