Even Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan have an opinion on homework. In many cases, our views depend on:
- Whether we have children
- How many children we have
- Our personal circumstances
- The nature of our jobs
- Whether our children are in Primary or Secondary settings
- Our own memories of homework
It’s hardly surprising that homework is a bone of contention.
We want to make sure that we get the balance right, so your views in the recent survey were very valuable.
The Department of Education recommended an hour of homework a week for primary school Key Stage 1 children (aged 4 to 7) and half an hour a day for primary school Key Stage 2 children (aged 7-11). Many primary schools still use this as a guideline.
For some parents and carers, no matter how much homework is set, it’s never enough; for others, even asking them to fill in their child’s reading record once a week can be a struggle due to a busy working life.
As a school, we’ve decided to set a minimum, but provide further opportunities for children to apply what they have learnt in context and/or follow something that they are really interested in/ inspired by should they wish to.
In general, your feedback suggests that children really enjoy interactive and creative opportunities. Also, many parents and carers have busy lives, so tasks should be as independent as possible- while still allowing parental input and the opportunity for you to take an interest in your child’s leaning and progress.
What will be set?
Obviously, the nature of the tasks will vary according to teacher, current topics and the child’s Key Stage.
Each week, children will be set ‘essential’/‘SHOULD’ tasks:
- spelling practice, reading and multiplication practise (where/when applicable) daily
- an alternated, weekly Maths and English activity which is linked to a current focus in class. (One week Maths, the next week English)
Additional work. ‘COULD’ tasks:
This work could be associated with any subject, but will be usually associated with their Mantle of the Expert topic. There will be a range of tasks available the children may choose to complete. Many of them will be unstructured opportunities to extend their learning and be as creative as possible. There will be an opportunity to share and celebrate this extra work at the end of each half term.
As you know, Homework is not compulsory in England’s schools but is officially encouraged. The government’s guidelines for schools in England say children should be doing homework from the day they start primary school. What we have aimed at as a school, is to set ‘essential’ tasks as those that involve basic fluency. While we cannot, and will not, enforce these tasks- we strongly recommend that they are completed. The ‘COULD’ tasks aim to build on basic skills.
How will we feedback?
Homework tasks give a great insight into children’s knowledge and understanding. We aim to give timely feedback and always use the homework tasks as a basis of formative assessment and future planning.
The feedback is always positive, identifying areas that are targets or celebrating new learning and effort.
How will homework be rewarded?
There are no sanctions for not completing homework. Children will be praised for their efforts, often having their work shared with others. As with work completed in school, commendable work and effort will be rewarded through the Class Dojo system.
We haven’t changed anything in terms of the general statements in our Homework Policy. We fully understand what it’s like to have busy jobs while having lovely, but demanding, children. However, we hope that we have clarified that we ‘ask’ rather than ‘demand’ and we’ve made it clear that we will make sure that there is no sanction for non-completion, just plenty of praise for the children’s efforts!
Supporting your child’s learning at home
At Grimley and Holt we have been looking at how we can help you to support your child’s learning at home.
We use Oxford Owl in school and think you would find the dedicated parent/carer pages really useful. Oxford Owl for Home includes expert advice, top tips, activity ideas and eBooks – all for free.
If you would like to take a look, simply go to www.oxfordowl.co.uk and click on ‘For Home’.
For further details regarding how you can support your child’s maths, please visit the Maths page.