New Homework Guidelines
Following our Homework consultation please find detailed below our proposed new approach to homework. We will initially pilot this approach and seek feedback regarding it in October 2019.
At Newtongrange Primary School, we believe in encouraging our children to be lifelong learners – we hope to build on children’s interests and enthusiasm by making learning fun. Learning should be relevant and engaging, wherever it takes place – in school, on the sports pitch or in the home.
Our approach to homework is a flexible one. Some children love studying at home but for some, the pressure of completing homework tasks can be a challenge – for both parent and child. In these cases, homework can be counterproductive; children can begin to see learning as a chore and parents or carers begin to dread the weekly ritual.
We do not wish to compromise family life; time spent each day as a family can be limited, we must value every minute.
However, there are some good reasons why we set homework tasks:
- To engage parents and support them to understand what is being taught in the classroom.
- To reinforce the partnership between home and school.
- To allow learners to consolidate what is being taught in class and to provide revision opportunities (especially for older learners).
- To allow learners to learn in a more unstructured setting, encouraging them to be independent and follow their own lines of enquiry.
At Newtongrange Primary School, we most definitely encourage our parents to set aside some time each evening to read with their child – either listening to their child, reading to their child or maybe a bit of both. We also recommend learning numeracy key skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Children may not feel as pressured and may use games or digital resources to engage them further. Playing board games, talking about the news or reading magazines are also valuable activities to engage children and promote independence.
In short, you will find that homework at Newtongrange Primary may consist of:
- Learning Logs that offer an optional selection of challenges for children to choose from across a half term.
- One of Newtongrange Primary School’s ‘50 Things to do as a family around Newtongrange’ which can be shared with a photo on Twitter.
- Online numeracy practice to improve basic numeracy skill.
- Reading, reading, reading…
- Fluent reading and good comprehension skills have a key role to play in children’s learning across all areas of the curriculum. Fluency in reading is achieved through practice. Therefore, it is important that your children read outside of school at least four times a week. Reading can include a range of types of texts and media – not just their reading book. This could be, for example, books at home, comics, magazines, reading on tablets and Kindles. Children have a reading diary to record home reading (this will be issued in Aug 2019)
- In the early years, children will also bring home phonics tasks to support their development as readers.
- Fluency in maths is also achieved through practice. Weekly practice builds speed and recall of key mathematical facts and methods.
- From Primary 2 all children have a Xtra Maths account that they can log into at home to practise all numeracy skills. Xtra Maths is a fun and challenging programme designed to help children master addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.
- Research shows that daily practice is the best strategy for children to learn these important number facts. Short bursts of daily practice are much more effective than spending longer amounts of time once a week.
- Each child has received a username and password in order to access Xtra Maths online.
- Primary 1 children will receive numeracy grids with a range of activities to help children develop basic numeracy skills and agility.
- Learning Logs offer an optional selection of challenges for children to choose from across a half term.
- Learning Logs are a personal reflective journal for children to record their knowledge and understanding in whichever way they feel is most helpful. Children can use pictures, writing, diagrams, labels, mind maps or whatever style they wish to choose to present their work.
- Learning intentions or task(s) will be given to children linked to work they are doing in each class. The children will then record their responses to the challenges set to show what they understand about the learning intention. They can choose how to do this. The only stipulation is that the children must fit all the information they would like to present on no more than a double-page spread of their Log. They can, of course, creatively extend the pages by adding flaps and folding sections if they wish.
- When the Learning Logs are given out, your child will receive up to four Learning Intentions from which they choose which one(s) to focus on. It will be up to each child how to present their own work in whatever way they want, to show what they know and understand about a topic.
- Children and their families can decide how on long they want to spend on the task.
- Learning Log tasks will be given out each half-term and should be returned to school on the date specified by the class teacher.
We understand that whatever the task, some children love working on their own, completely independent of adult help, and some children prefer to work with support – even if it’s just to motivate and keep on track. Either is fine – we want your child to feel comfortable as they learn.
Please contact your class teacher if you ever have any questions about homework tasks.
Click on the links below to find information following our Homework Questionnaire.