Homework is given great importance at Holly Park. Our approach to homework has changed over the last few years. The current model may seem rather untraditional, but from an educational point of view, is massively successful.
Children tell us that they enjoy learning both in and out of school. In November 2011, Ofsted told us that they really liked our homework, and that the children told them how much they enjoyed responding to the open-ended challenges.
What was wrong with the old homework?
The quality of homework was not always consistent. Sometimes teachers would find it hard to set appropriate homework on a certain day and parents often complained that they received no feedback on it.
Also, some parents could misunderstand the way that something had been taught, or had been taught it differently themselves (this is particularly true of maths) and would try to help their children only to create great confusion. Also, we felt that sending home “exercise” homework – such as completing a page of sums – was not very effective. If the children could already do the activity in question, they were learning nothing new, and if they had not fully understood it, they could struggle and become despondent
What is homework at Holly Park?
Homework may include reading, tables, spellings, mental maths or be part of the planned programme of work for the class. Not all of it is set formally by the teacher; much of it is expected to happen on a weekly basis, managed by the child and the parents.
How much homework should my child get?
The decision on whether to set homework at all – and if so how much – falls to individual head teachers. At Holly Park, we understand that parents value homework, but we also want children to relax and play at home – they work very hard during the day! The expectations for homework are set out below but parents should not feel restricted by them, as they are there for guidance only. The most important skills to work on are reading and tables, and no child can ever read too much!
How do I know how to support my child?
During the Meet the Teacher session at the start of the school year parents are advised about the expectations regarding homework such as the time that should be spent on tasks. Throughout the year, we also offer workshops and courses for parents in key areas, with the aim of supporting parents in helping their children.
Reading with your child
If he or she is stuck on a word get them to look at the letters and sound them out. Then get them to blend the sounds together e.g. c-a-t cat.
The pictures can be used to find clues to the words they may be stuck on; get your child to look at the pictures first and talk about what they can see. This will make them more confident about the story before they read it.
Look at the words they are stuck on and talk about what it looks like. Does it have a similar spelling pattern to other words? e.g. ball and call, rough and tough etc.
If they get stuck, read around the word to get an understanding of the story, the tense and what would be the most likely fit; does it sound right and does it fit in with the context of the story?