It is very important that school and home work together to develop a love of learning in our students. It helps enormously if work done at home is completed at a regular time and under the best conditions in order for the child to enjoy learning. Teachers are happy to give guidelines so that the support given at home mirrors what is learnt by your child in school.
Parents can involve themselves and their child at home in the topics being learnt in school. This helps to reinforce what is being taught and students can get a fuller learning experience.
Pre Nursery & Nursery
In Nursery, homework would simply involve supporting us by promoting independence at home (e.g. encouraging/teaching your child to take off and put on their own shoes and coat and eating by themselves, etc).
In Reception, parents should reinforce letter sounds, blending and listen to their child read. Initially phonetic word lists to be ‘sounded out’ with children will be sent home. Later, ‘Tricky Words’ will be introduced and exposure to these words at home will really help children to feel confident when reading.
It is always good to get children to make predictions about the story, answer open-ended questions and even write about what they enjoyed about the book.
Counting objects, identifying shapes, using mathematical language (e.g. more, less, rectangle, add, subtract) and learning number bonds by heart to 10 (e.g. 7+3=10, 8+2=10, 5+5=10) will all help your child in class.
General homework for EYFS students:
Share books together and discuss them
Using their fine motor skills (building up the muscles in the fingers by writing, colouring, cutting, squeezing and threading etc.) Please ensure the correct finger/scissor grip is reinforced at home.
Ask a lot of questions (get students thinking)
Get students physically active and playing alongside others
Do jigsaw puzzles and encourage them to solve their own problems As ‘home learning’ in the EYFS is not as structured as with older students, it can often be considered less important. However, please remember that these are the foundation years on which everything else is built and, therefore, the most important.
The following time spans should be followed as a guideline for weekly homework. Expectations will rise with the age of the children, guiding them towards independent study and a responsible attitude to learning.
Year 1: 30 minutes a week
Year 2: 45 minutes a week
Year 3 and 4: 1 hour a week
Year 5: 1 hour 15 minutes a week
Year 6: 1 hour 30 minutes a week
Every child should also read for 15 minutes every day.
The class teacher is responsible for setting homework, ensuring that the demands are manageable and relevant. Home learning should be varied, including many areas of the curriculum including Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Mental Mathematics, Written Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Art, etc. Normally, homework is reading and spelling and then an appropriate amount of written work. Teachers will aim to keep parents informed and involved.
Incomplete homework will be recorded and three instances will result in a letter home to parents or parents contacted through the homework diary.
Class teachers will regularly offer opportunities for additional studies/tasks at home. These will normally support and enhance the enjoyment of topics covered in areas of the curriculum not reflected in the weekly homework schedules above, for example Art, PE, Music, Arts and Sciences, Topics, Computing, etc. Typically, they will give children an opportunity to research or find out information and share it with their peers and teachers. Optional activities targeting learning goals in core subjects may also be offered to certain students following discussion and agreement between parents and teachers. Examples of activities might include creating a poster or fact sheet, bringing in an item for show and tell or sharing a presentation.
Teachers will always communicate these tasks (including dates to be completed) to parents and children clearly. This will provide the opportunity for greater depth of study for those that choose it. At the same time, it prevents undue pressure on very busy families or those that have long journeys to and from school.
Homework in the Secondary school is organised to take account of the variety of requirements across subject areas. For example, frequent short homework is ideal for reinforcing techniques in mathematics, whereas longer project style work is better suited to geography or history.
An important part of this strategy is to programme the students into a form of time management so it is important that students tackle homework early to avoid accumulation on one night. Form tutors will monitor this and students are encouraged to take on the responsibility for the organization of work as they progress through school.
All students are issued with a homework diary in which they should note the day’s homework AND the date it is due in. Parents are asked to check and sign the diary. Missing/incomplete homework will result in sanctions.
The aim is to build independent learners and a key aspect to this is incorporating into lessons the need to develop self-study skills.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
While homework is seen as an integral part of studies here at BST, the school is conscious of the need for a balance between academic work and home life and recreation. Consequently, subject teachers set homework that should be easily completed independently by the student within the stipulated time frames.
Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11)
A homework timetable will be published for Year 10 and 11 but the basic requirement will probably revolve around;
English 2 x 60 minutes
Maths 2 x 60 minutes
Science x 2 60 minutes
Option subjects 1 x 60 minutes
Parents are encouraged both to monitor their son/daughter and to ensure that they have a quiet place to work without distractions. While internet research may be required for the completion of certain assignments, parents should check that their son/daughter is not simultaneously accessing online communication sites and/or programmes such as Social Media/Gaming (which may, of course, be the reason why the assignment has taken markedly longer than expected).