Cullybackey College decided to give all their Yr12, 13 and 14 pupils an in-depth training session on the practical skills for effective independent study. This took the form of a morning session with KS4 pupils and an afternoon session with all Post 16 pupils.
The practical programme focuses on the following skills:
Cognitive skills: such as being able to construct informal rules for solving problems; classify objects according to given criteria; form hypotheses; and reason logically.
Metacognitive skills: these skills highlight the importance of pupils being able to reflect on what they had done, monitor their progress and use self-assessment in order to take responsibility for their own learning.
Affective skills: these skills are related to managing feelings. Studies identify motivation as the most important affective attribute in relation to independent learning. One study suggested that another important affective skill, which is related to motivation, is ‘delay of gratification’. This refers to the ability to wait for achievement outcomes.