Homework is always a contentious issue.
Some parents think that children should have lots of homework and some think they should have none at all! (And all shades of opinion in-between!)
We adopt what we think is a very common approach.
Infant children should read with someone at home every night. (In school, through Phonics, children are taught to read every day: at home, we ask you to practise this.) There is nothing more important that you can do at home than support your child’s reading as this unlocks the whole curriculum for them. (It’s hard to do History or Geography if you can’t read!) All children have reading records, written in by parents and staff and this is a major source of communication between home and school.
As children progress through school and become independent readers, it is inappropriate for them to be reading aloud at home; we want them to become thoroughly engrossed in books. The role of parents here is to support, encourage and discuss what has been read.
In terms of Maths, it is important for children to learn number bonds and times tables. These can be done on car journeys, counting lamp posts on the walk home or cooking in the kitchen. “A little and often” pays dividends.
Apart from this, children will be given homework every week by their class teachers which extends or reinforces learning in class. This should take NO MORE than 20 minutes per set. If it takes longer, please write to your child’s teacher on the bottom of work done. The last thing we want is for children to slog at home, crying because they don’t understand something. It puts them off learning.
When the children return their homework on a Friday, they may peer mark each others work. Children generally have a good understanding of one another and peer assessments and marking allow them to work together while determining each other’s areas of mastery. By doing so, they discover ways to overcome their obstacles and address deficiencies in ways that work best for them, instead of through prescribed interventions provided by a teacher.
Because children speak the same ‘language,’ they have a tendency to listen and take feedback from their peers, allowing children to increase their responsibility and develop autonomy of their own learning.
Children in Year 2 and Year 6 will have more homework in the run up to statutory testing in May.
Our written calculations policy is on this website under the curriculum tab; it will help you to understand how we teach Maths.
We run Maths and Phonics sessions for parents every year to show you how we teach children to learn so that you can use the same approaches at home.
Please encourage your children to learn at home; especially when they are very small, it can do major damage to constantly tell them that what they are doing is inaccurate. We are trying to build confidence! (If they were going to get everything right, they wouldn’t need to come to school.) In school, we correct inaccuracies which children should know and then challenge them with new learning. It would be really helpful if you could use the same approach.
Finally, remember that children are in school all week, working. Parents are a child’s prime educators and all the wonderful things you do at home, mid-week, at the weekend and in the holidays are crucially important in terms of developing values, confidence, independence, sound attachments, tolerance and broad horizons. We would far rather that you were engaged in active pursuits with your child than having them sit at a kitchen table doing Maths work sheets at the weekend!