Why is it called Home Learning?
We call ‘homework’ by a different name at Fircroft because we want our pupils to see the activities they complete at home as opportunities to learn rather than a chore. At no time should Home Learning become a stressful activity that impacts negatively on family relationships. Our aim is for Home Learning to be a brilliant opportunity to learn creatively together!
Why do we do Home Learning?
The purpose of Home Learning is to consolidate, reinforce and extend school learning and to develop a working partnership and dialogue between our school, parents and carers. It also serves to encourage our pupils to learn independently and to develop confidence in their own skills and achievements. Basic skills will also be developed through Home Learning. From time to time, Home Learning will also provide opportunities for pupils to research ideas or topics which link to their work in class. Pupils have the opportunity to develop an interest and enthusiasm for new units of work and explore new topics. Finally, there is an expectation from the Department for Education, local council and school Governors, that Home Learning takes place.
After consulting widely with parents and pupils, it was clear that there is a great deal of support from the community for us to continue setting Home Learning, and our Home Learning policy has been written in response to those consultations and what the school considers to be best practice.
Parents can help by:
- Making time and space to allow their child to complete Home Learning
- Encouraging and praising their child when Home Learning is complete
- Becoming actively involved in supporting Home Learning activities
- Encouraging learning by using holidays and weekends to extend learning with visits and research
- Participating in family learning activities at school to model the value of home-school links
Do pupils have to do it?
Yes. The expectation from our school is that Home Learning is completed each week. It is accepted that there are occasions when, due to unforeseen circumstances, Home Learning activities will not be completed. In this instance, parents and carers should communicate this information with the class teacher. Children will not be punished for Home Learning that is incomplete but there will be times when the class teacher feels that it is appropriate to provide a time and space for tasks to be completed. This could include asking a child to miss part of a break time to complete a task. This is to encourage children to know that it is important to complete Home Learning and this serves as a support to parents.
Why is reading and phonics such a big focus?Reading
Reading remains the most important learning that children are asked to do at home and has a big impact across the curriculum. Regular reading, little and often is much more effective than irregular prolonged periods. We recommend that all pupils read daily. Reading with your child, to your child, listening to them read, talking about the stories, pictures and words and asking questions are all ways that you can support your child. When your child has read, please make a brief note in their Reading Record Book.
Each week children will learn about different spelling patterns and rules, investigating root words, prefixes, suffixes and building on their understanding. Through our lessons children will learn to spell words with regular patterns and learn strategies for tackling ’tricky’ words that can be hard to remember or do not fit regular spelling patterns. Spellings will come home each week based on the rules that have been taught in class or the topics children are learning about.
In Years 1 – Year 6 Home Learning is set on Fridays and should be completed/returned to the class teacher by the Wednesday of the following week. Home learning set in this way, allows families to determine a suitable time to complete the Home Learning.
What do they do and how much?
As pupils move through the school, the length and complexity of the tasks they are set increases. As pupils become older, they are expected to become more independent when completing their Home Learning as this supports them in the transition to secondary school.
Our youngest pupils take a reading book home regularly and we ask parents to share a book with their child each day. Parents and carers are also encouraged to upload photos and comments on our Online Learning Journal called Tapestry.
Our reception pupils are asked to read regularly with an adult at home. They also begin to learn to read the ‘tricky words’ and ‘high frequency words’ which are sent home as a set of five words. As pupils become confident decoding the sets of words and using them correctly, they are given the next set of words. Parents and carers are also encouraged to upload photos and comments on our Online Learning Journal called Tapestry.
Key Stage 1
Reading – Pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 are expected to share a book with an adult each evening for about 10 minutes and adults should record this in the Reading Record Book.
Phonics/spelling – Pupils are encourage to practise reading and writing the spellings that week which are linked to their phonics learning at school.
Mathematics – A short mathematics activity is set once a week, which should not take longer than 15 minutes.
Curriculum - There is also an activity linked to the curriculum which is often a speaking and listening activity or an opportunity to explore or investigate something outside of the classroom.
Key Stage 2
Reading - Pupils in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 are expected to read at home independently or with an adult every night and record their progress in their Reading Record Book regularly.
Spelling – Pupils are given a small set of words to learn for a quiz the following week. These words are linked to the spelling lessons taught in class that week or may be individual spellings based on words that your child is spelling incorrectly in their classwork. We have a very high expectation that pupils are able to apply the spelling that they have learned in their writing.
Curriculum – An activity linked to other learning is set once a week. This may be a writing task, a research topic, a science activity or a creative activity.
How should pupils record their work?
This will vary dependant on the year group of the pupil and the task. Pupils in Years 1 to 6 have a purple Home Learning Book where written tasks are completed. However, at Fircroft we encourage pupils to be creative in their presentation of home learning. This may include for example using a computer, making a model, a piece of art work, a poster etc.
What do I do if my child cannot complete the activities?
No problem. Home learning should be the consolidation and review of learning which has already taken place in class or research into a new topic. If your child has not been able to complete the task, it may be that they need more support to develop their understanding. In this instance, do not struggle through - simply write a note to the class teacher to explain that your child has not fully understood.
Any further questions or queries?
If you ever have any questions or queries regarding your child’s home learning, please speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance, who will be happy to help. Please click the link below to download a printable version of this page.