Home learning is anything that children do outside the normal school day, contributing to their learning. It encompasses a whole variety of activities instigated by teachers and parents to support children's learning, for example, a parent spending time reading a story to their child before bedtime.
While we recognise the importance of home learning in supporting curiosity and attainment , it should not prevent children from taking part in the wide range of out-of-school clubs and organisations as the role of play and free-time in a child's growth and development is very important. Therefore, rather than formal learning, which can be delivered by our experienced and expert teachers, we believe in encouraging reading and speaking at home to develop a broader vocabulary and love of reading for all children.
Research shows that children from families who encourage talk have the best outcomes. In families where there is variety of language a 3 year old will have heard 45 million words, whereas those children who are from disadvantaged backgrounds will only hear 13 million. This , together with research which suggests that homework in primary schools does not appear to lead to large increases in learning, is the reason behind our change in homework policy.
The general expectations of home learning activities across the school are:
In the Foundation Stage we encourage the children to read by giving them books to take home to read with their parents. We give guidance information to parents to help them achieve the maximum benefit from this time spent reading with their child.
We also encourage parents to play different activities with their child. The following booklet from TTS has some great ideas for home play.
Key Stage One
In Key Stage one as well as regular reading we also encourage children to practice spellings or number facts as part of their home learning. Sometimes we ask children to talk about a topic at home prior to studying it in school. For example, in the history topic on toys, we ask children to find out what toys were popular when their grandparents were young and, if possible, to bring examples into school to show the other children. Sometimes we ask children to find and collect things that we then use in science lessons, and occasionally we ask children to take home work that they have started in school when we believe that they would benefit from spending further time on it. When we ask children to study a topic or to research a particular subject, we encourage them to use the school and local library and the Internet, as well as discussing the topics with adults or older siblings who have knowledge of the subject area.
Key Stage Two
At Key Stage 2 we continue to give children the sort of home learning activities outlined above, but we expect them to do more tasks independently. We expect the children to consolidate and reinforce learning done in school through practice at home. From time to time children will be given additional work in the form of projects, pieces of research (things to find out) or suggested experiences (visit the park this weekend, watch a particular programme on television, go to the library). These are intended to extend children's experience of learning
In Year 6, to enable pupils to prepare for secondary school and further develop as independent learners there is an onus on the pupils to take responsibility for managing and completing this themselves. As a result we set English and maths home learning more routinely.
Amount of Reading expected across the school
We increase the amount of home learning that we give the children as they move through the school:
- In foundation stage we expect parents to read with their children everyday, modelling an enjoyment of books, children should also read their independent book a number of times over the week. This repetition helps support the development of early reading skills.
- We expect Key Stage 1 children to spend approximately 10 minutes a day reading with a parent, and also hope that they have a story read to then everyday.
- We expect children in years 3 and 4 to spend approximately 20-30 minutes per night on reading.
- Children in years 5 and 6 to spend approximately 30-40 minutes reading per night
See our Home Learning Policy.
Maths Passports can be used to practice the foundational skills needed to support learning, find them here.
Our half termly curriculum maps give suggestions for themed home learning, with a focus on talking and developing vocabulary. These can be found here.
Purple Mash can help with home learning - click here, all you need is your log in details.