What is Home Learning?
‘Homework’ has been proven to be an important aspect of learning and one we felt we need to improve on.
In light of this, we have revisited our Homework policy and, after researching practices that are proven to work, we have devised a better way of setting tasks for our students. We need your support to help it be a success.
How does the home learning system look in reality?
- Key-stage 3 homework will now be called ‘Home-Learning’ as this best reflects its purpose
- It will be consistently based upon ‘retrieval practice’. That is, students will revise and self-quiz key subject specific areas at home. This is an extremely effective way of committing facts to long-term memory.
- To enable students to self-quiz (or indeed, be quizzed by others at home) students will be given a series of knowledge organisers (a summary of key information on any one given topic). Students will also be given a ‘practice book’ (an exercise book used for self-quizzing) in which answers from revision sessions should be written during the self-quizzing process.
- The home-learning task of revision and self-quizzing will be reviewed regularly in school.
- A home-learning timetable of subjects will be provided which will ensure we are all clear with regards to which subject areas should be tackled each evening.
- A home-learning practice book will need to be carried between home and school. Therefore, please ensure your child has a suitable bag to fit an A4 book in it.
- If there is good reason why an evening’s homework has not been completed a brief note should be placed in the student’s practice book by the parent/guardian.
What are the benefits of this retrieval based system?
- This system is very clear. Students, parents and teachers will all know on a daily basis just what the home-learning task/s for that evening will be. In short, “I haven’t got any” and “I didn’t understand what I had to do” will no longer be applicable.
- The new system will address the need to develop key vocabulary. Vocabulary is essential to learning; if discussion and debate is to take place, key vocabulary must be established and accessed.
- Through the new system, students will attend school equipped with their newly revised knowledge which they will benefit from immediately in the classroom.
What can you do to help?
Three key actions can be tackled to support our students:
- Ensure they have a bag to carry their A4 practice book in to and from school.
- Ensure your child is spending one hour each evening revising the timetabled knowledge organisers; check that their practice book is being used to write answers in.
- Join in by asking your child questions from the knowledge organiser. Again, check that answers they provide are written in their practice book and that any wrong answers are corrected.
Any successful system will only work effectively if we have your full support. To this end, we would like to thank you in anticipation of such support.
What is learning?
A big part of learning is about getting knowledge to go into your long term memory and then using this knowledge. Our brains will only remember knowledge in the long term if we think really hard about it. Just reading, or highlighting does not make our brains work hard enough. We must practise remembering things – this will feel difficult at the time.
What is a knowledge organiser?
A knowledge organiser is a document that contains key facts and information that a learner will need to have a basic knowledge and understanding of a topic. A knowledge organiser will not include every possible fact on a topic; it will include facts needed to understand the main points.
Most knowledge organisers will include: the essential facts about the topic, usually laid out in easily digestible chunks; key vocabulary or technical terms and their meanings; images such as maps or diagrams; famous quotations, if relevant.
Due to the current pandemic we are unable to hold a parents meeting in school, as we would prefer, but instead will utilise Microsoft Teams.
Year 9 Virtual Information Evening can be accessed via this on-line link on Tuesday 24th November at 6pm.
The Year 7 presentation can be accessed via this on-line link. Microsoft Teams can be accessed either via the app or directly over the internet.