Home Learning Policy
The Home Learning Policy has been reviewed in the light of comments retrieved from parental questionnaires and following staff consultation.
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/carers to support the children's learning. For example, parents or carers who spend time reading stories to their children before bedtime are helping with Home Learning.
Rationale for Home Learning
Home Learning is an important part of a child's education and can add much to a child's development.
We see Home Learning as an important example of cooperation between teachers and parents/carers. One of the aims of our teaching is for children to develop as independent learners and we believe that setting Home Learning is one of the main ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.
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 also acknowledge that many children do not live with their/both parents and may live between two or more homes.
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 some aspects of the curriculum to be further explored independently
- To provide educational experiences not possible in school
- 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 should be planned for carefully alongside all other programmes of learning.
In Foundation Stage we encourage parents to spend quality time with their child and ensure they understand that the most important thing they can do is talk to their child. Making learning practical is key in the Early Years. This could be from reading numbers on buses to forming letters in a bubble bath.
Children will be encouraged to read with a parent or carer as regularly as possible. Little and often is a good approach for young children! Reading is also a great opportunity for developing communication and language skills and parents should spend time talking with their child about what they are reading. This could involve discussing the pictures, re-telling the story or making predictions. Children will also be given one piece of Home Learning which is either linked to the previous week’s learning or introducing the following week’s story or topic. This is often an open task which does not always need to be recorded, although we do like to include Home Learning in children’s Profile books. We actively encourage parents to share children’s achievements at home with us and make contributions to the children’s Profile books. Parents can do this either by completing ‘Wow’ slips or making notes on a drawing, piece of writing or photograph etc.
In Key Stage 1 children will be encouraged to read with a parent or a carer every day for ten to fifteen minutes. It is important that the parent/carer signs the reading record and makes any necessary annotations within it. Children will be set one piece of Maths Home Learning a week where a clear model of the method used to solve the problem will be available. Pupils will also be set one piece of Home Learning that should be completed in their Learning Logs. This piece of work will alternate between a Literacy focus and a Foundation subject (History, Art, Geography). The teacher will provide a choice of ways to present the learning such as: a diary entry, a newspaper article, a poem or a piece of art work. Additionally, children will receive weekly spellings which will link to their Phonics learning.
Practical activities such as weighing cooking ingredients, handling real money and familiarising children with measures are of great value. Sometimes, Home Learning is for children to talk about a topic at home prior to studying it in school. When we ask children to study a topic, or to research a particular subject, we encourage them to use not only the school library but also the local library, as well as the Internet and other ICT tools. We encourage parents to spend free time with their children on enjoyable sharing activities, for example cooking, painting and dressing up.
In Key Stage 2 we continue to give children one piece of Maths Home Learning every week, with a clear model and explanation. Key Stage 2 children will also receive weekly spellings and one Learning Log activity, alternating between Literacy and Topic. In addition to this, children are expected to read between 20 – 30 minutes a day.
Home Learning is always acknowledged and according to the task, is either marked or used in class to support learning. For example, whereas a Maths task would be marked according to the school marking policy a topic research task may be shared in the lesson or used as part of a group activity. 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.
Holiday Home Learning
During half terms and school holidays children will receive a Holiday Home Learning pack. According to age and length of holiday this pack will include a Literacy, Reading, Maths, Handwriting and Creative Project activity. This will replace normal Home Learning and spellings.
Amount of Home Learning
As they move through the school, we increase the amount of Home Learning that we give the children. We expect children in Key Stage 1 to spend approximately one hour a week on home activities, and this may include reading with a parent. We encourage children in Years 3 and 4 to spend approximately one and a half hours on Home Learning type activities per week and children in Years 5 and 6 to spend approximately two hours a week.
Inclusion and Home Learning
We set Home Learning for all children as a normal part of school life. We ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to the ability of the child and we endeavour to adapt any task set so that all children can contribute in a positive way. We value and celebrate the cultural diversity of our pupils and their families and we appreciate the enrichment that this brings.
The Role of Parents and Carers
Parents and carers have a vital role to play in their child's education and Home Learning is an important part of this process. We ask parents and carers 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 and carers 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.
Ideally parents should read with their children every day to help them develop a love of books and stories and help them to grow in confidence. We ask parents and carers to sign their child’s Reading Record to show that they have heard their child read and discussed their books with them on at least three occasions during the week.
If parents and carers have any questions about Home Learning they should contact the child's class teacher. If they wish to make a complaint about the school Home Learning policy, or the way in which it is implemented, parents or carers should contact a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Home Learning is seen in part as a preparation for the more independent learning undertaken at secondary school. If Home Learning is not completed the class teacher should have a verbal conversation with the parent or carer.
Use of ICT
A copy of the school’s E-Safety policy is available from the school office and may also be found on the school website. The child’s safety is paramount in all matters regarding use of the internet and we advise parents and carers to always supervise their child’s access to the internet.
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 copying, pasting and printing out something that has been written by somebody else
Monitoring and Review
It is the responsibility of our governing body to agree and then monitor the school Home Learning policy. This is done by the committee of the governing body that deals with curriculum issues. Our Home Learning policy is reviewed annually by the Head of Teaching & Learning in consultation with teaching staff.