At Whitehall, we believe that homework is an opportunity for parents/carers to become active partners in supporting learning. Homework can help promote a positive attitude to learning at home and show children that home and school are working together in partnership. We believe that homework should be enjoyable for the child and should stimulate imagination and creativity, reinforce lessons taught in school and give the opportunity for applying learned skills.
At Whitehall, we aim to:
- Give pupils the opportunity to extend their learning in areas of personal interest and stimulate imagination and creativity
- To encourage children to develop the confidence, independence, resilience and motivation needed to study away from the school environment
- Provide opportunities for parents and children to work together, thereby, fostering an effective partnership between home and school
- Ensure a consistent approach throughout the school
Homework will be broken into two key elements-core homework and optional family homework. Core homework activities which will consist of spellings, times tables, number facts and reading.
Research and longitudinal educational studies have shown that homework has very little impact on the progress children make at primary school unless it is reading and the learning of rapid recall facts. What has the most impact is talking to others, sharing ideas, and exploring concepts. These things cannot be shown through the completion of a sheet, but are ingrained in the quality of conversation that is had in the moment and the reflection that comes from that. Our homework policy is now in line with the research that is recommended from the Educational Endowment Foundation which is an independent educational body that supports educational development of all children.
- Reading for Pleasure - at least 20 minutes daily
- KS2 Read Theory 3 x weekly
- Daily practise of Number Bonds/Times Tables/telling the time (as appropriate to year group)
- Weekly spellings
- Family Homework: At least one piece of Homework returned after each holiday
Family Homework invites the children, siblings and parents/carers to spend time together, collaborating and having fun when completing the tasks set. Families will have the opportunity to complete a series of tasks that are sent home at the beginning of each half term. The suggested activities list is not exhaustive; we ask the children to do as many of the suggested ideas as they wish. Families are able to choose when they do the homework and how this could look so there is flexibility built in for our differing families and all of their needs.
Feedback will be given to pupils on their homework in a number of ways:
- Directly from the teacher in the form of verbal feedback
- Peer feedback during sharing/celebration assemblies once a half term.
- Marked tests (spelling/times tables etc)
Pupils with SEND:
We aim to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to the ability of all. We endeavour to adapt any tasks set so that all children can access homework at their level. When setting homework to pupils who have SEND, we refer, wherever possible, to their Educational Health Care Plans.
Children from Reception will take home common exception words to learn and have daily reading at school. This is supported by book banded books that they take home. This continues at home with children being able to take home banded books as well as books from the classroom and library to support interests they might have or text they may want to explore. Children have reading records that parents are asked to fill in.
From Y3-6 children will have books they take home, some will be banded according to the children’s needs, books from the library and a new programme called Read Theory. This is an online programme that the children will have log-ins for. Children are able to read texts and answer questions on them. Teachers will have an overview of the amount of reading the children are taking part in and how active they are on this. Children from Y3-6 will not need to fill in reading journals.
We appreciate that this will look slightly different for Year 6. We will will be in touch with CGP books which we encourage parents to purchase as additional homework as they start to prepare for secondary school.
This is something that we will trial for and will solicit pupil, staff and parent feedback on at the end of the academic year. Schools where this has been rolled out have said it has changed the family dynamic and culture around what homework is and how much more engaged and excited the children have been by this. We hope this policy will place families and the quality of interactions that family members have with each other at the heart of our provision and that the children see it very much in keeping with our values as a school in nurturing a holistic approach to learning.