Homework Policy 2017-18
Information for parents
What homework are children expected to do?
Children at all levels in school will be encouraged to complete regular homework tasks. These will take up varying amounts of time according to the age and ability of the pupils. It is expected that as pupils grow older, they will tackle more ambitious homework tasks in preparation for transition to secondary school.
Promoting reading at home is the most important way that parents can help their child make good academic progress at school in all areas of the curriculum.
Infant pupils should be encouraged to read each evening. This will normally be to practise their reading skills at home – phonics, word recognition and reading comprehension skills learnt in class - with parents, and to talk about their books. Guidance for parents on how to make best use of this time will be circulated to all new parents.
Junior pupils should be encouraged to read daily. It is acknowledged, however, that this is likely to be undertaken independently by older juniors. Younger juniors and less able readers still need to be listened to on a regular basis. We encourage parents to recognise that children’s comprehension and imagination, higher order thinking skills, understanding of the world and their love of books, develop through daily reading and discussion of stories, poetry and non-fiction texts, so parents of older/more able children are asked to continue to take an interest in their child’s reading and discuss books with them. As a minimum, we ask children to complete four reads a week and parents to date and sign the child’s reading diary.
All pupils from Y1 to Y6 are given a list of spellings each week to learn and practise daily using the LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK method, in preparation for a weekly spelling test. The number of words and their difficulty will depend on the age and ability of the pupils, and the word level objectives being covered in class. Junior children will be asked to write the words they are learning to spell in a sentence to show their understanding of the meaning of the word and practise their sentence writing skills.
Children from Year 2 to Year 6 will be given a weekly grammar activity, which will relate to the English curriculum objectives they are studying in class. This will help children consolidate their grammatical knowledge, skills and understanding.
Children from Year 2 to Year 6 will be given an arithmetic task and a reasoning task to complete at home. The arithmetic task is designed to help develop children’s fluency with number and give the children practice in using formal calculation methods and developing their mental arithmetic skills. The reasoning task will encourage mathematical thinking and help to develop children’s problem solving skills and secure their understanding of mathematical concepts by learning them in different contexts.
Whilst teachers will not set weekly times tables homework, parents will know which tables children are working on in class and will be encouraged to help their children learn them at home too. In the new national curriculum, children are expected to know their tables up to 12 x 12 off by heart by the end of Year 4. It is important that they learn them by rote, e.g. 6 x 7 = 42, 7 x 7 = 49, 8 x 7 = 56 (‘six sevens are 42, seven sevens are 49’) etc - and randomly. Children should also be encouraged to apply their knowledge of times tables in real life contexts, e.g. when shopping, a child might be asked, ‘How much would six of these cost? And what would the change from £1 be?’
Upper infants and junior pupils will be set other homework tasks related to the topic they are studying in class, e.g. a science, history or geography project, making an object for technology etc – but these will be optional.
Parents are notified through the class teachers’ termly letter what topics the class are studying and which day homework will be set and expected to be completed.
Carrying out homework
Homework is sent home in the child’s postbag, which should be checked by parents each evening.
All pupils are given a Reading Diary in which parents, teachers and older pupils record daily reading progress. This diary will travel to and from school every day and will be monitored by the class teacher. Children will also have a small book in which to record their spellings and sentences.
Children in Y2 – Y6 will complete their homework in their A4 homework exercise book. Maths and grammar tasks will be on paper, which children will stick into their books.
All homework will be marked, appreciated and celebrated. Where the homework has been of a practical nature, e.g. Make a dinosaur egg, there will obviously be no individual comments recorded; rather, the work will be looked at together and displayed in class (and sometimes shown in whole school assembly) and, if appropriate, a general note of appreciation will be sent home for the whole class.
We are all busy people these days, and we appreciate that children are engaged in a number of activities outside of school, which are time-consuming but provide valuable experiences for them. We also recognise that even more important than homework set by school are all the things children should experience at home, such as enjoying meals together, sharing books, playing games, discussing films, going to the park, even just talking to family members and spending time relaxing with loved ones. However, we must emphasise that if they are to retain their learning – and use it - children really do need time to practise, consolidate and apply the skills they learn in school. We do appreciate your support in giving your child the same message as we do, that homework is important and purposeful! Many thanks.