Our Homework Policy was written to support and engage as many learners as we can, and to provide opportunities for others – family, friends – to support in a positive, constructive way. It’s great to see more and more children are putting more and more effort into their homework. Recently, a few parents have asked about expectations. I hope the following will clarify what we can expect and what you can expect:
Teachers have noticed that, in some instances, a lot of time has been taken on the presentation of the Talk Time homework. Children are welcome to do this although it is not necessary. The purpose of Talk Time homework is to encourage a conversation around their current learning. Any notes made in their homework book should simply be there to aid them as a prompt when it is discussed in class the following week. For this reason, teachers tend to give verbal feedback during their talk time session in class. We want our children to be expert talkers, using a variety of sentences and expressions, and able to back up their points or disagree with others in a polite way – this is more important than written notes for Talk Time. Simply: it’s hard to be a good writer if you’re not a good speaker, so Talk Times using ambitious words, useful phrases, interesting sentences is the best way to support your child.
This is where your child’s creative juices can flow! Creative homework is an opportunity for your child to choose whatever they want to demonstrate some learning. For example, the Y3 and Y4 homework this week is Creative: I can show what I know about food chains. Your child could present all their learning in so many different ways, from a diagram with notes to a story or comic strip. Parents’ and carers’ role is to support, encourage, help but (obviously) never to take over and do the homework! Teachers always look forward to seeing how creative children can be. If you notice the work has not been marked, please don’t worry. Teachers will have looked at and celebrated the homework in another way – the work might have been viewed by the whole class using a visualiser which allows the work to be projected to the whole class and a discussion of ‘stars and steps’ will happen. Peer assessment is also effective – children are very able to share what’s good and what needs improving! These sorts of verbal feedback strategies are often more effective than a written comment because it’s more instant and it makes sure the child understands (and their work is praised publicly!).
Practice makes Perfect
This is similar to what you might consider traditional homework: it may be a worksheet or a writing task (such as Y5’s current homework: I can write instructions). Practice Makes Perfect is useful homework when something has been taught in school but needs consolidation. The work should be fairly straightforward for the child as there should be no need for new learning, so just some encouragement from you is needed. However, it would be a great time to get your child to teach you – they should be able to explain the key points or processes! We use this type of homework less often because usually the best practice is where a teacher can keep feeding back and presenting new challenges when they see it as appropriate. Teachers mark these activities in line with our marking policy.
As always, please ask if you’ve any questions or concerns.