The aim of our home learning policy is to promote learning beyond the school day as an essential part of a good education. We believe that learning at home not only reinforces classroom learning, it also helps children and young people to develop skills and attitudes that they need for successful lifelong learning. It should support the development of independent learning skills, including the habits of enquiry and investigation, and it should help to foster the role of parents as co-educators of their children.
Types of Home Learning Tasks
Ongoing learning tasks
Regular reading is vital and all primary age children should be reading and listening to others read at home regularly. For pupils in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 home learning will largely consist of regular reading with parents and looking at books together; it may also involve practising phonics or new sight vocabulary. It is recommended that children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 spend at least 10 minutes each day reading. Parents should also exploit other reading opportunities, for example, reading out signs or notices on the way to school or at the supermarket.
It is equally important that children in Key Stage 2 either, read to parents, listen to their parents read to them or, if they are fluent readers, read on their own for approximately 15 to 20 minutes most days. Discussion about the content of what has been read is essential at both key stages, to ensure that children are engaging with the text. As children become more independent readers they should be encouraged to read a wide variety of different types of text. This may for example be reading a reference book for a history project, a newspaper, atlas or dictionary.
A comprehensive knowledge of number bonds and times tables is vital to a child’s success in Mathematics. As such, these will be practised weekly. The school will provide an outline of activities that are level appropriate to the individual child to help focus learning at home supported by parents. Parents are also encouraged to exploit opportunities to develop mathematical skills in the local environment; for example making using the digits of number plates to reinforce place value or challenging children to calculate problems at the supermarket.
Other weekly home learning opportunities
We believe that it is the involvement of parents in joint activities that is most valuable in promoting children’s learning. In addition therefore, to the ongoing learning tasks children will be given a balance of Literacy, Numeracy and International Primary Curriculum tasks each week. Tasks should reflect the specified time allocation per year group. Should a child find a task particularly challenging or time consuming they are not required to exceed such time specifications and instead to inform the class teacher. Home learning tasks do not necessarily involve formal recording, but a comment from a parent/carer on the way in which the task was approached and on outcomes will be expected. These activities will reinforce previous learning or encourage children to think about forthcoming topics. Activities will be appropriate to the age and ability of the pupil.
Each term children may be given an extended project related to IPC learning. A variety of skills will be used in completion of these tasks. Again outcomes may be presented in a variety of ways. Children may choose to complete ongoing home learning tasks on the weeks an extended task is given.
Time Allocation for Home Learning
Reception – 10 minutes per day (1 hour per week)
Year 1 and Year 2 – 10 minutes per day (1 hour per week)
Year 3 and Year 4 – 1.5 hours per week
Year 5 and Year 6 – 2.5 hours per week
Home Learning for Pupils with Special Educational Needs
Ongoing home learning tasks are individual to the needs of each child and these will be linked to Individual Education Programmes where appropriate. The teacher will differentiate other weekly and extended tasks as appropriate. Occasionally some pupils may benefit from special tasks separate from the activities set for other pupils in the class. It is important that high expectations are set for all pupils. Setting appropriate home learning tasks, which do not demand too much or too little of pupils and their parents, needs close co-operation between class teachers, special needs co-ordinators and parents.
Home learning tasks should:
have a clear focus and time-guideline;
give plenty of opportunities for pupils to achieve success but also be challenging;
help develop collaborative learning skills as well as independence
be varied – and include a variety of recording methods;
be manageable for teachers.
Roles and responsibilities
Teachers will ensure that:
home learning tasks are sent home as appropriate
pupils understand the purpose of the tasks
pupils understand how their home learning consolidates, extends or prepares for work in school
Pupils will ensure that:
they take home their Home Learning Diary and other necessary resources to be able to complete tasks e.g reading book
ensure that they understand the task to be completed
work is completed to their highest standard
At Langenhoe Primary School such tasks are voluntary.
Parents will ensure that:
a peaceful and suitable place is available in which pupils can do their home learning tasks
dedicated time is given by them to support their child with their home learning
children know that they value school work completed at home and support the school in explaining how it can help their learning
encouragement and praise is given to their child when completing home learning activities
Feedback for Pupils, Parents and Teachers
Where home learning is done together with adults, children will often receive immediate feedback on what they are doing. In the case of work they do on their own it is very important that they build on it, and/or receive appropriate feedback. This may be through class work (for example class discussion or feedback on work of which the home learning assignment is part) or through assessment or through individual comments from their teacher (these may be verbal or written).
Where parents have carried out activities with their own children, teachers will be interested in feedback from them, both on how well the children did in the activities and on whether the activities were interesting / too easy / too hard etc. Parents should make comments on the Home Learning Diaries.
The purpose of the ‘Home Learning Diary’ is to maintain a regular dialogue between parents and school. Parents are encouraged to comment about their child’s reading and how they have coped with the work which has been set for completing at home.