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Homework is anything that children do outside the normal school day that contributes to their learning in response to guidance from the school. Homework encompasses a whole variety of activities instigated by teachers and parents to support children’s learning. For example, a parent who spends time reading a story to their child before bedtime is helping with homework.
Rationale for homework
Homework is a very important part of a child’s education and can add much to a child’s development. We recognise that the time and resources available limit the educational experience that any school by itself can provide; children benefit greatly therefore from the mutual support of parents and teachers in encouraging them to learn both at home and at school. One of the aims of our school is for children to develop as independent learners. We believe that homework is one of the main ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.
Homework can play a positive role in raising a child’s level of attainment. We also acknowledge the important role of play and free time in a child’s growth and development. While homework is important, it should not prevent children from taking part in the wide range of out-of-school clubs and organisations that play an important part in the lives of many children. We are well aware that children spend more time at home than at school, and we believe they develop their skills, interests and talents to the full only when parents encourage them to make maximum use of the experiences and opportunities that are available outside of school.
Aims and objectives
The aims and objectives of homework are:
• to enable pupils to make maximum progress in their academic and social development;
• to help pupils develop the skills of an independent learner;
• to promote a partnership between home and school in supporting each child’s learning;
• to enable key aspects of the curriculum to be covered in sufficient depth;
• to consolidate and reinforce learning done in school and to allow children to practice skills taught in lessons;
• to help children develop good work habits for the future.
Types of homework
In Key Stage 1 each child will provided with a reading book that they can read nightly, this may focus on a particular phonetic sound or be a part of the wider reading scheme. We encourage parents to ask questions about the texts and keep check of their child’s comprehension of what they have read, discuss the vocabulary and report any difficulties through the reading record. Children will receive weekly spellings and will also be asked to cover key mathematical skills to cover - these may be repeated over a number of weeks e.g. number bonds, number formation, times tables. Children will undertake daily/weekly progress checks in all the above areas. As stated in the rationale, we believe that children should develop their creativity and independence. As such we will provide a list of suggested activities at the start of a new topic that you may wish to complete at home, there is no requirement for these to be brought in to school, however if children wish to, then these will be celebrated in class. Year 2 may receive additional homework to support their learning.
In Key Stage 2 each child will be provided with a reading book that they can read nightly. We encourage parents to read the books with their children and check their comprehension of the texts they have read to develop the child’s skills of fact retrieval, inference and deduction. Children will reach a point where they are required to change their own books when read and we encourage parents to remind their children to change the book when finished. We also actively encourage children to read their own books from home. Any difficulties should be communicated through the child’s reading record. In addition to their reading book, children will receive weekly spellings and will also be asked to cover key mathematical skills to cover - these may be repeated over a number of weeks e.g. times tables, calculations of the four operations. Daily/weekly progress checks will be carried out in order to check children’s progression towards the objectives. As stated in the rationale, we believe that children should develop their creativity and independence. As such we will provide a list of suggested activities at the start of a new topic that you may wish to complete at home, there is no requirement for these to be brought in to school, however if children wish to, then these will be celebrated in class. Year 6 may receive additional homework to support their learning.
Any homework handed into school will be recognised for the effort and content.
Teachers may include links to websites that have appropriate worksheet style tasks on, that may be more appealing to some children and may be helpful to busy parents.
Amount of homework
We increase the amount of homework that we give the children as they move through the school. We expect Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to read nightly to parents or guardians. Children should spend enough time securing their knowledge of the set spellings and key mathematical skills that they can confidently tackle progress checks and tests.
Pupils with special educational needs
We set homework for all children as a normal part of school life. We ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to the age and ability of the child. If a child has special needs, we endeavour to adapt any task set so that all children can contribute in a positive way. When setting homework to pupils who are named on the register of special needs, we refer to the Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
The role of parents
Parents have a vital role to play in their child’s education, and homework is an important part of this process. We ask parents to encourage their child to complete the homework tasks that are set. We invite them to help their children as they feel necessary and provide them with the sort of environment that allows children to do their best. Parents can support their child by providing a good working space at home, by enabling their child to visit the library regularly, and by discussing the work that their child is doing.
If parents have any problems or questions about homework, they should, in the first instance, contact the child’s class teacher. If their questions are of a more general nature, they should contact the headteacher. Finally, if they wish to make a complaint about the school homework policy or the way it is implemented parents should contact the governing body.
Monitoring and review
It is the responsibility of our governing body to agree and then monitor the school homework policy. Parents complete a questionnaire each academic year and are encouraged to give their views about homework via Parent View online. The staff and Governing Body of the school pay careful consideration to any concern that is raised by any parent regarding homework. The governing body may, at any time, request from the Headteacher a report on the way homework is organised in the school.
Dane Royd Junior & Infant School