Why does school set home learning?
Home learning is an integral part of the school curriculum from the beginning of Year 7 and helps students to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful lifelong learning. Home learning also supports the development of independent learning skills and provides you with an opportunity to take part in your children’s education. It is an essential element in the drive to ensure that all students make progress through reinforcement and consolidation of learning.
Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) research shows that effective home learning can increase student progress by five months. This is why we call it home learning not homework.
What changes have you made to home learning during the national lockdown in 2021?
Following feedback from parents and students we have decided from 1 February 2021 to set no home learning for students in Key Stage 3. These students are being encouraged to read through our reading strategy. Students in Key Stage 4 will have no new home learning in the week beginning 8 February and will have no home learning over the half term holiday. This is to support our students’ wellbeing and enable them to take more of a break from the screens they are working on. Unless they are properly rested they will not be effective learners.
We will review these changes after half term. Home learning will continue for Sixth Form students as normal.
How do I know what my child has been set?
All home learning will be set on Google Classroom. We would encourage you to look at your child’s Google Classroom account and talk to them about work.
More guidance on Google Classroom can be found at https://www.phs.cheshire.sch.uk/googleclassroom
How can I help my child with home learning?
Home learning should be completed by your child to develop their own learning but parental encouragement is always useful.
You can help by setting aside a quiet space for work to be done and by talking to them about distractions such as mobile phones. One reason some students spend too long on home learning is because their phone distracts them from effective work!
By asking questions and showing interest in the work you will help to motivate students to complete it. If they are stuck, encourage them to think it through and offer advice on how to do it but avoid the temptation to do it for them. Teachers need to know what students can and can’t do to help them improve.
If your child is in Years 10-13 they should do home learning in the format that they will do it in the exam. If they have access arrangements and use a keyboard in the exam they should also use a keyboard if possible. If they will handwrite in the exam, as most will, then they should do so in home learning to practise writing at speed. Due to the restrictions caused by coronavirus this may not be possible for a short time and work will be submitted electronically.
In addition to the home learning set you can take any opportunity to talk about events in the world, visit interesting places with your child and encourage them to watch inspiring programmes and read widely.
Where should my child do home learning?
They should try to work in a quiet place at home. This is ideally away from distractions so they can focus on work. It is not possible to do home learning and watch the television, although students may be able to listen to music and do their work.
If they struggle to find a quiet place in a busy house they can stay at school to work in the library and some students choose to do this. Unfortunately at the start of term due to current restrictions he library will not be open for students after school.
When should my child do their home learning?
The key is that it is done by the deadline but it would be helpful for them to complete it as soon as possible after it is set. This will reduce their stress and mean that it is fresher in their mind and they have time to seek help at school if needed.
How long should my child spend on Home Learning?
The time spent on home learning takes into account the age of the students and the demands of the key stages.
In Key Stage 3, home learning should take a student between 20 and 30 minutes per task. The teacher may set one longer home learning task over a longer period that adds up to the specified time. At Key Stage 4, it should take between 30 and 45 minutes for each piece of home learning. Modern Foreign Languages may set more frequent, shorter home learning tasks.
At Key Stage 5, home learning will be set every lesson and students should be doing as much work outside lessons as they do inside lessons.If your child is spending longer than this time it may be worth you informing the teacher of the time that they have spent. Students have to learn to be effective with their time as part of being exam-ready.
Home Learning Timetable Key Stage 3
|Subject||How many times is it set a fortnight?|
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9|
|M.F.L||Twice per cycle|
Home Learning Timetable Key Stage 4
|Subject||How many times is it set a fortnight?|
Does all home learning get marked?
Home Learning is valuable for many different reasons. Teachers will check that home learning is done but not all will be marked. Some may prepare them for the next lesson or be part of revision for a test. All home learning will, however, help students to make progress.
What happens if my child does not complete the home learning set?
It is important that students attempt the home learning. It is better that they have tried, even if it is not all correct, rather than not trying at all. If they are stuck they should always see the teacher or contact them in advance using email on Google Classroom rather than just turning up saying they couldn’t do it.
If home learning is not done or not brought in they will receive a C1 warning the first time and a C2 for any further times it is not completed.