Homework at Coxheath Primary School
Following feedback form our recent parent and school council surveys, we have decided to make some changes to the way in which we set homework. The setting of homework for primary school children has always been a contentious issue. Some parents like homework being set each week, whilst others find it creates a lot of stress and tension in the home trying to get it completed. Getting the balance right is not always easy! We appreciate that children often have many other clubs and activities after school and fitting in homework can be challenging.
The issue of the effectiveness of homework has been extensively researched. There is stronger evidence that it is helpful amongst older pupils who are able to self-regulate their learning and who have more background knowledge to draw upon. Evidence also suggests that at primary school, homework is most effective when it involves practice or rehearsal of subject matter already taught. The research also highlights that children completing homework develop better learning habits.
Given the above, we have decided to make some adjustments to the way in which we give homework by focusing on mainly reading and instant recall of times table facts.
There will be a much greater emphasis on reading as a homework task in order to reflect the importance of this subject. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.
Children will be expected to read at least 3 times per week with an adult and we would ask that a record of this is kept in their journal. Your child’s class teacher/teaching assistant will monitor this on a weekly basis. Each class will have their own system for rewarding the children.
The second emphasis for homework will be rapid recall of times tables or basic number work for year 1. Without a good knowledge of times tables or a basic sense of number, progress in many areas of maths can be slow. The teaching and learning of number facts can be greatly enhanced with the support of parents and carers as part of children’s home learning. Even a few minutes spent learning and recalling their times tables or number facts three times a week will make a huge difference to your child. Teachers will carry out weekly times tables tests from year 2 up, to ensure that children are regularly learning them. Please click this link to access supporting materials.
We will also be sending home spelling patterns, rules and high frequency words that children have learnt in class to reinforce at home. These will also be tested on a weekly basis to ensure children are regularly learning them. From term 2, the weekly spelling patterns and high frequency words will be published on the school website under the Literacy tab.
In addition to the above, the class teacher may send homework that is specific to your child’s individual learning needs or to reinforce a particular concept they may be struggling with.
When speaking to the children, they said that they enjoyed homework that was based on research and in particular when it was linked to an upcoming topic. Our termly blurbs are available on the website which show the topics the children will be studying. If your child is keen to carry out some independent research, the class teacher would be delighted to see this and share it with the rest of the class.