Developing independent learners at Northholm

Northholm Grammar believes that the fundamental role of the teacher is to develop the whole student, which means putting the development of their academic, social and emotional skills at the forefront of education.

A pivotal part of Primary Years education is the focus on independent learning, especially during the recent remote schooling period.

Building independent learners are a significant element of Northholm’s educational philosophy. Throughout Term 3, our students demonstrated how they excel in their ability to become self-regulated.

This means they are, in many ways, made responsible for managing their own time, how they approach a task, monitoring their progress and reflecting on their results.

Firstly, students are required to plan, determine goals and prepare strategies. This is crucial as students are often eager to start without planning and these skills need constant refinement and practice.

As part of this process, students learn to analyse the task, set the goals, develop the strategies they’ll use and determine their outcome expectations.

After the planning phase, as they begin to work on the task at hand, students are required to measure and monitor their own performance. As they are provided by teachers at Northholm with the purpose of the learning and the success criteria, they are able to repeatedly measure their achievements.

Finally, reflecting on their performance is essential to ensuring growth. They are asked to review the effectiveness of the strategies they employed, their follow-through and whether they reached the desired outcome.

Failure to achieve their goals or making mistakes are not considered a lack of ability, but rather proof of learning and used to help plan for next time. Students are expected to adapt as the cycle starts again with the next task.

At Northholm, we start fostering this process in our students from a young age, with an ongoing focus on growth and improvement. These skills continue to be useful in the secondary years and beyond, to ensure students gain the full benefits of their experiences within the classroom and in the community.