Westwood Academy Approach to Homework.
- Create a positive, effective partnership between parents and school to best promote learning and improve outcomes for all;
- Encourage regular practise that generates a lifelong love of reading;
- Provide opportunities to practise the core skills that underpin learning and the curriculum, and that promote the committing of key facts and knowledge to long term memory;
- Consolidate the expectation that pupils will be committed to learning, promoting strong individual responsibility to improving learning behaviours;
- Prepare pupils for end of key stage tests and transitions into other phases of education both at Westwood and other schools;
- Encourage pupils to develop perseverance, resilience, initiative and self-discipline through regular, independent study;
- Improve personal organisation and time management skills.
Types of Homework Activities
The different types of homework tasks set might be: –
- Reading practise, to consolidate and progress skills needed to access the rest of the curriculum;
- Numeracy practise, to consolidate skills and commit knowledge to long-term memory.
- Spelling practise, to consolidate skills and commit knowledge to long-term memory.
- Where not completed in class, completing unfinished work.
- Transitionary preparation activities for end of key stage tests, to support pupils to understand the format in advance of the actual tests.
The responsibility of teachers is to: –
- Use strategies that promote regular reading practise, and long-term retention of spelling and numeracy facts and strategies;
- Set weekly tasks that are matched appropriately to the abilities of pupils;
- To set work during term times, not holidays (except where this supports the preparation for end of key stage tests);
- To give optional homework activities that link to the topic work carried out in class.
- Set a frequency for reading, numeracy and spelling work to be completed.
The responsibilities of parents and pupils is to: –
- To engage in regular practice of reading, spelling and numeracy activities in place of completing a single “big” piece of set homework each week.
- To promote better outcomes for all children by helping to establish routines where pupils generally read daily (school days) for at least 5 minutes and are questioned on their reading, engage in a maths activity like SumDog at least 3 times a week, and learn spellings for a weekly test.
From the launch of this approach in the Spring of 2019 (and then from the beginning of each academic year), a standard expectation around reading, spelling and numeracy practise will be the standard approach for setting homework – it will be the same requirement each week other than for the optional topic-based homework, which will be set at the start of each new topic.
For year 6, preparation for transition to secondary school as well as end of key stage 2 assessments will mean a slightly different approach compared to the rest of the school – this will be communicated as the needs of the pupil’s changes throughout year 6.
For pupils in early years, the focus of homework will be around development of phonics skills and the practise of these skills through regular reading.
If a child is off for a length of time, though is well enough to do some work, it is up to the teacher and the parent to agree what should be done, how it will be marked and what sort of help needs to be given. In such circumstances the teacher should consult with the class teacher in the first instance. However, the expectation of regular reading, spelling and numeracy practise remains in place as the expectation in this instance.