Dear Parents/ Carers,
As a staff we are very keen to work in close partnership with all our parents to ensure that all of our children reach their full potential, are happy and develop a love of learning.
We quite recently reviewed our approach to homework and I have also gathered the very valuable views of parents in the Parents’ Focus Group on this matter.
First of all, I just wanted to take this opportunity to outline our approach to links between home and school regarding learning:
Parents and other family members play a very valuable role in assisting their children in learning and practising skills such as reading and times tables.
We would like any learning linked with school that is done at home to enthuse and further enhance children’s learning in school.
We believe that any tasks done at home shouldn’t be burdensome and that children should have plenty of time for playing, seeing friends, taking part in other activities outside of school and spending time with their family.
As a result I would like to outline our approach to home/school links regarding learning:
As has always been the case, children will bring home a reading book matched to their ability and a free choice library book that they can read with a parent or other family member or have read to them; the aim being to engender a love of books.
All children in school now have a personalised bookmark with a wide range of tasks and ideas for developing reading and comprehension skills at home. Sometimes your child’s class teacher may ask the children to do a particular task from this bookmark at home but mostly it is simply there as a prompt and guide for you to support your child in reading and developing a love of books.
The children have daily phonics and spelling sessions in ability groups. They are constantly learning and practising to improve spelling so your child’s teacher may ask your child to practise a particular spelling pattern at home. The children from Y1 upwards have a Spelling Challenge Book with a choice of different activities to help them to learn to spell.
Children from Y1 - Y6 all have a Learn By Heart Book in which they can practise mental maths skills and knowledge such as their tables and number bonds in line with their maths learning journey steps. All of the children in school are placed on the Maths Learning Journey step (from step 1 to 9) according to their ability. When they have practised and are ready to move on they will be assessed by their teacher or teaching assistant and visit Mrs Brough for a sticker.
As you will be aware our learning focuses on a different theme each term. Each half term the children are given a set of ‘challenges’ to do at home linked with our theme.
The number of tasks completed (above a small minimum set in school) will be up to the individual child. The tasks are designed to be open ended so all children are able to succeed and those children who are very keen to do lots of school tasks at home will be able to produce more in-depth work. The tasks will be a mixture of practical, artistic, written, research, photographic, speaking, etc. activities so that every child’s aptitudes and preferences are catered for. We will celebrate all the tasks done and everything the children bring in at the end of each half term. Please encourage your children to do these tasks themselves with a little assistance rather than parents doing them for them!
At the Parents’ Forum we discussed the fact that ‘homework’ is regarded very differently by different parents and children: some love it and want lots, some children have to be coerced and it causes stress and time pressure at home, some parents feel strongly that they don’t want lots of worksheets to do every week and this can put children off. Our aim with any tasks sent home is to enthuse the children more, to share children’s learning with you and to develop a partnership where we work together.
Parents at the meeting suggested that rather than calling it ‘homework’ we call it Home Challenges which seems like a good idea as we want any tasks done at home to have the most positive connotations possible.
I welcome your views on these ideas and any questions you may have if I haven't explained clearly!