We believe that homework can have a significant, positive effect on children’s learning. To achieve this, homework needs to be carefully planned and made accessible to the children through clear explanations by teachers, alongside an understanding by children that it is their responsibility to manage and complete the tasks set. Additionally, support from home by parents and carers is needed to encourage and enable the pupils to appreciate that homework is an essential part of learning which will benefit their progress, confidence and enjoyment of school, and should be regarded as a life skill which is essential for their future.
Homework can be a positive, rewarding experience when clear expectations, routines and good communication are in place. We aim to encourage all our pupils from Year 3 to Year 6 to recognise that good practises in primary education lead to successful preparation for their time at secondary school. Homework can be fun as well as challenging!
Homework will enable pupils to:
Homework is varied according to the age, ability and needs of the children. It should be related to the curriculum and regarded as an integral part of the curriculum and the child’s learning process. To assist with the organisation of homework, the school will provide a homework diary to be maintained by the child, with the support of the teachers in Year 3, and which provides an ideal focus for all communication between home and school. It also provides a preparation for secondary education. Each year group will develop their own means of regularly communicating with children to ensure that every week the information is shared regarding work set, with weekend activities being displayed on the school website to enable worksheets to be printed at home as well as information available to parents. A homework timetable will be shared with the children at the beginning of the academic year.
If parents find that their child is experiencing difficulty with homework they should contact the teacher who has set the homework task either through the diary, by speaking to the class teacher at the end of the day or by contacting the school office to arrange an appointment to speak with the teacher. A guide to the length of time each child is expected to spend on homework is given below, however, if parents find that their child takes longer than expected, they should contact the teacher. We would strongly urge all parents to speak to the class teacher before any difficulty begins to cause a level of concern that leads to any unhappiness or increased stress at home. All teachers will aim to support children and families by suggesting a range of strategies that are designed to create a positive homework experience and the school will provide support for parents through a homework booklet.
Years 3 and 4
Children will be encouraged to read a wide range of literature. They should be reading for fifteen to twenty minutes every day and we would specifically encourage parents to read with, and talk to, their children as this promotes a love of reading and is a wonderful shared activity. We would encourage parents to regularly talk about the books being read, by discussing characters, story outcomes and opinions. Children will continue to learn their tables and spellings as these are essential consolidation tasks, as well as being given homework in English and Mathematics following their weekly lessons, with children spending between 20 and 30 minutes on each activity. Weekend homework is generally based around the foundation subjects so will relate to a variety of topics being studied during the term. This should be between 2 to 2½ hours per week in total.
Homework becomes more formalised in preparation for secondary education as the children move into the upper school. Shared reading is still very actively encouraged as an essential activity for our older pupils, as it promotes improved comprehension, enjoyment of books and fosters their interest in learning. Weekly tasks in English and Mathematics will continue, and pupils will be expected to spend about 30 – 40 minutes on each of these activities. Weekend homework will continue as in previous years, with children being expected to add more detail, complete extra research or present in a lively and interesting way, developing their personal skills of self evaluation and pride in their work. This should be between 2½ to 3 hours per week in total.
We know from feedback received, from secondary schools, parents and pupils, that our current policy of increasing the homework during Year 6 is very successful as a preparation for Year 7. All the above points in relation to our Year 5 pupils are still very important, however, in Year 6 we very much expect the pupils to aim to be more self-motivated, well-organised and diligent in their attitudes to fulfilling their homework. Extension work will feature as an important aspect of their learning, with a rigorous approach by teachers towards the development of high standards and neat presentation. Consistent use of the homework diary and good communication between the pupil, school and home are still an important aspect of this policy. This should be between 3 to 4 hours per week in total.
An agreed policy of sanctions for pupils who fail to complete homework, fail to hand homework in on time or leave homework diaries at home on a regular basis includes:
These will be applied, as appropriate to the pupil and the circumstances, in the teacher’s professional judgement, and in consultation with other colleagues and parents when required.
The school understands that is essential to have a balance between homework and social, out of school, activities and will actively promote children’s involvement in extra-curricular events (organised by home, as well as school). To support this ideal, we would encourage parents and children to plan their time out of school most carefully, to include both of these important aspects of personal development, and considering the needs of the child in relation to promoting a healthy balance for their all round well-being. Should difficulties occur, parents should request early discussion with the school so they can be readily resolved.