HOME LEARNING MATTERS
What is Home learning?
Any learning that takes place outside of timetabled lessons is ‘home’ learning. It does not necessary need to be completed at home.
Home learning focuses on extending the learning from the classroom so that new content is rehearsed and practised. The more that students re-visit their learning the more likely they are to remember it and be able to apply it to new situations.
Home learning tasks mainly fall into one of two categories; Practice or Preparation.
Most tasks at KS3 will be short practice tasks though they may be asked to do some basic preparation for a lesson. By doing some pre-thinking they should be ready to access their prior knowledge and build on this in the classroom.
Home learning is different to independent learning projects. These will be less frequent and in addition to the short home learning tasks at KS3. They may be called ‘challenges’ or ‘projects’ and may be optional.
Independent learning projects can take several weeks to complete and involve students applying a wider skill set such as creativity, initiative, time management and teamwork.
Why are students set home learning?
Educational research evidence shows that completing regular home learning tasks over the course of an academic year can extend a student’s progress by 5 months.
Whilst there is questionable evidence to support home learning as a successful strategy at primary school there is a wealth of evidence that home learning is beneficial at secondary level.
Independent learning projects have also been shown to have positive learning outcomes particularly on student motivation and commitment to a subject. They are often targeted at students with higher learning potential or students with a particular curiosity in order to develop research and critical thinking skills.
At KS4 evidence suggests that students completing 2-3 hours of home learning each night are 9 times more likely to achieve 3 A levels at KS5. It is important to embed habits for success when in KS3.
How much home learning should we expect?
Year 7 and 8
30-45 minutes of home learning per day.
60-90 minutes of home learning per day.
Year 10 and 11
90-180 minutes of home learning per day.
It is important to recognise that they will not necessarily be set this each day, some days may be more and some days may be less.
The frequency of home learning assignments will depend on the subject. Please visit the KS3 or KS4 curriculum pages for more details on departmental expectations and support.
Tasks can vary in type and length. Not all home learning requires written evidence. For example, students may be asked to discuss their learning with their parents or friends, they may be asked to read and prepare their reflections ready for a class discussion or they may be asked to memorise a set of words.
Home learning will be acknowledged and sometimes a sample collected in for a teacher to analyse for common mistakes. Non-completion will be recorded and the student will be expected to catch up this missed work. This will usually involve a short lunch or break time ‘detention’ where there is a chance to complete the task or start the next home learning task. Students are encouraged to seek out their subject teachers before the deadline if they need support or an extension.
At KS3 most home learning tasks should be short practice tasks and will not require deep marking or grading. Students will usually be given success criteria and notified when home learning will be marked in detail and assessed. At KS4 there will be more regular grading of home learning tasks although this will depend on the subject.
What is the role of parents in home learning?
As your child grows older, more emphasis is placed upon encouraging them to learn independently. Your role remains important by ensuring that:
- you show an interest in your daughter’s learning and emphasise the value and importance of regular home learning;
- your child manages and copes with the home learning workload;
- home learning is completed by the deadline;
- if your child needs help with it, you offer assistance and understanding. This can include reminding them to seek out support from their tutor or classroom teacher at an appropriate time.
Every student is given a home learning planner. Parents can support by reviewing this planner on a regular basis to ensure that tasks are being recorded and completed.
Many tasks will require students to rehearse their learning. It is very helpful to quiz your child on their learning on a regular basis. The simple act of recall of the lesson topic or title is supporting memory and their ability to recall deeper knowledge in the future.
Independent learning tasks may be appropriate for the whole family to engage in. Research could include attending museums or watching documentaries together. Teachers will be happy to make suggestions for places to visit or extra learning materials that are available on topics.
What support is available at school?
If a student is unclear of their home learning task it is important that they contact their classroom teacher directly for support before the task deadline. Many teachers offer break or lunchtime support to students who ask for it directly.
Many departments offer a homework club either at lunch or after school. Students should consult the clubs list for further details.
The Form Tutor is also a key person to liaise with if you are concerned about the level or quality of home learning. They can support students with time management and communicating with class teachers via email for extra resources or a suitable time to seek extra help.
The library will re-open later this academic year and will be a space for students to complete home learning tasks at lunchtime and after school. As a temporary measure there will be 2 computer rooms available at lunchtimes.
Achievement Team Leaders will monitor home learning and may provide additional support for targeted groups who struggle to access home learning tasks or to meet deadlines.
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