At Prescot Primary, we believe in encouraging our children to be lifelong learners – we hope to build on children’s interests and enthusiasm by making learning fun. Learning should be relevant and engaging, wherever it takes place – in school, on the sports pitch or in the home.
Our approach to homework is a flexible one. Some children love studying at home but for some, the pressure of completing homework tasks can be a challenge – for both parent and child. In these cases, homework can be counterproductive; children can begin to see learning as a chore and parents or carers begin to dread the weekly ritual.
We do not wish to compromise family life; time spent each day as a family can be limited, we must value every minute.
We also recognise the finding of research conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) who have discovered that ‘Overall, homework in primary schools does not appear to lead to large increases in learning.’
However, there are some good reasons why primary schools set homework tasks:
- To engage parents and support them to understand what is being taught in the classroom.
- To reinforce the partnership between home and school.
- To allow pupils to consolidate what is being taught in class and to provide revision opportunities (especially for older pupils).
- To allow pupils to learn in a more unstructured setting, encouraging them to be independent and follow their own lines of enquiry.
Teachers at Prescot Primary are mindful of all of the above.
We most definitely encourage our parents to set aside some time each evening to read with their child – either listening to their child, reading to their child or maybe a bit of both. We also recommend that learning key skills – such as reading/spelling common words or learning times tables is, again, time well spent at home. Children may not feel as pressured and may use games or digital resources to engage them further. Playing board games, talking about the news or reading magazines are also valuable activities to engage children and promote independence.
Of course, as children approach national tests, they may be given some formal tasks to help prepare them for the upcoming assessments. We have found that both pupils and parents generally welcome this support at significant times during their primary school journey.
In short, you will find that homework at Prescot Primary may consist of:
- Learning ‘Share Books’ for our younger learners.
- Learning challenges that offer a selection of activities for the children to choose from across a half term.
- Projects to support an area of study that allow the pupil to follow their own line of enquiry or choice of presentation: a model, a poem, a powerpoint, a poster.
- Tasks accessed within ‘Google Classroom’ for our children who have 1:1 iPads. These can all be accessed, completed and returned digitally and can allow the pupils to choose how work is presented.
- Reading or Maths tasks that are set within a virtual learning space. Currently, we have reading comprehension tasks set within ‘My Book Blog’.
- Sharing news about a family event or pupil achievement.
- Active tasks that can be shared with a photo on Twitter.
- More formal tasks to reinforce or revise work completed in class.
- Reading, reading, reading…
We understand that whatever the task, some children love working on their own, completely independent of adult help, and some children prefer to work with support – even if it’s just to motivate and keep on track. Either is fine – we want your child to feel comfortable as they learn.
Please contact your class teacher if you ever have any questions about homework tasks or projects.