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To ask what amount of independent study is reasonable for Year 11 students per week?

(62 Posts)
jillowarriorqueen Fri 06-Sep-19 22:35:53

DD1 is in year 11. She attends the best performing state school in the local area. However, she has never seemed to get a lot of homework throughout KS3 and the first part of KS4, maybe a couple of hours a week max.

I have recently met with the Head of Curriculum and Learning and she has been pretty casual about the GCSE results, saying that they only need a bunch of 4s to qualify for their 6th form and that my DD will easily get that.

I agree, she will. But I don't want her to get a fist full of 4s and have to be restricted to applying to her current school sixth form. She is a bright kid, but has fallen into a toxic friendship group that is far from aspirational in terms of academics. She has spent much of her secondary education so far trying to intervene in child protection issues surrounding self harm and suicidal ideation in order to "save" a number of her troubled friends.

I want her to get away from her current school and have the chance to go where her dad teaches, which is much more academic and inspirational. I want her to be free of these friendships that are simply wearing her out and dragging her down. She has said she would like to go there too, but doesn't understand the sacrifices she will need to make in terms of time in order to get there ( It's one of the top grammar schools in the UK, and a state school to boot).

Given that she is in mostly top sets in year 11, I would expect her to be studying for 2 hours a night minimum, but this has met with tears and masses of resistance.

What do you think is a reasonable amount of independent study per week for a bright year 11 with a desire to get a fistful of 7s and 8s? AIBU asking for one hour a night or should I be helping her to aim for more time of independent study, given that school seems incapable of giving much homework. This is a separate matter that I need to take up with them, I know. But in the meantime, what do you think is acceptable study time?

Thanks in advance.

UncleMatthewsEntrenchingTool Fri 06-Sep-19 22:40:17

By year 11 I would think 2 hours at least on a school night and a good four hours over the weekend?

jillowarriorqueen Fri 06-Sep-19 22:44:17

That's my thinking also. To my DD I am a massive witch for saying this and she goes into meltdown, lazy monkey. I need to get bad ass on her.

Ohyesiam Fri 06-Sep-19 22:48:29

My DH teaches a core subject and we have a year 11 DD, he wants her to do two hours a day if independent study.
She doesn’t have melt downs, she just doesn’t do itangry

Cherrysoup Fri 06-Sep-19 22:57:58

Get badass, OP!

I had a very interesting discussion with a Year 11 student in my form this morning. He was predicted a 4 in his English Literature (they take it early) and achieved an 8. He’s not hugely able so was ecstatic that his hard work paid off. He said he did 3 hours work at home in his room per evening (with breaks for dinner/snacks) for the 3 weeks before the exam. Independent study, watching YouTube videos, annotating his book/notes. Crucially, he didn’t attend any of the offered study sessions or extra revision. He is taught by the Head of English who seems very good.

You might want to pick bits of this to tell your daughter! Overall, I think she should be doing an hour an evening now, building to 2 when mocks are imminent.

It sounds like your dd’s hoy isn’t too concerned about her being ambitious, which is a shame. I’d encourage her to strive to achieve the best possible grades, which is what all her teachers should be doing also.

OwlinaTree Fri 06-Sep-19 23:07:43

Two hours a night is quite a lot I think. I would expect a child to do whatever homework is set, and then revise for exams. I wouldn't expect a 15 yo to spend two hours randomly studying stuff in addition to homework if that's what you mean.

Londonmummy66 Fri 06-Sep-19 23:10:45

I have the opposite problem. I have a yr 11 DD who is interested in a wide range of subjects including music and current affairs. The other night she spent 1.5 hours watching Brexit debates and having online discussions with friends on the debates. She also does about 60 mins of music practice a night. Her school expect 40-50 mins of homework x4-5 subjects a night. I think that this is a ridiculous amount of private study - if the school need this to achieve decent GCSE grades I think that there is something seriously wrong with their ability to teach and that they have forgotten that the purpose of education is to produce educated and well rounded individuals and not to be simply an exam passing factory.

BrokenWing Fri 06-Sep-19 23:11:05

Ds is currently doing 10hrs a week. We've worked out a rough weekly plan which he tries to mostly do mid week, but if he doesn't compete carries into the weekend.

yearinyearout Sat 07-Sep-19 06:48:27

In gcse year I would expect a couple of hours a night if they want to do well, not unreasonable at all.

AppleKatie Sat 07-Sep-19 06:57:41

An hour an a half a night unless she’s given an usually large bit of homework then a bit more.

In terms of independent work does she know how to do this? Have you bought her revision packs?

It is recall and testing practice she needs NOT abstract reading of her own notes or highlighting text books.

BeanBag7 Sat 07-Sep-19 07:13:18

That sounds like loads to me. I think you should compromise and say an hour per night and at least one evening off per week.
What are her predicted grades? What grades did she achieve in her year 10 mocks? If she is on track to get 7s and 8s already then I dont see why she needs to do 10 hours of revision every week. If she is falling behind then maybe it is necessary.

If you are going to make her study it is worth investing some time in study skills so it's not wasted time. Staring at a textbook for 2 hours is mind numbing and won't teach her anything. At this time of year putting together revision cards is a good idea, which she can then revisit later in the year as a reminder.

8by8 Sat 07-Sep-19 07:15:12

At 15/16 I did 4 hours of homework/study/revising every weekday, and anywhere between 4 and 10 hours on weekend days.

I think that was at the higher end, but I wasn’t the hardest worker in my school - it was academically selective, had the best results in our area (by a long way) and the expectations were high.

Honestly if she wants the grades she needs to put in the work.

8by8 Sat 07-Sep-19 07:16:04

I’m shocked reading some of these replies tbh, seems like most people do a lot less work than we did! I suppose that shouldn’t be shocking really, children in our school did tend to get very good grades.

Witchinaditch Sat 07-Sep-19 07:18:08

I’d say 2 hours a night is reasonable and probably the minimum. It sounds like her school should have higher standards.

OneInEight Sat 07-Sep-19 07:26:22

By this age the child has to want to do it rather than the parent forcing. You can get her to sit with her books for two hours a night possibly. You can not get her to actually study them unless she wants to.

ds1 had no homework all the way through secondary (this was because it was a special school) but decided half-way through year 11 to do revision at home himself and got very good grades in his GCSEs. What helped motivate ds1 was an ambition to return to mainstream so he can ultimately get a job as an architect or engineer. Obviously his circumstances were very different to your dd's but if you can get your dd to work out where she wants to be in five years time that should help motivate her.

boredboredboredboredbored Sat 07-Sep-19 07:27:02

Dd is yr 11, targeting 7-9s in mocks. Her school do seem to set a lot of homework. I'd say she is doing around 1-5 to 3 hours per night on average. She is a grafter though and I'm not sure how much of that she does off her own back (art for example, she'll sit for hours drawing).

sashh Sat 07-Sep-19 07:30:52

It's not about time it's about actually studying.

How many subjects is she taking? I find open book past papers are a good way.

So Instead of approaching past papers as exam practice use them for her to write model answers, if there are options eg a choice of essay title then she should not choose bur write model answers to all options.

Say she is doing 10 subjects then she should do 10 past papers a week this way.

Charles11 Sat 07-Sep-19 07:33:19

My dn just had her GCSEs. She did a few hours every night from the start of yr11 and did well.
She was quite motivated and watched a lot of YouTube videos of people who’d done well in their GCSEs ‘how I got a 9 in GCSE english’ type of ones.
Might be inspiring for your dd.

RedHelenB Sat 07-Sep-19 07:37:17

Imo a bright child who only works in lessons and minimal homework/revision could achieve Bs or I suppose 5s and 6s in new grades. So shes on lower than that at the moment . Are you sure the grammar is the best place for her as she may well feel too much pressure amongst brighter, harder working kids?
What are her ains for the future?

DoctorAllcome Sat 07-Sep-19 07:40:38

I think it depends on how bright the kid is and quality of teachers.

I looked up 4s and they are low Cs....that’s average, not bright. If that’s is what she is getting, she is averagely bright will need to put in more effort and/or get better teachers. So a better school may be just what she needs.

That said, her care for her friends is admirable. Is she interested in MH as a possible profession? You could motivate her by linking her grades now to the path for A levels in psychology or medicine.....

mnahmnah Sat 07-Sep-19 07:41:53

I work in a top-performing state school. Homework is rigorous at our place. English, maths and science homeworks are 90 mins each per fortnight. Other subjects 60 mins per fortnight. But they are expected to do independent revision, reading, research on top.

OneHamm3r Sat 07-Sep-19 07:44:31

You can’t base brightness on what children are getting at a school which isn’t pushing her. Some kids get a lot more support from schools and push themselves more. Doesn’t make them brighter.

HeyDuggeesCakeBadge Sat 07-Sep-19 07:48:24

OP if it's the best performing state school then they are on to something by not pushing unrealistic homework standards on kids.

I did really well in my GCSEs and I ramped up my studies close to my exams - I definitely did not do 2 hours a night.

RedHelenB Sat 07-Sep-19 07:55:23

None of my dds did anywhere near 2 hours a night either. I would describe them as bright and they are both at Russell group unis.However, having said that looking at their primary school class on the whole those that worked hard (even if they were less "bright") were rewarded. However some worked all hours and didnt get the grades they worked for.

If your husband works at the grammar he must gave an idea of how she'd fit in.

PhilCornwall1 Sat 07-Sep-19 07:59:31

Depends how she spends those couple of hours. She could have the books in front of her and actually be doing bugger all.

She has to want to do it at the end of the day. No matter what you try to enforce, if she doesn't want to do it, she'll burn the time doing very little.

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