17 January 2013
For all children in Year 1 to Year 6, the homework this week is Talk Time:
Which two charities should we support at school and why?
It’s time for children to think about our school charities. Currently, we support Dogs Trust and Water Aid. A previous School Council selected these because they wanted to help animals and people, and wanted to help nationally and internationally. These charities were chosen because pupils passed on to School Councillors very clear and strong arguments to choose them eg Dogs Trust help us by visiting, so we have the chance to re-pay this, and everyone has a basic human right to water.
We’ve helped these charities for two years now, so it’s time for a change. We need you to have a discussion at home about which charities would be best for us to support. Each class will then discuss this and then the councillors will bring the views and ideas together to decide on the charities.
Once your child has decided on a charity, make sure they have clear, powerful reasons to support their views.
You might want to discuss whether we support…
- a local charity
- a children’s charity
- a charity which helps a vulnerable group in our community – this would link back to vulnerable groups we thought about in last summer’s Community Week
- should we ensure the new charities are very different to the current ones or previous ones?
- should we need to have charities at all?
- if your child was to set up a new charity, what would (s)he choose, and (as always) why?
10 January 2014
The homework this week is practice makes perfect and is due in on Wednesday 15 January.
I can write an algorithm to solve a problem.
As we have been learning about computing in our mini-topic, we thought it would be a good idea to practise our programming skills by writing an algorithm to solve a problem. An algorithm is a set of instructions designed to solve a problem or perform a specific task. Computer programs use algorithms to carry out different functions. However, for this homework, we won’t be needing any digital devices!
Stuck in the children’s books is a 5×5 grid with a start and finish point on it. The children have to write an algorithm (set of instructions) to guide a sprite (a computer graphic – but for this you could use a coin or a counter with an arrow marked on it) from the start to the end point. Their algorithms should contain the following vocabulary: forward, 90 degrees, clockwise, anti-clockwise.
Computer programmers strive to write the simplest algorithms so children should be encouraged to find a route with the fewest steps possible.
Once they’ve finished this, they could write another algorithm to guide a family member from one part of the home to another.
Please drop in to see me if you have any questions!
06 December 2013
The homework this week is a moral talk time homework and is due in on Wednesday 11 December.
We all have electricity in our homes but should we be more aware of how much electricity we use?
In our mini-topic, we have been learning about electricity. We now want you to think about how much we use electricity and the cost of this both economically and environmentally. Children should be considering how we could use less electricity in our day to day lives and also other sources of energy we could be using (solar power, wind power, etc).
29 November 2013
The homework this week is creative. The children are invited to respond to something from either a cultural or spiritual perspective.
I can respond to a book I’ve recently read.
We’d like children to present their responses about a recent book they’ve read. We’re interested to hear your child’s opinions and any connections they might have made between the book and their own life. This book review might include pictures, an interview (you could write a fictional script between an interviewer and a character), 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 Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas or another festival means to me and my community.
Before half-term, some children in school will have celebrated the Muslim festival of Eid. A couple of weeks ago, some children in school celebrated the Sikh and Hindu festival Diwali, and more recently, children of Jewish faith might have celebrated Hanukkah. Finally, in a few weeks, Christians (and many non-Christians) will be celebrating Christmas. 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).
22 November 2013
This week’s homework is Talk Time and is due in on Wednesday 27 November 2013.
I know what bullying means and how to stop it.
At the start of this week we had anti-bullying day with classes having the chance to talk about what is bullying, what are the different types of bullying and how can we stop it.
As part of your discussion you may find our school definition of bullying useful, as agreed by our School Councillors:
Bullying is when you hurt someone, physically or emotionally, more than once and on purpose.
Alongside this definition we have used the following prompts for the children to remember:
The purpose of Talk Time homework is to encourage a conversation around current learning. Any notes made in their homework book should 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 homework feedback session in class.
14 November 2013
This week’s homework is creative…
I can create a business idea.
We’re having an Enterprise and Money themed week from Tuesday 19 to Friday 22 November. As part of the theme, we’re holding a competition to see which children can come up with the best business ideas. These ideas should be realistic if possible – a business making aeroplanes wouldn’t be realistic for a child, but selling their car cleaning skills would be.
In their homework books, children must communicate what their idea is and how it would make money.
They should also think about some of the following:
- Where would they sell it?
- How much would they charge?
- What might their costs be?
- Who might buy their product / service?
- How or will they advertise / promote their business?
Previous strong business ideas also included a prototype or even references from existing customers!
On Wednesday, children will be asked to share their idea with their class and then they’ll vote for one to represent them in Friday’s ‘Dragons Den’ assembly, where an overall school winner will be crowned.
I can’t wait to hear what the ideas are!
08 November 2013
The homework this week is practice makes perfect and it’s due in on Wednesday 13 November.
To plan a narrative (story) from any genre using ‘OBDER’.
This homework fits in with our literacy learning this week. We have been learning about the types (genre) of story and talking about which ones we prefer. Here’s a list of some of our favourite genres of story:
- familiar setting
- fairy tale
This week, children have to plan a story from a genre of their choice. They have to use OBDER to plan the story. Your child should be able to tell you what OBDER is and how they should plan their story. However, just in case…
We use OBDER to sequence the events in the story:
- O is for opening
- B is for build-up
- D is for dilemma
- E is for events
- R is for resolution
We have taught the children to start the plan with the dilemma so that they know where the story is heading. Once they have decided the dilemma, they can then go back to the opening and work through the rest of the sections in order. Remember, the children aren’t expected to write the story, they are just planning it so each section should just have the main ideas about what will happen and possibly some ambitious vocabulary they want to use in each section or how the character is feeling. We also use DAD to help us when we are planning stories – ask your child about DAD!
…so no specific homework, spellings or tables this week. It’s a good time to relax and enjoy some time with your children – have you visited the free exhibition of Anthony Browne pictures at Leeds City Museum, for example?
18 October 2013
This week’s homework is Practice Makes Perfect. During the past two weeks we have been focussing upon multiplication and division in our maths learning. The homework requires your child to multiply and/or divide to answer the questions.
Below are the guidance notes taken from the school’s Homework Policy for Practice Makes Perfect homework:
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.
11 October 2013
This week’s homework is Talk Time and is due in on Wednesday 16 October 2013:
To talk to a member of my family about the house they grew up in.
This is a great opportunity for your child to learn the differences between their upbringing and another family member’s. Topics of conversation may vary, but could include:
- type of house
- the domestic set-up of the house
Below are the guidance notes taken from the school’s Homework Policy for Talk Time homework:
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.