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Independent Learning


What is Independent Learning? 


"By creating learners who are in control of their own education, we also create young adults who will continue to be independent thinkers in their lives beyond the classroom." 


Being able to think and act independently remains one of the most important skills that a pupil can learn. Failure to prepare pupils for the demands of a world where teachers will not be available to provide all the answers is to do them a great disservice.  


While spoon-feeding styles of teaching can sometimes offer the most direct route to ensuring that all students are making provable progress, it is possible to teach in a way that allows room for independence without sacrificing those all-important results. But to create a more independent learning environment we first started by adjusting the mindsets of everyone in the classroom − pupils and teachers alike. 


Introducing the 5Cs!



As of September 2021, Hillcrest Primary introduced the 5Cs of Independent Learning. Each “C” is a different skill, which contributes to becoming a successful independent learner! The skills are broken down into different areas, to help children understand what each “C” means.

To be a successful independent learner at Hillcrest, we need to…


Be Creative

Be Curious

Be Confident

Be Coordinated



Find out more about each “C” in the PDF attached below!

When do we use the 5Cs?

All the time! The 5Cs aren’t just for in the classroom, they can be used to help us in and out of school! When approaching tasks and projects, we encourage children to identify which aspects of the 5Cs they will need to complete them. Pupils are very keen to point of which of the 5Cs they need to utilise, whilst reflecting on which of the 5Cs they need to improve on using.

Why not listen to our 5Cs song below?

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What is the link with Sweden?

Mr Try was invited to represent Norfolk Headteachers as part of an International Project working alongside Swedish school leaders in February 2018.

This project also resulted in Mr Steel and Mr Martin spending some time in Swedish schools during the course of 2018 and 2019. All visits were funded by the Local Authority and not a drain on the school’s already stretched finances.

There are lots of elements of the English education system and styles of teaching that our Swedish counterparts have learnt from and been able to take home. Staff from the Swedish schools have, in turn, made return trips to Hillcrest. The schools that we visited were managed by an organisation called Kunskapsskolan who pride themselves on the independence that they develop amongst their pupils. The responsibility that the children took for their own learning journey stood out for us and, from a very young age, the children demonstrated a self-confidence and self-awareness that we often don’t get the opportunity to develop within our mainstream school system.