We have recently reviewed our approach to homework and home learning. As well as the power of home learning there is plenty of research about how homework can support learning. This can lead up to as much as five months improvement per year. Children who regularly complete targeted homework achieve better than children who don’t. Completing homework regularly is often the key to a child reaching their full potential.
As part of our recent review we asked our School Council for their thoughts about homework. We asked them whether we should keep it or stop homework altogether. We also asked which tasks they felt would be enjoyable and effective. The Council decided felt that they wanted to keep homework as they understood that it helped them to learn and prepared them for life in secondary school. They also asked for us to include some projects that could be completed over time and linked to learning.
After bearing all of these thoughts and factors in mind we have decided that we are going to make some changes to homework. We have retained some of the important homework that have supported learning so far and have added some new ideas.
This will continue as it is a cornerstone of learning. To reflect its importance we are asking parents or carers to record reading five times or more every week. Each child will have a reading book that is targeted to their reading level so they should be able to read it confidently. If your child finds their book too challenging then please let us know.
A thorough knowledge of all the times tables is an expectation of all children by the end of Year 4. The Multiplication Test Check is a new national test for all Year 4 children to test this. The government has introduced this test because of the important nature of tables for accurate calculations. Currently, the children have regular tables tests and this will continue. Children who are learning tables will be given a table to revise so that they can practice their fluency at home to enable them to recall times table facts more and more quickly. Children who have not yet started to learn their tables will focus on counting.
Weekly spellings will also go home and these will be taken from learning in class. Learning what words mean, how to spell them and being able to write them in a sentence accurately is a vital skill in writing so words sent home will continue to be tested.
Following the suggestions of the School Council we have introduced our ‘Topic Menus’ which will tie in with your child's learning in class. At the beginning of each term we will publish the menu and then you and your child can choose to complete any of the tasks.
This is not compulsory however some children may want to attempt one or more task from the list and they will have half a term to develop their ideas. Please bring your completed project into school so that it can be shown to the class and in Collective Worship.