Homework is set at Southrop in order to allow children to consolidate their learning in the classroom and to enable parents to participate in their child’s school experience. It is never intended to overstretch the children.
It is a significant aspect of our school ethos that we don’t want children to feel pressurised by their work but to enjoy it. Homework is usually, therefore, well within their capabilities and is designed to help them feel confident about what they have learnt.
The pattern of homework throughout the school is as follows:
All: Doodlemaths. We have a school subscription to Doodlemaths for children from Year 1 onwards. This is an online Maths programme which individualises the tasks to the needs of each child. Children are encouraged to use Doodlemaths each week and those achieving the most stars are rewarded with certificates.
Reception: Homework begins very gently with a “sound” book, in which children either draw or cut and stick pictures of things beginning with the “sound” of the day. Once children are settled into school, there is an optional book scheme, where children can take home very basic reading books to enjoy with parents and siblings.
Reception children can participate in this scheme at their own pace, choosing books with which they feel comfortable and taking them home as often as they wish – some people like to take a book home weekly, some every few days.
Home Reading: From Years 1 – 6
All children participate in the home reading scheme, which forms the basis for homework every day. Until they are confident readers, the children are allocated a book from the scheme according to their reading ability. The children are asked to read a set number of pages on a number of occasions throughout the week, and parents are asked to sign to say that they have done so. For the younger children, this means reading their book aloud; for the older children, they are likely to read to themselves, but parents might like to discuss the book with them. Again, this reading scheme is not intended to overstretch the children, but simply to ensure that they are reading regularly, and reading books with which they feel very comfortable. From Year 2 onwards the children will have access to Accelerated Reader and should look to see if there is a quiz available to complete once they have finished a book. If they are not able to access Accelerted Reader at home their teacher can give them access at school. Certificates are awarded for those who have completed the most quizzes correctly.
Spellings Year 1 & 2
Each child is given 10 words on Monday which relate to the synthetic phonic work they are currently doing in school. They are tested on these words on Wednesdays. At the end of each of the six terms there is a spelling test consisting of up to 15 spelling words, using the spelling rules and patterns they have been working on that term. So as well as learning their weekly spellings the children need to learn the termly spellings.
Spelling Year 3 – 6
Children are given the hundred or so words for either years 3/4 or year 5/6 from the national curriculum appendix. A test is conducted each week using ten words from this list. Over the progress of two years, the pupils are expected to be able to spell most of the words on their list.
Times tables Year 3 - 6
Each week children are required to learn one of the times tables. These are to be written out as homework on Monday. The test usually takes place on Friday and is done by mixing up the order. Children are also required to answer quickly so that they show they “know” their tables rather than be able to work out the answer. If a child gets full marks in the test, they move on to the next table for next week. Once a child has passed all tables, they are given a random test each week. This process has been found to be extremely effective for the vast majority of children in helping them to become fluent in times tables. This in turn helps work in maths and improves self-esteem.
English and Mathematics Year 3 - 6
Each week children are given age related worksheets to complete (occasionally a sheet may be different to their peers if they are significantly above or below the normal ability). The work is intended to consolidate knowledge and skills developed that week in class. It does not introduce any new concepts. Parents can see what topics the children are undertaking in class and can give feedback on how well their child engaged with the process. Some parents like to help the children. As part of their marking, teachers feedback helpful comments to the children each week. It is expected that homework set in Years 3 – 6 is completed and handed in on the Friday after it has been set.