Homework

At Birley Primary Academy we believe there is enormous advantage in children spending regular periods of time, initially quite short, on different learning activities, devised by school as part of a homework programme, which supports the work they do in class.  Homework need not get in the way of other activities which they may do after school, such as sport, music and clubs of all kinds. 

Homework will be embedded into the curriculum to compliment key learning points and strengthen knowledge and skills.

Parent feedback and research highlights that:

  • Homework is most effective and better understood when it is building on and consolidating what has already been taught
  • Homework has impact when it is strategically planned and built into what is being taught (rather than provided as an ‘afterthought’)
  • Homework is manageable and time limited
  • Homework is graded and moves from consolidating key knowledge and skills earlier in the curriculum through to the application of extended responses and projects.

The guiding principles of homework at Birley Primary Academy aims to prioritise quality and clarity of homework rather than quantity.

Birley Primary Academy believes that teachers are the most qualified and expect staff to determine the quality and format of homework, according to these principles.  Although homework might take different forms, they will all seek to achieve two main objectives:

  • Consolidate the learning of key topics and skills.
  • Develop these skills through recurring tasks. 

Therefore some homework might appear to be duplicating previous tasks but this is because they constitute a key skill within the curriculum.

Implementation

To put these principles into practice Birley Primary Academy will have a co-ordinated and strategic approach to homework that builds from knowledge in core subjects through to extended tasks across the curriculum. Therefore there will be a sense of graduation from Foundation Stage, into Key Stage 1 and then finally Key stage 2. 

Through this framework we aim to:-

  • Show children that both home and school are working in partnership and share an interest in their learning.
  • Extend school learning for children through additional reading, reinforcement and revision.
  • Ensure a consistent approach to homework throughout the school whilst reflecting on the fact that the purpose of homework changes as children get older.
  • Provide opportunities for parents and pupils to work together to enjoy learning experiences.
  • Ensure parents have a clear understanding about expectations from themselves and the pupil.
  • Develop and sustain the involvement of parents in the management of pupils’ learning and keep them informed about the work their children are doing.
  • Ensure the needs of the individual pupil are taken into account.
  • Ensure pupils’ progression towards independence and individual responsibility through the development of skills and self-confidence.
  • Encourage children to develop long term strategies for future needs and prepare pupils in Year 6 for secondary transfer.

Types of homework

The main focus of homework throughout the school is on English and Maths.  However, children may also be asked to find out information, bring in objects relating to other subject work or complete work from a lesson.

Homework set for younger children will provide opportunities for children to talk about what they are learning and to practise key skills over a short period of time in a supportive environment.

The amount of homework which children are given needs to be manageable for them, their parents and their teachers.  Although there are now no government guidelines about the amount of homework that children should be set, our framework recommends the following:-

Years 1 and 2 – one hour a week.
Years 3 and 4 – one and a half hours a week.
Years 5 and 6 – 20 minutes per day.

Feedback and marking

Where work is done alongside parents, feedback is instantaneous.  Teachers will be interested in feedback from parents.  Comments relating to reading and homework can be made in the home/school diaries.

Staff will give children feedback on their homework as soon as possible, through class discussion, reviewing work in small groups, tests or through individual comments.  Recognition for children’s efforts and achievements may be mentioned in the achievement assemblies.  Most pieces of work will be incorporated into children’s homework books.

Responsibility

1.  In setting and marking homework the teacher will set tasks that are matched to pupils’ abilities and can be completed within an allocated time:

  • Set the homework with adequate time for explanation and for pupils to clarify what they need to do.
  • Give reasonable time for completion.
  • Provide feedback to pupils on their progress on a regular basis.

2.  In completing the work the pupil should:

  • Clarify any misunderstandings about the homework at the time it is set.
  • Work for the agreed time on the task set, or longer if they so wish.
  • Try to produce work of the highest standard and return it on the arranged day.

3.  Parents and carers are important educators of their children and can play a key role in developing English and Maths skills.  The Academy encourages parents and carers to:

  • Provide a quiet place to work either alone or with support.
  • Encourage pupils and praise them regularly.
  • Expect deadlines to be met and check that they are with older children.
  • Make it clear to pupils that they value homework, and support the school explaining how it can help their learning.

Examples of Homework at Birley Primary Academy

Foundation 2

Regular WorkOccasional Work
Reading
Number work
Children may be asked to look for or
find things related to an aspect of learning.

Year 1

Regular WorkOccasional Work
Spelling
Key words
Number work
Writing or GPAS
Children are sometimes asked to
bring in work done at home to
enhance topic work

Year 2

Regular WorkOccasional Work
Reading
Weekly spellings – matched to ability
Number work
Writing or GPAS
Children are sometimes asked to
bring in work done at home to
enhance topic work

Year 3

Regular Work Occasional Work
Weekly spellings
Reading
Maths and Multiplication tables
(TT rockstart)
Writing or GPAS
Occasional Work
Extended projects in other
subjects i.e. History.

Year 4

Regular WorkOccasional Work
Reading
Spelling
Maths and Multiplication tables
(TT rockstars)
Writing or GPAS
Occasional Work
Extended projects in other
subjects i.e. History.

Year 5

Regular WorkOccasional Work
Reading
Weekly spellings
Maths and Multiplication tables
(TT Rockstars)
Writing or GPAS
Occasional Work
Extended projects in other
subjects i.e. History.

Year 6

Regular WorkOccasional Work
Reading
Weekly spellings
Maths and Multiplication tables
(TT Rockstars)
Writing or GPAS
Occasional Work
Extended projects in other
subjects i.e. History.

Occasional Work

Sometimes work is sent home in order to inform parents/carers about a particular area of the curriculum we are working on, so that they can share an interest in and extend the work at home.

If a child is finding something we are doing at school difficult and needs more practise, a piece of work may be sent home so that parents feel able to help e.g.  letter formation, number formation, handwriting etc.

Children are often asked to look for something at home to bring to school for an interactive display.  This encourages them to communicate messages between school and home (to remember, re-call, re-tell and explain or describe what is needed) e.g.  an item of a particular colour, something beginning with a particular initial letter sound, a 2D or 3D shape etc.. For Key Stage 2 children they may be asked to do projects in different subjects i.e. a study of a particular area of Sheffield in Year 3.

Parents/Carers are invited to become partners in their child’s education – games are sometimes sent home so the whole family can play together and extend and reinforce something we are doing in the classroom.

Regular Work

On a daily basis parents are asked to spend 5 – 10 minutes learning phonics and key words (particularly in FS and KS1)

Reading books are taken home daily so that children can enjoy reading to members of their family and talk about the story content and pictures.  Regular reading is rewarded.

Multiplication tables using Times Table Rockstars

Writing exercises ranging from simple sentences in Year 1 to writing at length in different styles at Year 6.

Maths homework will follow on from an area being taught in the lessons.

Impact

The impact of homework will be measured in several ways:

From each assessment data point the leadership team will monitor the learning and outcomes to ascertain the impact of homework in complimenting the curriculum

Termly child and parental feedback