Home Learning is anything children do outside the normal school day that contributes to their learning, in response to guidance from the school. Home Learning encompasses a whole variety of activities instigated by teachers and parents to support the children’s learning. For example, parents who spend time reading stories to their children before bedtime are helping with Home learning.
Home Learning is a very important part of a child’s education, and can add much to a child’s development. Homework is not a school assessment tool, and instead is a way to encourage child and parent to learn together.
Rationale for Home Learning
Indeed we see Home Learning as an important example of cooperation between teachers and parents. One of the aims of our teaching is for children to develop as independent learners, and we believe that doing Home Learning is one of the main ways in which children can acquire this skill.
Home Learning plays a positive role in raising a child’s level of attainment. However, we also acknowledge the important role of play and free time in a child’s growth and development. While Home Learning is important, it should not prevent children from taking part in the activities of various out-of-school clubs and of other organisations that play an important part in the lives of our pupils. We are well aware that children spend more time at home than at school, and we believe they develop their interests and skills to the full only when parents encourage them to make maximum use of the opportunities available outside school.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of Home Learning 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 cooperation between home and school in supporting each child’s learning;
- To enable all aspects of the curriculum to be covered in sufficient depth;
- To consolidate and reinforce the 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 Home Learning
Staff and pupils regard Home Learning as an integral part of the curriculum - it is planned and prepared alongside all other programmes of learning.
We recognise that children have individual learning styles, which means that some tasks can be completed in a number of different ways, while others demand a particular approach
Key Stage 1
In order to support children’s learning, we offer the following as home-learning opportunities.
- Books from the classroom
- Phoneme cards, word games, key word cards
- ‘Reading scheme’ books
- Books from the library
- Handwriting or more extended writing tasks
- Spellings to learn
- Maths challenge activities
- A ‘Take Away Task’ related to a topic being studied in school.
Parents are encouraged to check their child’s reading diary daily as this is the key communication between home and school.
Key Stage 2
All Key stage 2 children will be given a Home Learning book to complete Home Learning activities in. The details of this Home Learning will be recorded in a way that is appropriate to the age and ability of the child
Home Learning could be in the form of:
- English, e.g. a spelling rule for the week or a reading or writing task.
- A maths activity
- A ‘Take Away Task’ related to a topic being studied in school
Home Learning will be given on an agreed day each week, allowing the children several days to complete the tasks set.
In Upper Key Stage 2, homework is a key part of the preparation for secondary school.
The Role of Parents
Parents have a vital role to play in their child’s education, and Home Learning is an important part of this process. We ask parents to encourage their child to complete the Home Learning tasks that are set. We invite them to help their children as and when they feel it to be necessary, and to 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.
Use of ICT
The use of ICT and the Internet has made a significant contribution to the amount of reference material available at home, and the ease and speed with which it can be accessed. However, our teachers expect their pupils to produce their own work, perhaps by editing something they have found, or by expressing it in their own words. The children are not achieving anything worthwhile by merely downloading and printing out something that has been written by somebody else.
There are many websites containing highly educational material which can have a powerful effect on children’s learning. Parents are advised always to supervise their child’s access to the Internet.
Some of the most important educational software we use in school can be bought by parents on a home-user licence and we provide a range of software free of charge on request. This ensures that children are using age-appropriate software in their work at home. The school will supply interested parents with details.