We are a research informed school for Curriculum Development. The evidence shows that the impact of home learning, on average, is five months’ additional progress. Some studies indicate that there may be an optimum amount of homework between one and two hours per school day (slightly longer for older students), with effects diminishing as the time that students spend on homework increases. To this end, home learning will be set for all Year Groups to support the learning in school.
Home Learning at Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form
There are never enough hours in the day or minutes in the lessons, so it is important to make sure that we make the most of our home learning programme as possible. It is also important that we build good habits of learning at home in our students, so that they take these routines forward, learn well, independently, resiliently and purposefully.
Once a half term there will be a week devoted to ‘home learning’ in our Pastoral Curriculum, making sure that students are completing their home learning to the best of their ability. This will be supported with assemblies and Form Tutor activities. The expectation is that curriculum areas will also focus on the quality of the home learning in that week to support our students learning journey and progress in all subjects.
All home learning will be set on Class Charts, to aid support at home. However, all ‘learning’ materials will be on the Google Classroom for students, to support the
learning as effectively as possible, in and out of class. If the learning for topics are all indexed in one place, this makes it easier for us all to keep track.
There is a homework calendar accessible on Class Charts. Here parents and students can filter tasks by year, subject or teacher to access the full instructions and deadlines for homework. We recommend viewing through your personalised App.
Key Stage 3 – Years 7 to 9
Home learning will be through Key Knowledge work and independent study.
The Key Knowledge books that students use must be outside class so that teachers can check (not mark) the Key Knowledge home learning has been completed. Students will be taught how to use Key Knowledge sheets to reuse effectively and build a revision culture. Key Knowledge work is led by the Key Knowledge sheets that are shared by the teacher in their lessons and on the Google Classroom.
In lessons, instructions will be given on how and what to learn. For instance, the learning may be to prepare a mind map, develop an understanding of a key term with a Frayer model, or to complete a retrieval quiz. For many subjects Key Knowledge homework will be set via an online platform, e.g. Seneca or My Maths. The completion of this will be monitored by teachers. The main purpose of independent study is to allow students to consolidate learning that takes place in the classroom, supporting long term memory. This is essential preparation for examinations to reduce cognitive load. Teachers will use low stakes testing too ensure students complete home learning.
Home Learning Timetable – Examples – Key Stage 3
Students may not have the subject on that day – the purpose of this timetable is to:
Make sure that students have one week to complete any learning activities
To allow students and parents to plan their week
To state (particularly at Key Stage 3) that a day of rest is important for mental well-being
Each learning homework should last no longer than 15 minutes in Years 7 – 8 and 20 minutes in Year 9.
Monday – Mathematics, English and Science
Tuesday – History, Geography and MFL
Wednesday – Computing, PSHEE and RPE
Thursday – Music, Art and Drama
Friday – DT and PE
Saturday – Mathematics, English and Science
Sunday – No home learning
Key Stage 4 – Years 10 – 11
In Years 10 and 11 students are preparing for examination subjects so home learning will take a different approach. The home learning can continue to be Key Knowledge learning, but it also might take the form of Seneca, examination practice questions, research, preparation for an in class assessment, retrieval or preparation for coursework. There is time set on this ‘timetable’ for two subjects a night. As a guide, each subject should be setting no more than 45 minutes learning and students will be given seven days to complete any home learning set.
Monday – English Language and Mathematics
Tuesday – English Literature and Science
Wednesday – Preference 1 and 2
Thursday – Preference 3 and 4
Friday – English Language and Mathematics
Saturday – English Literature and Science
Sunday – No home learning
Homework is an out-of-school assignment that contributes to the educational progress of your child. With the arrival of new technology, the tasks set to complete at home can be very diverse.
Teachers may include a link to a video clip to watch or a website to visit. Some homework will take a more traditional form such as additional exercises, reading of material on a specific subject, in-depth extension of classroom activities, or in rare cases, independent project work related to the subject.
The amount, frequency and nature of the homework will be based on the teacher’s professional judgement and reflect the nature of the subject and your child’s current level of achievement. Homework will increase in length and frequency as your child progresses from Year 7 to 11 and on into Sixth Form.
In order to attain the maximum benefit from homework it is important that your child engages with it, this means that your child is responsible for completing homework assignments on time and as directed.
Reflecting on Studies
One key part of the homework routine is the Reflection Journal. We expect students to spend up to 30 minutes reflecting on their learning every day. On top of this students may need to learn Key Knowledge or, as they progress onto examined subjects, specific work related to their examination courses.
Setting and Accessing Homework
Homework for students is being placed on Class Charts and is easy to access. It may be that a teacher shares a Google Classroom link via Class Charts as a way of setting homework.
For more information relating to Homework, please see our ‘School Matters’ publication: