27 February 2015
This week’s homework is creative. Please make sure it is handed in by Wednesday 04 March.
What would be your perfect house?
What would it look like? Where would it be? What would be inside?
Don’t forget there is a drop in session on Wednesday 04 March at 2.45 pm. This is an opportunity for you to see how we review homework and give feedback.
Supporting your child’s maths at home
This article is a thought-provoking read, and might inspire you to support your child in different ways; in it, Professor Jo Boaler sets out this list of top tips for parents who want to support their child in Maths:
- Encourage children to play maths puzzles and games at home. Anything with a dice will help them enjoy maths and develop numeracy and logic skills.
- Never tell children they are wrong when they are working on maths problems. There is always some logic to what they are doing. So if your child multiplies three by four and gets seven, try: “Oh I see what you are thinking, you are using what you know about addition to add three and four. When we multiply we have four groups of three…”
- Maths is not about speed. In younger years, forcing kids to work fast on maths is the best way to start maths anxiety, especially among girls.
- Don’t tell your children you were bad at maths at school. Or that you disliked it. This is especially important if you are a mother.
- Encourage number sense*. What separates high and low achievers in primary school is number sense.
- Encourage a “growth mindset” – the idea that ability changes as you work more and learn more.
- For younger children, the ‘five-ness’ of five and then the ‘ten-ness’ of ten is really important: five fingers, five toes, five displayed on a dice, five split into 4 and one more, five split into three and two…
- For older children, if they are asked to add up 27 and 16, when they have number sense they can break the numbers apart and use them flexibly – take three from the 16 and add it to 27 to make 30, then add on the remaining 13 to make 43.
Number sense is not something you can get from simply being given an extra worksheet for homework – it develops from play, discussion and observation of number in the world around them.
More homework? No – more encouragement
We had a record number of parents / carers who attended parents’ evenings this week – thank you to all who showed up.
A small number of parents asked for more homework. Please bear in mind we asked your views about homework in the Annual Survey last year, and the findings were quite mixed: some thought there was too much whilst about the same proportion thought there was not enough. The majority agreed with us: the amount of homework we set is about right.
Taken from our Homework Policy, this is our rationale for giving homework:
Educational experience that a school by itself provides is limited; children benefit from wider, complementary experiences out of school. However, some prompts and guidance from school can direct these experiences and develop greater learning. We see homework as an important example of cooperation between teachers and parents / carers. An aim of our teaching is to promote independent learners; homework is one of the ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.
We recognise the importance of quality family time; this policy should help to promote opportunities to be creative rather than labour over frequent worksheets or carry out activities that pupils and / or parents / carers may not understand.
Whilst homework develops children’s learning and independence, quality family time, play and free time are also important. Homework should not prevent children from taking part in wider activities such as those offered by out-of-school clubs and other organisations. Children develop their interests and skills to the full only when parents/carers encourage them to make maximum use of the opportunities available outside school.
Also in our Homework Policy is this statement:
We believe the frequency of homework set out here provides the right balance for pupils and meets the expectations of most parents (whose opinions we sought in the Annual Survey, 2014). Staff may occasionally provide additional homework; this will amount to two or three extra pieces across the year. As an alternative, staff will be happy to suggest to parents other ways they can support their child’s learning at home.
Please do not expect extra homework for you child to be set as a matter of routine. Governors want to protect teachers work / life balance, but – importantly – we believe extra homework would not be helpful for most pupils.
06 February 2015
For all children in Year 1 – Year 6, the homework this week is talk time and is due in on Wednesday 11 February.
I can prepare a speech (School Council elections).
I know the importance of voting.
It’s time for children to consider if they would like to stand for election for our new school council. With two representatives from each class, chosen democratically by their peers, all children at Moortown Primary are encouraged to take an active part in pupil voice.
Elections for our new school council will take place next Thursday 12 February with our polling station and ballot boxes at the ready. Candidates will have the opportunity to give their election speech to their class on Wednesday 11 February.
What makes a good school councillor has been considered by our current school council.
- ‘Communicating with others – pupils and adults.’
- ‘Having good listening skills to know what to contribute in meetings.’
- ‘Thinking of realistic ideas to suggest in meetings.’
Hints for your speech include:
- What skills and abilities would a good school councillor have?
- What are you particularly good at that would help you to be a great school councillor?
- What do you think would make the school better? What could you do that people would really like?
- Think of things that are realistic, maybe that you could do yourself, rather than having to ask other people to do?
Thank you to our current school councillors for all their ideas and contributions over the last year. We hope you have enjoyed this role and responsibility and you are welcome to stand again for election.
Good luck to all children who decide to stand in the elections. Results will be announced in our assembly on Thursday 12 February.
If you choose not to stand in the election then you should consider the importance of voting.
30 January 2015
This week’s homework is talk time.
I can stay safe at home.
It’s important that your child is ready to talk about this by Wednesday 04 February.
Encourage them to think about all the different rooms in the house and specifically think about situations where it may be dangerous. How can we avoid these dangers? How can they be responsible for their actions? How should we respond if there is an accident?
23 January 2015
This week’s homework is practice makes perfect. Please make sure it is handed in by Wednesday 28 January.
I can describe my house and I know my address.
There have been lots of adjectives used this week to describe different types of houses. It would be great if the children could write a description of their house or their favourite room. This is also an ideal opportunity for the children to learn their address – it is important that they know where they live even if it is just the number of the house and the street name.
Please make sure that homework books are handed in by Wednesday – there are a small number of children who are not doing their homework or not handing it in.
16 January 2015
This week’s homework is creative homework. Apologies that this homework has been posted later than normal – because of this, it is not expected to be handed in until Thursday 22 January.
Do all the things in my kitchen cupboards weigh the same?
This homework is creative but is reinforcing some learning that has happened in Maths. After looking at measuring mass (weight) this week, it will be interesting for the children to look in their kitchen cupboards and look at the weights of different products. This could be presented in a variety of ways:
- photos with labels showing mass
- drawings with labels showing mass
- comparisons of different products and their masses
- pictures / photos of products that do weigh the same
- photos of children cooking something and weighing the ingredients
09 January 2015
This week’s homework is talk time.
Why is it good to be you? What is your talent?
Make sure your child is able to talk about this on Wednesday 14 January.
If you would like to share this talent with more people then sign up for “Moortown’s Got Talent” on Monday. Auditions will be held soon.
12 December 2014
This week’s homework is practice makes perfect. Please make sure it is handed in by Wednesday 17 December.
The homework is maths and is making sure that the children recognise words in numbers and digits.
There won’t be any homework during the Christmas break but don’t forget about Mathletics and writing thank you letters to keep up those key skills.
Happy Christmas, everyone; thanks for your support this term.
05 December 2014
The whole school homework this week is creative: children are invited to respond to something from either a cultural or spiritual perspective.
I can show what I know and think about something cultural.
We’d like children to present their responses about a recent book they’ve read, film they’ve watched, piece of art they’ve looked at, piece of music they’ve listened to – anything cultural in fact. We’re interested to read some sort of description (a summary, for example) and then your child’s opinions. This review might include pictures, an interview (your child could write a fictional script between himself/herself and the artist, for example), a letter (eg to or from a character, or perhaps even the author) – anything which might include your child’s responses!
However, your child might prefer to do the following:
I can show what I know about a festival.
Over the course of this term, some children in school will have celebrated a religious festival of some sort. This might have been
- the Muslim festival of Eid ul Adha, this year in October
- the Sikh and Hindu festival Diwali, also in October
- the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, coming up in December
- the Christian festival (of course, celebrated by many non-Christians, too) of Christmas
- the Chinese New Year festival which next year will be in February
There are lots of other festivals and celebrations which you and your child together might want to reflect on, from the anniversary of the crowning of Selassie (a festival which might be celebrated by Rastafarians) to the Winter Solstice (a Pagan festival). You can also research more festivals.
We invite children to respond to the sentence above – they might include a recount (like a diary entry), pictures, an interview (perhaps in a script). Your child might also choose to research a completely unknown festival, or they might even think about creating a brand new festival, one that everyone will celebrate.
Whether inspired culturally or spiritually, your child’s homework is due on Wednesday 10 December.