Following a joint consultation involving staff, parents and pupils, our statement of practice on homework is as follows:
All children are expected to read at home at least 5 days per week, with either a parental comment for children in Reception - Y4, or a pupil comment for Y5 & Y6 in their reading diaries. Children may change their book as frequently as they wish provided there is evidence in their reading diary that they have read (as stated above). Sometimes, teachers may recommend that a child re-reads their book in order to practice and reinforce new skills, particularly for children at the early stages of learning to read. We ask that all children bring their reading book and reading diary into school every day.
All our reading books are levelled in order to cater for children who are at the very early stages of reading to those who can tackle 'War and Peace!' . Children are given the freedom to choose their own reading book within each level. It is worth noting that even within each level, the content and difficulty level varies as it is impossible to level every book accurately. Therefore, there may be times when your child brings home a book that may be a bit too easy, or too hard. The most important factor, above everything else, is that your child is reading for pleasure and is reading with understanding. When children really take off with their reading, they are usually able to read a wide range of texts by decoding with accuracy and fluency. However, their comprehension can be much weaker, particularly for able, younger children who tend to go on auto-pilot (or what we call 'barking at print!') but not really taking anything in. It is crucial that as a parent, you question your child as they read, rather than just listen to them race though the book. Literal questions are good, but questions that really test deep understanding of the text on an inferential level, such as 'why' questions are even better.
Please don't forget the bedtime story, even for Y6 children! It is so important that children still hear stories being read to them as much as possible. We cannot stress enough the importance of encouraging a love of reading at home. There is only so much we can do in school with the limited time we have, and a packed curriculum to fit in. Reading is the one thing that parents can support, and the one which has the most impact, far above anything else. We have found that the children who achieve the very highest levels in reading at the end of primary school are those that read avidly at home.
STRIVE FOR FIVE!
Our 'Strive for Five' initiative encourages families to read together at home. For every 5 reads at home, children receive a sticker. Stickers then lead to wristbands . . . bronze, silver, gold, platinum, sapphire, ruby, emerald. Once children have completed the scheme and have been awarded with all the wristbands, they become 'Reading Champions' and reading ambassadors for the rest of school, as well as receiving a special prize. Recent eavluation on the impact of this scheme, shows that 75% of our families are now engaging in regular reading at home, which is a significant increase on the same time last year. Our target this year is to get the remaining 25% on board!
If you need any support in reading with your child at home, please make an appointment with your child's teacher who will advise you.
We follow the 'My Maths' online scheme which is set by the class teachers every week.
Writing skills such as composition, grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting are practiced through our Learning Logs which also provide opportunities for extended learning linked to work in the classroom. Through our Learning Logs we offer something that the children can take control of, actively engage with and take pride in through carrying out their own research whilst practising basic skills such as spelling and handwriting. We have liaised with our feeder secondary schools, and they inform us that this type of homework is extremely valuable in preparing children for the independent homework projects that they will undertake with them.
Children receive their Learning Logs tasks every 3 weeks. There are opportunities during school time to review and discuss the tasks, which are all closely linked to current topics and themes that the children are studying in the classroom. The purpose of these logs is to allow families who wish to, to share in their child's learning and to be aware of the topics the children are learning about in school. The logs can be written in, drawn in, have work or pictures stuck in them or a mix of all these.
We recently carried out a survey with all our children, as part of our regular homework review, and the vast majority of children told us that they really enjoy completing their learning logs and did not want to stop doing them.
If possible, try to set aside specific homework times/evenings and make time to work with your child. However, we would like to point out we have deliberately elected not to do Learning Logs weekly. We feel strongly that it is important to recognise that children of primary school age still need time to be children, and that parents and families have many commitments outside of school that are also important. The school recognises that it is important to strike a balance.
A useful website to see good practice in Homework Learning Logs is:
The relevant spellings from the new curriculum (introduced in September 2014) are given out by each class teacher for the children to practise at home.