Homework & Home Learning
The content, quantity and frequency of homework and home activities vary with each year group. The main focus of homework is predominantly English and Maths, with other subjects added to the programme as the children move through the school. For maximum impact, in line with the Education Endowment Fund research, homework is linked to the work being studied in class and are not separate tasks.
One of the most powerful ways to support your child's learning is also probably one of the easiest, and this is to spend quality time talking with your child. To achieve this successfully, other distractions such as the television or social media should be turned off. Use the quality time to talk to have discussions that explore ideas, opinions and possibilities. Parents modelling creative and critical thinking, negotiating and imagining, will support the child to be able to do the same. Incorporating technical, precise or more interesting vocabulary into the discussion is also a good technique to try.
Discussions in stimulating places
Places such as the garden centre, the museum, the supermarket are all great locations to stimulate conversation and offer an opportunity for the children to be introduced to precise technical vocabulary.
As a minimum all children should be reading to parents at least 20 minutes three times per week. Children are expected to have a Book Bag which they bring to school with them every day. Children in Early Years and in Key Stage 1, will bring books home that are linked to our Phonics Reading Programme, Little Wandle. It is very important that parents/carers listen to their child regularly in the early stages of their reading, giving support and encouragement and promoting a love of books. Taking your child to the local Library and ensuring that they are signed up as members is also a very positive way to support your child in choosing books independently and becoming a fluent reader.
Reading to your child as part of a bedtime routine is one of the loveliest things parents can do. Listening to stories told aloud not only gives children an ear for language and the spoken word, but it helps to create strong emotional bonds. If you are a busy parent, struggling to keep on top of supporting your child with home work, make reading to your child at bedtime the one thing that you prioritise over everything else!
Where children in later years are competent and independent readers then regular discussions with your child about what they are reading, and their thoughts and opinions, on what they have been reading will support your child in their comprehension skills.
All children from Year 1 upwards are expected to master a set of high frequency words. Lists of these words are given out at the start of the year and children should be able to read them, spell them and use them correctly within a written sentence.
Additional spellings are also distributed at the start of the week and these are tested at the end of the week. Please support your child to "Look, Say, Cover, Write and Check" their spellings. With spelling tests the emphasis is not always on getting everything correct, it is the effort and skill in learning the spellings that is important and the ability to accurately reproduce them in written work.
All children from Year 2 to Year 6 have access to Century Tech an online platform that works with your child to identify next steps in their learning. Included on this platform is an excellent set of activities to support your child's development in spelling, punctuation and grammar.
From time to time, children will be asked to produce longer pieces of writing at home. This may be as part of an extended project, or to document an activity such as making or baking. Children should be encouraged to try out unknown spelling words and then check using a dictionary if there is one at home.
Century Tech is an excellent platform for your child to use to practice and embed the Mathematics your child has been learning in school. Teachers will set Century Tech tasks for your child on a weekly basis, however, should your child want to do more, then they are more than welcome to do so with your encouragement.
Projects at Home
Arts, designing, research, making, baking and creating are also the types of activity your child may be asked to do when they are working at home. Sometimes, it will be expected that the child will do this on tier own, however, there are enormous benefits to children's learning, if they work on projects with family members, so this is also something we would encourage.
Learning in Nature
One of the most stimulating forms of home learning is Learning in Nature. This is the sort of experience that makes learning fun and memorable. Going on walks together in wind, rain or snow, walking in mountains, climbing over hills, strolling on beaches, picking up pebbles and pond dipping are all wonderful healthy experiences that are good for the head, and good for the heart.
The National Trust has a wonderful web page of 50 things to do before your child is 11¾ - this list of lovely ideas include rolling down a big hill, flying a kite, keeping a nature diary, watching a sunrise, stargazing and camping.
Experiences such as these are priceless and make a huge positive contribution to a child's cultural capital as well as their personal development.