At the beginning of this academic year we held a number of open mornings and afterschool events to allow parents to understand our approach to teaching and learning in school. During these sessions we received feedback about homework and as a result we reviewed our policy and systems. These changes have been trialled and will be implemented fully in January.
The main points raised were: more information about phonics and the different phases to be sent home, common exception word lists for Key Stage Two and reading diaries to be linked to the Book Talk approach to reading used in school.
In response to this we have worked with a local printer to redesign our home/school reading diaries. These now feature the Book Talk sentence strands. At the top of each page there is a sentence starter and the children should try and complete these sentences using evidence from what they have read. They should complete each sentence 3 times a week using different parts of their book. This is differentiated for Reception, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two and there are instructions in each book.
A stamp box has been added so that parents are aware when your child has read in school in addition to a homework stamp box to acknowledge receipt of the homework tasks set. The phonic phases and common exception words are now recorded in the diaries. These will now be annual diaries, rather than termly, and the children will be expected to have them in school daily.
Last year we introduced an end of term prize draw for those children who completed every homework task set and this will continue. In order to further promote collaboration through the house system we have introduced house points for the completion of tasks. This has had a very positive impact in the classes who trialled this so far.
The newly agreed homework policy is attached. It is aimed to support the development of the core skills needed to access all areas of the curriculum. We also have subscriptions to a number of educational sites to support learning which may be accessed throughout the year to consolidate and extend children’s learning including Mathletics and Times Tables Rock Stars.
We hope you like the changes we have made. If you have any queries about these changes or further ways you can enhance your child’s learning at home, please contact your child’s teacher.