As an infant school, we are very aware that our children are still very young and we do not underestimate the importance of play, 'down time' and quality time with loved ones outside of school. In the modern world of schedules, routines, and many demands and responsibilities, it is increasingly important for children to be allowed to be children. We are also aware that children have opportunities and experiences outside of school that are equally important in developing and enriching their lives. For these reasons, instead of formal homework, we advocate home learning.
Our approach to home learning allows our children to share and practise their learning outside of school in an informal and non-threatening manner. We have given careful consideration to making home learning well-balanced across the curriculum. We encourage all children to complete half-termly home learning tasks. Home learning tasks are set at the beginning of a new half-term and cover all areas of the curriculum. Tasks are linked to the theme work and Collective Worship work taking place in school. We place an emphasis on learning that supports and develops our children's well-being and 'life skills' and experiences. Children can choose which order to complete them in. We encourage a ‘little and often’ approach so advise that children complete one home learning task every week.
As a school, we value strong home-school partnerships and we encourage parents and carers to play an active and supportive role in their child's learning as much as possible. Home learning tasks place a strong emphasis on talk and enrichment and encourage the involvement of a parent or carer, wherever possible. Teachers set tasks through our main communication platform, Class Dojo
. We love to see our children's learning outside of school and encourage parents to send in photographs and videos through Class Dojo. Home learning is regularly celebrated in school: we have dedicated display boards and a display cabinet in our school hall for home learning.
Our school's core values of love, friendship, compassion and respect sit at the heart of all aspects of school life, including our home learning approach. We strive to create a family-orientated environment in which every child in our care knows that they are loved, feels loved, sees love and shows love. One way that we do this is by giving every child in school their own Love Bear
to look after for the full duration of their time at St Chad's.
Love Bears are given to children during their first few days in school to help them to transition and settle. Children have time to get to know their love bear, giving him/her/it a special name that they have chosen. Once children have filled their Love Bear's heart with joy and love, they are then allowed to take them home to care for, with an increasing amount of independence over time. Our Love Bears play a pivotal role in our school-wide approach to home learning For example, children may read and share a story with their Love Bear, go on an adventure to the local park with their bear, design and make an address label for their bear in case it gets lost.....
By the end of the half-term, all home learning tasks should be completed. Home learning is monitored and marked weekly and children are rewarded with Class Dojos.
Teachers will regularly share the learning that is taking place in their classrooms via Class Dojo to help consolidate learning at home. We kindly ask that all parents and carers visit their Class Dojo app as frequently as possible. Please view the video below which explains how to access your child's home learning on Class Dojo.
We regularly host family workshops and events in school to help parents to support their child's learning at home. Information on our parent workshops can be found here.
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In addition to the home learning tasks, children should also be practising their weekly:
- phonics skills (including spellings)
- maths skills
We expect children to read their school book alongside an adult at home least three times a week. We ask that parents/carers use Class Dojo to submit a video of their child reading at home at least once a week and two weekly photographs of them reading via their child's individual portofolio page. Class Dojo is monitored daily by teaching staff. We ask that all children bring a St Chad's Book Bag to school every day. Book bags can be purchased from our school uniform supplier, details can be found here. Further information on how you can support your child's reading at home can be found here.
Children are set a weekly reading and spelling word list to practise at home by their phonics teacher.
We have created parent booklets to support with reading, phonics and maths at home, particularly the teaching and learning of key skills e.g. numbers to 10, how to read and spell the word' the'. During the year, we hold a number of parent workshops based on the content of these booklets. Copies of our parent booklets can be found below.