Homework at Rosary
Here at Rosary, we believe that a slim-line approach to homework is the most effective for our families and staff. We therefore do not believe in sending home pages and pages of work for your children to do. Instead, children receive weekly core skills practice tasks; essentially, spelling, number facts, handwriting (at age appropriate levels) and the all important expectation of daily reading and chat.
On Friday, class homework is uploaded on year group pages on the website. These contain the weekly spellings, a topic enquiry/task and an optional maths and literacy activity. If your child completes these, their teacher will be keen to see them on Monday. Children are expected to read every night and practice their key number facts either off their key maths card or on TTRockstars – these are checked in school.
There is no evidence that, at primary level, homework, beyond core tasks, works to raise attainment nor to ‘close the gap’ for those children who need to catch up (please see our links on the school website);
Teachers spend valuable time preparing and marking homework, time which could be spent on planning and assessing lessons;
There is no time to differentiate homework (setting different work for different children’s levels as we do in class) and thus for many children homework is always too hard or too easy;
Many parents and children report that homework can be an un-rewarding experience at home. This risks putting children off learning and making parents’ relationships with children around school-work negative.
We are using huge quantities of paper for current homework at great economic and environmental cost. Our new slim-line homework will be predominantly online!
But homework is how I find out what is happening – how will I know?
We are a very open school. Alongside events such as parents’ workshops, curriculum meetings, parent consultations and open classrooms, parents are always welcome to come and see the teacher. In addition, teachers may add occasional suggestions to their core skills weekly practice or add things onto their Home Learning page on the website. For example, “Next week we will be looking at the digestive system. See what you can find out before Monday” or “we discovered this week that the first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC at the Greek city of Olympia. What other amazing Ancient Greece facts can you discover? “ or “ This week we have cracked long multiplication. Feel free to practise 2 digit by 1 digit calculations such as 35 x 7 at home! Here’s an example of how we do it” This is simply a stimulus and there is no expectation that work must be done/handed in; we won’t have homework books. Our wonderful school website with links to all sorts of teacher-approved sites which will allow your children to play educational games, find out facts and comment on news or blogs from school. We pay for a subscription TTRockstars which provide great opportunities for your children to do maths at home.
But it’s such a good habit for secondary school?
Core practice of essential skills is what will secure firm foundations. The greatest gift you can give your child is time spent talking and reading and sharing experiences. They then have things to say and to write about; they have opinions to express and arguments to hold. In Year 6, the last year before secondary school and as end of year SAT tests approach, children have guided support with revision at home.
How do I know what they should be able to do?
We always give out ‘end of year expectations’ at the start of the year and for maths, a Rosary core facts sheet. These can guide expectations. In additions parents are always welcome to ask the teacher for guidance and ideas.
We don’t have access to the internet?
A paper copy will always be available for those children who need it. They just need to ask their teacher.
Articles of interest (please click on each heading to be taken to relevant articles)
Alfie Kohn – ‘Does homework improve learning?’
Please click here to be taken to the Year Group area of the website so you can find all the Home Learning pages for each class.