We firstly recognise that there is a wide-ranging difference of views and expectations on what is meant by homework. In the traditional sense, homework is defined as structured learning at home. We want to put an emphasis, not on structured homework, but on enhancing children’s home learning experiences. It is acknowledged that the best outcomes from children are achieved when their parents are engaged in their learning. We will now refer to this as home learning – a change from the traditional word homework.
As a school, we DO expect children to be reading at home 3 or 4 times a week. We also expect spellings to be practised a few times a week (this could the child working independently), and some form of maths which could include counting, number bonds, time tables, or in Year 6 more structured calculations to prepare them for their SATs.
In addition to reading, spelling and maths, we also encourage parents to take advantage of any other home learning activities. These come in a range of shapes and forms and may simply be enhancing activities parents are already doing to put an emphasis on the learning message. We recognize that some parents will have more opportunity and time than others. The message is that home learning does not have to be structured homework but with imagination can take many guises. Also, for those of you that said tasks were too boring, this provides an opportunity for you to be creative and make learning fun!
Our belief is that the most effective learning experience for children is achieved when you have a three pronged approach with parents, children and the school all proactively engaged in driving the learning.
Feedback from the school council shows that children themselves recognise the need to learn at home, and with the right motivation they have a very important role to proactively take some responsibility for their learning at home. We should not underestimate their desire to learn and we should all do whatever we can to harness it.
We each have an equal part in our children’s home learning experience. We encourage all parties to engage in home learning in which ever form is appropriate for each family unit as each will be different.
To be clear, we do recognise that the activities that families already do, is home learning. For example, families cooking together, baking, visiting museums, shopping, holidays, writing to granny, sending postcards, gardening etc. We would love to hear about these exciting activities that are already happening at home – this is HOME LEARNING. As a community we can share our home learning experiences and grow together.
We see the school’s role as enablers of this triangular relationship. We will be working hard to open home learning communication and spread great ideas and celebrate successes.
Minimum home learning expectations
- Reading 3-4 days per week with your child for 5-10 minutes – discuss language/character with a comment in the reading record.
- Children to practice their spellings 2-3 times per week –this can be independently and then checked by you or an older sibling.
- Some form of mathematics – their times tables, number bonds or formal calculations set by their teacher in Year 6.
We see the above as essential but encourage all families to consider what they can do in addition to this to facilitate learning at home. Please let us know what works for your family so that we can provide an opportunity to share your ideas with other parents and to give your child a sense of pride for what they have achieved.
Policy reviewed: February 2017