Aims and Structure
Here at Tyndale, we recognise that research has shown there is limited benefit to homework at a Primary school age. As such, we have taken time to look into which aspects do work well to ensure our homework will benefit your child. Your child should have a Homework Folder. Inside this, they will have a copy of the letter explaining homework, space to record their Mathletics login details, resources to support homework, a spelling sheet for this term, a PBL sheet for this term and blank pages for PBL challenges. The PBL and spelling sheets are also on our school’s homework webpage (https://www.tyndalecommunityschool.co.uk/pupil-zone/homework/).
We acknowledge as a school that you may participate in other forms of learning at home and that family life is busy. The challenges set will get harder as your child progresses, and we encourage you to build your child’s independence as and when they are ready. We hope that by Year 4 most children will be completing their homework without a reminder. In Year 6, to support the transition to secondary, homework will change.
For Maths, we have an online tool called Mathletics. Every child has their own login, and we look for 20 minutes spread across the week from Year 1 and Year 2 pupils. In Year 3 and Year 4 this expectation increases to 30 minutes, while in Year 5 and Year 6 it increases to 40 minutes. In assembly we will award the Mathletics trophy to the class with the most activity points. Teachers will be checking Mathletics frequently, and following up on any changes. The live “games” on Mathletics will help our children improve their times tables and number bonds — also known as number fluency. Children who have high levels of number fluency tend to do better in Maths as they can focus on the big picture, rather than being distracted by calculating their number facts. For information on the benefits, please visit: http://uk.mathletics.com/advantage or http://www.dgps.vic.edu.au/uploaded_files/media/importance_of_children_learning_number_facts.pdf.
In Reading, we ask that you aim to read with your child for 10 minutes each day. In the homework folders is a list of helpful questions you could ask your child that mirrors the strategies we teach in school. When they’ve read, please complete a box in your child’s reading log to share their achievement. Once a week, teachers will check your child’s reading log and update their classroom display. Each child has their own unique picture on a racetrack sharing how many minutes they’ve read that term. For every 100 minutes read, their character moves along the racecourse. We believe in reading at home because research has shown those who read more benefit not only in reading, but also spelling and writing. Here are two articles with more information: https://theconversation.com/research-shows-the-importance-of-parents-reading-with-children-even-after-children-can-read-82756 and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/research-evidence-on-reading-for-pleasure.
At the start of each term, there will be a new spelling sheet in your child’s homework folder. We ask that your child spends a few minutes learning these spellings, ready for their relaxed weekly spelling quiz in class. All the word lists will be linked to the spelling rule(s) they are learning in class that week. If they achieve a personal best or a perfect score, they earn a sticker. Here’s a link to some of the ways we learn new words in school: https://www.tyndalecommunityschool.co.uk/no-nonsense-spelling-strategies-for-parents/. This article investigates the research around learning spellings (head to the word list section on page 24): https://digitalcommons.hamline.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5185&context=hse_all
At the start of each term, there will be a new PBL activity sheet in your child’s homework folder. For this, the teachers will come up with a series of weekly challenges for the term that matches the PBL topic in school. There will be a particular emphasis on writing, and by Year 5 all of the activities will be writing based. In your homework folder is both lined and blank paper for use in these activities. Every Friday, we ask that your child brings in their homework from that week so their hard work can be celebrated in class. If you have completed your work digitally, you could either print it off at home or write a description of their work in their homework folder or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s teacher’s name as the subject.