By the time students arrive at Kingsmead they already have pretty well formed views on homework. That can be said of parents too. We continue to listen and our approach is adapted to support effective learning.
We don’t even call it homework. Home learning states what we want more clearly. The focus is on preparing for future lessons or developing current understanding. It’s not ‘filling time;’ anything set has purpose and adds value for the student.
Why is home learning important?
We, at Kingsmead, see home learning as an integral part of the learning process.
The EEF indicates that the impact of home learning, on average, is five months’ additional progress when set appropriately.
We see home learning as part of the overall care we provide for our students in helping them grow as independent learners. All of this is to positively impact progress.
What do we consider is an appropriate quantity of home learning?
To not quantify it does not provide consistency.
The EEF helps us by suggesting an optimum amount of homework of between one and two hours per day (slightly longer for older students)
In determining the frequency and types of feedback and home learning viewed as a minimum at a subject level, the number of lessons and homework are taken into account.
What makes up home learning at Kingsmead?
Home learning is a collective term and reflects two different types of learning that might be required for students to do that will support their in class studies.
Predominantly, these are either flipped learning or assessed home learning
Flipped learning is set where appropriate and is likely to pre-cede most lessons. This is where keywords and concepts are considered by students. We have found that by exposing students early to the learning content they are better at accessing lessons and retaining ideas. Flipped learning is standardly reviewed in class from activities/quizzes/tasks at the start or within the lesson. This provides an opportunity for students who demonstrate greater than expected progress early on to be given alternative learning that challenges them further.
Flipped learning isn’t therefore formally assessed through traditional ‘marking’ but valued and referred to all the same
Assessed home learning
The amount of assessed home learning very much depends on the unit and what will be of value.
Written pieces are routinely set to complete in at least a week.
The purpose of the assessed home learning is shared with students when it is set. By knowing ‘why’ students have a better chance of understanding it’s importance. Longer pieces of work are given with success criteria to ensure students are clear about what is expected of them.
English and Maths (due to the number of lessons students have) will set an assessed home learning once every week. This ensures that there is time for this to be set and completed and that students have a fair amount to complete. It is likely that this will be highlighted on the student timetable so they know when this is going to be.
What are home learning logs?
These act as individual subject timetables of home learning for students and we will be adding them half termly to this website from September 2020.
We find logs work better than a ‘traditional homework timetable’ as the focus is no longer on quantity irrespective of where the student is in their learning. More importantly the focus moves to what needs to be learnt and when on a subject-by-subject basis.
We have found from student voice that home learning is valued more because of this change.
Individual pieces are set on show my homework; a support package the school buys in which allows students and parents to track any home learning set.