Principles behind Home Learning at Hawksmoor
There has been a lot of research conducted to explore the impact that home learning has on a child’s academic and social development. The results conclude that, at primary school age, home learning has very little impact. This document has been created to explain the principles behind our approach to home learning at Hawksmoor. The schools ‘principles for home learning have been developed and agreed by the whole staff and has the full agreement of the Governing Body.
Through this guidance we aim to:
• Ensure that parents are clear about what their child is expected to do.
• Ensure consistency of approach throughout the school.
• Improve the quality of the learning experience offered to our children and to extend it beyond the classroom environment.
• Provide opportunities for parents, children and the school to work together in partnership in relation to children’s learning.
• Encourage children and their parents to share and enjoy learning experiences.
• Reinforce learning covered in class by providing further opportunities for individual learning.
• To practise or consolidate basic skills and knowledge, especially in maths and English.
• Encourage children to develop the responsibility, confidence and self-discipline needed to study independently.
• To prepare Year 6 pupils for the transfer to secondary school.
The Nature of Home learning
It should be noted that home learning can be set in many different forms with many different expectations and outcomes. It is important to remember that when expecting and setting home learning there are a number of points to consider:
1. The nature and type of home learning changes throughout a child’s school career.
2. Amount and frequency of home learning should increase as a child gets older but this may also vary through the school year and be appropriate to the ability of the child.
3. Home learning should not cause undue stress on the pupil, family or the teacher.
4. It will not necessarily come in the form of a written task.
5. Home learning should be set regularly from the Foundation Stage to Year 6
At Hawksmoor, children are expected to read at home daily. Teachers will advise parents and carers on a variety of ways to engage with reading with their child at home. They will also be given spellings and times tables to practice at home. This is not with a view to children being tested. In class competitions may be encouraged but not a weekly ‘test’. Children can practice their times tables on ‘Times Table Rockstars’ (https://ttrockstars.com)
Each term the children will be given a choice of projects to complete. These projects will relate to a variety of curriculum subjects from their topic areas, which will support and reinforce what the children will be learning at school. These projects will vary from: maths investigations, art projects, design projects, model building, creating a blog, a writing activity, keeping a journal and many more. We encourage parents to work with their children on completing their project.
We expect all the children to work hard throughout the school day and therefore their time outside school should be for rest and relaxation. Going to Brownies, Beavers, swimming, dance and football clubs are very valuable activities. Equally valuable is family time spent at home, playing, talking, and seeing friends.
We also believe that a carefully balanced home learning programme is beneficial for the children for the following reasons:
• To give parents opportunities to be directly involved in their child’s learning
• To reinforce the partnership between home and school
• To consolidate skills learnt in school and give opportunities to extend learning
Home learning is not compulsory but children are strongly encouraged to complete it. It is most effective and productive when done in a supportive, secure environment when time is set aside. We have found that children who are helped with their homework, particularly their reading, make much better progress.
Role of the Class Teacher
• To provide an explanation of home learning tasks to children and, when necessary, parents and give guidance of how they might assist their child. This may be done by a note with the work, at a pre-school parents’ meeting or at an open evening if possible.
• To set up regular home learning in an easily followed routine.
• To ensure that home learning is set consistently across classes in the year group.
• To ensure any home learning is purposeful and links directly to the curriculum being taught.
• To mark home learning appropriately, when necessary and give feedback to pupils.
Role of Parents/Carers
• To support the school by ensuring that their child attempts the home learning.
• To provide a suitable place for their child to carry out their home learning
• To encourage and praise their child when they have completed their home learning.
• To become actively involved and support their child with home learning activities.
• To make it clear that they value home learning and they support the school by explaining how it can help learning.
• Wherever possible staff should try to feedback on home learning created by our children. This will help to give the whole process of setting and completing home learning a higher profile and status. It will also send out the message that home learning is an important and valued aspect of school life. Feedback may be given to individual pupils, or to groups of pupils. Home learning of an exceptional standard can be used in class and whole school displays.
• If children are absent due to illness we will not send home learning home. We would assume the child was too ill to work.
• If a child is absent for a length of time e.g. with a broken leg, the teacher and the parent will agree what should be done, how it should be marked and what sort of help needs to be given. In such circumstances the teacher should consult the Head teacher first.
• It is not possible to give home learning when parents take holidays in term time.
• Parents/Carers who have queries about home learning should not hesitate to make an appointment to see their child’s class teacher.
What will it look like?
When covering your medium term plan teachers will generate one document with a list of activities from a range of subject areas – this is then ready to be given out at the beginning of each term. You can then specify how many pieces you would like in by the end of the term.
Please click on the links below to view current Home Learning plans for: