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Home learning consultation

Why do we have a home learning policy?

This policy has been formed to address the need for a clear, purposeful approach to homework in our school. Our school refers to homework as ‘home learning’. This policy aims to set out the purpose of home learning, taking into account parental, staff and governor views and guidelines from the DFE.

Homework can play a vital role in raising standards and maintaining good home/school links but where parents are unsure of the expectations of the school and pupils do not receive clear feedback from both home and school, then it may actively discourage learning and damage the home/school relationship. It is when home and school work in partnership that homework will make the greatest contribution to learning.

Its purposes include:

  • To learn new skills and knowledge
  • To practise skills and knowledge as a follow up to lessons in school
  • To prepare for future lessons
  • To develop independent study skills and good study habits
  • To involve parents to take an interest in and support their child’s learning
  • To encourage children to explore areas of interest to them
  • To extend concepts and skills

Time allocation and type of home learning at different stages

Our school adheres to DCSF guidelines for home learning which are as follows:

  • Foundation Stage – 30 minutes per week
  • Key Stage One – 1 hour per week
  • Years 3 and 4 – 1 ½  hours per week
  • Years 5 and 6 – 30 minutes per day

Of much more importance is the quality of home learning. We recognise that parents/carers must manage home learning time according to their child’s needs or other things going on at any given time. These time allocations are therefore very much to be used as guidance for parents/carers, and for our school in the setting of home learning tasks. We recognise that the type and purpose of home learning activities changes as children move through the school.

In Key Stage One it is important to establish partnerships with parent/carers and involve them actively in their child’s learning. Learning activities can be brief and may include activities such as:

  • Simple games
  • Spellings
  • Number facts
  • Reading
  • Activities to be shared together (family learning)

These activities give younger children an opportunity to talk about what they are learning, and to practice skills in a supportive environment.

In Key Stage Two, home learning provides more of an opportunity for children to develop the skills of independent learning, which should increasingly become its main purpose. It is important that teachers share the level of parent assistance that is expected on tasks through newsletters, meetings or the children. By the time children reach Year 6, home learning should cover a range of tasks and curriculum content. Activities may include:

  • Reading - literature or in preparation for lessons
  • More formal Literacy or Numeracy tasks, possibly longer  tasks to be completed over the course of a week or a weekend
  • Number games and Times tables
  • Challenge tasks for developing spelling
  • Activities to be shared together (family learning)
  • Finding out information
  • Preparing oral presentations
  • Written assignments
  • Science tasks

When will my child have homework?

Days of setting and returning homework are determined by the class teacher and published in their termly newsletter. Classes may have different ‘setting’ days because of their curriculum plans and timetables. Please do contact teachers if you require further support/information.

What will my child have to do?

The content, timing and amount of home learning tasks are set according to the age and stage of your child. As you will see from the details above, the amount increases from year group to year group. The amount in Year 6 helps prepare children for homework they will receive at their secondary schools. If you have any queries or concerns please do talk to the class teacher, Key Stage Co-ordinator or Headteacher. We want to work in close partnership with you so that home learning is a beneficial and enjoyable experience.

A note about reading

We believe that regular reading is vital. For children in Key Stage One, home learning will largely consist of regular reading with parents/carers, looking at books together. For more fluent readers, we encourage independent reading of at least 10 to 20 minutes per day. This may be done in the context of home learning (for example, reading a school reading book or reference book) or in the other contexts (such as reading from newspapers, comics, internet sites, signs etc). It is important to note that on some days reading will be done as part of the home learning tasks, but on other days, reading time may be in addition to other home learning tasks.

Co-ordination, monitoring and assessment of home learning

Class teachers are responsible for coordinating home learning. It is the class teacher’s responsibility to ensure that the demands of home learning tasks are manageable for children and parents/carers on a day to day basis. It is also the responsibility of the class teacher to set regular patterns of home learning.

Class teachers are responsible for allowing sufficient time for home learning tasks to be completed, which take into account time for information to be collected and other after school activities which children may be involved in. Although this may be different for individual children, the class teacher will ensure that demands are as even and balanced as possible. We ask parents to sign reading records when they have read with their child.

Feedback to children on home learning

We recognise that completed home learning should be acknowledged and praised. As outlined previously, feedback will either be written or verbal. In addition, effort with home learning will be rewarded through our school merits system.

Feedback to parents/carers and teachers on home learning

Feedback on home learning tasks will be given by teachers as required. Home learning slips will be sent home if a home learning task is not completed and this MUST be signed and returned to the class teacher. Where there is evidence of home learning tasks not being completed on a consistent basis, teachers will contact parents/carers to discuss any issues surrounding tasks. Parents will be given the opportunity to comment on home learning in person on an informal basis, or at parent’s evenings, or class drop-ins.

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