Home Learning for LIFE
Home learning is an integral part of the curriculum at Woodchester Endowed Primary School. We believe that the most successful education takes place when school, parents and children work together cohesively in order to make learning effective and deeply embedded. As such, Woodchester Endowed Primary School has several strands to home learning which aim to build progressively.
From Reception class, children are expected to read with their parents regularly. In addition to improving reading skills, Hutton, DeWitt et al showed in their 2015 study “Home reading environment and Brain Activation”, that regular reading actually has a positive impact on brain function. In the earliest stages, children are required to look at word-less picture books with their parents or carers. This progresses over time to children reading sophisticated and challenging books that are sharply matched to the child’s attainment.
In Key Stage 1, and for some children in Key Stage 2, phonics are a regular part of home learning. Parents are given sounds to help their children to learn over the week, which embed the sounds learnt recently at school. Parents are signposted to useful resources, such as Mr Thorne does phonics, so that they are able to be confident in supporting learning. Spelling test are another feature. Spellings are differentiated whilst retaining the same spelling patterns, which ensures spellings are learnt through understanding the patterns rather than an abstract list of words.
Mathletics is used throughout the school in order to ensure mathematics is supported at home. This web-based approach is highly popular with the children, due to the engaging nature of activities. Teachers carefully select the tasks that consolidate and apply the learning that has taken place in school. These tasks are differentiated so as to be matched to the needs of the learner, although children regularly take part in extra challenges, whereby they compete against other children from around the world. Basic skills such as multiplication tables and number bonds are also given as home learning so that key concepts in maths are fluently known and understood.
In Key Stage 2, the wider curriculum is also supported through home learning. A grid is sent home each tem, whereby children can select from a variety of tasks each of which are aimed at ensuring a broad and inspiring curriculum. Tasks are intentionally wide and varied, encouraging children to look at several dimensions of the same topic. Key to the success of this home learning is the exhibition that accompanies it. Each child brings in their outcomes to share with the entire key stage. This ensures a very broad and rich experience that compliments and enhances the taught curriculum in school. Children provide feedback on each other’s learning, which ensures the engagement of all who view the outcomes as well as helping the author to improve.
Through these facets of home learning, we aim to ensure that the children’s curriculum is enhanced, parents gain a greater understanding and engagement of what the children are learning and all partners are in a stronger position to discuss and contribute to learning.