We define homework as any activity that pupils undertake outside of school lesson time, either on their own or with the support of family members. At Granby we have a strong commitment to parental involvement and see homework as one way of developing this partnership. We realise that amongst the parent group, homework is very much a Marmite issue: you either love it, or hate it! Hopefully this policy clarifies the majority of the questions or concerns parents may have about homework at Granby Primary School.
Why give homework?
It can inform parents about work going on in class;
It can further stimulate enthusiasm for learning;
It takes advantage of the home environment and resources and the chance for some one to one adult time;
It can be a great source for gathering topic information to share with all the children;
It is a great opportunity to rehearse key skills such as times tables, doubling facts, addition sums, spellings, handwriting and other key facts;
It helps to foster good habits of organisation and self-discipline in preparation for the demands of Secondary School.
Homework at our school
Whilst we support all of the above key principles, Granby is not a school at which homework dominates home and school life. We accept that not every activity will capture children and parents’ imagination and that weekends can sometimes be busy. We believe that homework should be enjoyable and manageable for all concerned and that if it becomes a chore/burden/source of conflict it ceases to be a constructive aspect of teaching and learning.
We do not specify amounts of time that must be spent on a task, preferring individual children and families to set their own routines. Individual teachers are happy to give advice.
We hope the children are motivated by positive incentives and by the tasks themselves; children are not punished if they fail to complete the work. However discreet homework registers are kept and if a child’s progress stalls this will be discussed with the child and their parents.
Our routines and expectations
All classes give out weekly homework on a Friday. If it is a piece that needs handing in, it is expected to be returned by the following Wednesday.
The work should always have been explained and discussed in class before coming home; it may be a continuation of classwork, or a maths game already familiar to your child. It is our intention, and good practice, not to send work home that the child cannot already do i.e. parents are not expected to teach new skills.
There should be a clear explanation/reminder from the teacher of what is expected.
Each child has a homework book and folder and the majority of tasks are kept in there. Work that needs marking (and is not feeding into other classwork) will be returned to the folder. This should happen each week.
The tasks set will not always need to be handed in; there are other ways in which teachers will respond or give feedback, for example, sharing results in class discussion, putting work onto a display or transferring work into class books.
Broadly speaking these are current expectations:
Nursery – sharing books and communicating with school
Reception – daily reading, learning key words and engaging with a weekly topic-related task to be done alongside your child.
Year 1 and 2 – daily reading, weekly Friday homework that alternates between maths and English/topic. Again, many of the tasks will involve paired work with your child!
Years 3 and 4 – daily reading, weekly times tables (for a weekly test), spellings and a longer weekly task alternating between English/topic and maths
Years 5 and 6 - daily reading, weekly times tables (for a weekly test), spellings and Education City activities each week. Occasionally extended projects running for a few weeks will be set.
We expect children to maintain the same standards for presentation of homework as we set in school i.e. to use their best handwriting and a sharp pencil or pen.
Between Reception and Year 2 school staff manage the sticking in of sheets and instructions.
We ask children and parents in Years 3 to 6 to take responsibility for maintaining their class homework folder, recording homework or sticking guidance sheets into their books. This is an opportunity to demonstrate and develop their responsibility and their attitude to learning. Where difficulties arise, members of the support staff will help the children.
As far as possible, homework will be related to class topics. This is important as it helps parents to know more about what is going on in class and to support enthusiasm for learning.
Parents might, for example, find themselves supporting research of Egyptian Gods, finding out about a grandparent’s (family member’s) experience of school or measuring objects around the home. This also means that each child can pursue a set task at their own level of ability and is inclusive of a range of needs.
Increasingly teachers are using the web for homework. This may be directing children and parents to play a specific game from Interactive Resources or to comment on a blog.
In Y5 and 6, there is an expectation that the children invest time in their learning beyond that of the classroom as we wish the children to be as successful as they can be. We will therefore expect children in Y5 and 6 to complete their homework; and for those children unable to accommodate their homework at home, opportunities will be given to allow them to complete the work during the school day.
It is our policy not to give homework over the holidays and half term breaks. The exception will be where the parent and teacher agree extra work would be beneficial (Y6 children will be given revision tasks to complete over the Easter holidays preceding SATs).
Our additional needs teachers may send specific tasks home to support the learning of the children they support. Again, this will be discussed with parents.
If you take holiday during term-time, something we actively discourage, parents may not request work from the teacher. We suggest that parents organise a holiday diary.
Granby is currently working towards becoming a Dyslexia Friendly School; this allows us to not only meet the needs of children with dyslexia but other pupils within the school; evidence suggests that more children benefit when dyslexia friendly approaches are used throughout the school. All teaching and support staff staff have received in-school training on dyslexia. We aim to ensure that our school is 'dyslexia-friendly' by using a variety of teaching styles and resources. Further information on this can be found in our 'Dyslexia Friendly Policy'.
What to do if you have concerns
If you find the homework inappropriate for your child, if they lack interest, if it becomes a battleground or if you are concerned that homework is given inconsistently, please talk with your child’s teacher in the first instance.
If you still have concerns, please talk with Peter Fowler, the Headteacher.