The Highcrest Academy

Academic Productivity and Student Autonomy

As we move into a new decade one of our whole school objectives is to improve student autonomy and in turn to increase academic productivity, thus supporting our values of excellence, aspiration and achievement.

This objective is underpinned by a moral commitment to enhancing students’ learning opportunities and outcomes.

Developing student autonomy and academic productivity promotes equality of opportunity, as it supports all students to work more effectively and efficiently to achieve their best outcomes. This objective fosters individual responsibility, through students routinely reflecting upon and developing their own productivity.

What is student autonomy?

Student autonomy involves building the knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits (KASH) of learners so that they can be more independent of their teachers. 

Ultimately our aim as teachers is to make ourselves redundant.  Redundant because learners have the right KASH to thrive in the next step in their education, be it secondary school, university or the world of work. 

In our work we see autonomy as applying to the class as well as the individual.  We therefore see autonomy as interdependence rather than a paradigm of an education system which builds isolated intellectuals with little emotional intelligence.

What is academic productivity?

Academic productivity is a term that is used to describe the effective and efficient learning habits (routines) and behaviours (actions and attitudes) of students.

There are many factors that positively impact on academic productivity. These include:

  •  length of time on high return study tasks;
  •  excellent attendance;
  •  reading age at least in line with chronological age;
  •  sleep that allows optimum level of functioning and
  •  avoidance of distractions such as social media.

Academic productivity exists on a continuum from high to low. Students with high academic productivity adopt and develop habits that maximise their learning. Each subject area has identified high return tasks that contribute towards high levels of academic productivity.

What academic productivity is not

  • Academic productivity is not simply about the total number of hours that students spend studying, but the effective and efficient learning habits and behaviours that maximise learning inside and outside of school.
  • Academic productivity is not about working harder, but using time more effectively to maximise learning.
  • Academic productivity is not a term that can be directly measured, so a Number of indirect measures are used.

What are our key outcome indicators?

  • Students make outstanding progress as measured through internal and external assessments.
  • Student surveys show improvements in identified areas throughout the year.
  • Reading age is at least in-line with chronological age for the vast majority of students.
  • Staff survey indicates that student productivity continues to increase.      

How will we be measuring improvements in academic productivity?

  • Analysing students’ attitude to learning against performance outcomes
  • Surveying our students about their productivity each term, using a self-reporting method.
  • Assessing the reading age of students and supporting students to develop a reading age above their chronological age.
  • Surveying the perceptions of our staff on their assessment of productivity each term.
  • Carrying out case studies on students who are above and below target.
  • Analysing Academic Productivity Profiles.