Introduction

Dear Parents and Carers,

Homework and Home Learning

The purpose of this letter is to clarify some important terminology with regards to homework and home learning.

Since lockdown in March, we have all had to adapt to a new way of working. Due to current restrictions, we are continuing to make changes and this will affect the way we provide homework and home learning.

In the past, we have referred to homework as ‘homework/home learning’. In future, we need to distinguish between the two to make things more straight forward and, hopefully, clearer!

Homework refers to the weekly maths, spelling and reading tasks the children receive throughout the school year - see Homework policy and schedule.

Home Learning will now refer to the learning provision in the event of ‘bubble’ or whole school closure or if a small number of children need to self-isolate – see Home Learning policy. 

Home Learning

It is hoped that schools will continue to remain open during the coming months. However, we do need to be prepared for any possible closure. In this instance our Home Learning Policy becomes relevant.

 ‘Schools are expected to consider how to continue to improve the quality of their existing offer and have a strong contingency plan in place for remote education provision by the end of September. This planning will be particularly important to support a scenario in which the logistical challenges of remote provision are greatest, for example where large numbers of pupils are required to remain at home.’                                                                                                           Department for Education 10th Sept

The Department for Education and the Education Endowment Foundation have made some recommendations to schools based on their research and we have used this and feedback from parents, teachers and Headteachers from other high-achieving schools to inform the changes to our provision.

In the event of ‘bubble’ or school closure we will continue to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum and provide high-quality learning to be completed both online and offline. Children will be set assignments that are meaningful, and where skills and knowledge are built incrementally. Clear explanations of new content will be delivered by the teacher or through high-quality curriculum videos by other providers.

As a school we have selected online platforms such as Google Classroom and Mathletics that will be consistently used across the school in order to allow interaction, assessment and feedback where there is a need to minimize the quantity of paper going to and fro between home and school, particularly in the event of full or partial closure.  Teachers will be able to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions or assessments, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure children’s understanding. Teachers will gauge how well children are progressing through the curriculum, using questions and other suitable tasks and set a clear expectation on how regularly they will check the children’s work.

Children have been taught at school how to log in, complete and submit tasks. In the coming weeks, they will be shown how to use other features of the platform. We will post instructions and help guides on the school website in a new tab Homework and Home Learning > Google Classroom.

Homework

We are implementing significant changes to the homework routine, bringing in Google Classroom and Mathletics online platforms.  The rationale for this is two-fold:  firstly, we want to update and evolve our homework provision to utilize technologies available to us, to allow children to further develop their computing skills, to increase their enthusiasm and engagement with homework tasks and to minimize the quantity of paper going to and fro, while keeping some elements of the previous system (such as learning of spellings in a book and reading from actual books daily).  Secondly, we want the children to become used to logging into these online platforms in preparation for any future partial or full lockdown, when home learning would revert to being online.