Homework and assessments

Reception homework

In Reception, Literacy homework is phonics based and designed to reinforce recognising letter-sounds, initially from the “Jolly Phonics” scheme.   As the children progress, we move to simple words that can be segmented (sounded out) e.g  s / i / t  and blended (put together) ‘sit’.  Often, flashcards are given for children to recall, such as words that cannot be decoded, these are called the “Tricky Words” of the phonics scheme used in the Early Years; ‘Letters and Sounds’.  Children are also asked to practise correct letter formation by tracing and writing letters independently.  The letter families are used to support the children, e.g “Curly Caterpillar” letters (c,o,a,d,g,q,f,e,s) which all begin in anti-clockwise curve.

Every child will be given a reading book to share at home, beginning with simple picture books to encourage children to handle books carefully, recognise and discuss the familiar events illustrated.  As their understanding and application of phonics develops, children then move on to books with simple words and sentences based on their phonic knowledge.  Our books are colour banded in-line with National Book Band guidelines rather than following the colour coded ‘stages’ defined by individual publishers, so it may be that children bring home a book from a different ‘level’ from one week to another.  We help the children to choose a book suited to their stage, however, if you find that your child is struggling or finding a particular text too easy, we are more than happy to discuss changing it – communication between home and school is very important.

It will help your child immensely if you are able to sit and listen to them read regularly during the week.  Sharing a book is the single most effective way to instil a love of reading and promote growing literacy skills.  Each child has an individual ‘Reading Record’ diary in which adults in school can record and monitor reading practise and we strongly encourage parents to write in here also, as a home-school link to reading.

When covering a certain aspect of Maths, e.g shape or money, a Maths Home Learning challenge will also be sent for you to spend some time reinforcing this concept at home in the same way your child is learning about it at school.

 From time to time, parents will also be asked to be contribute to their child’s ‘Learning Journey’ by sharing observations, photographs or activities based around topics we are exploring in school.

 Each half-term, we embark on a new topic and a list of suggested homework activities to explore these topics further is shared with parents/carers.  Children are asked  to complete at least one of these ideas over the 6 week period, based on their interest, which we usually share during our topic celebrations during ‘Stay and Play’ at the end of the half term.  This is intended to offer the children choice in their preferred style of learning, whether it be academic, practical, experimental or creative.

 

Year 1 homework

In Year 1, children continue with individual reading books as they progress through the colour bands and increase their phonological skills.  “Tricky Words” to learn how to spell through ‘Look, Cover, Write Check’ practise are sent home alongside weekly spellings for the children to recognise and learn how to spell, plus phonics practise.

 Children will receive weekly Maths homework, based on problem-solving and reasoning activities completed in school from that week to reinforce their learning.  As with reading, the Maths activities should be completed with adult support to engage the children and promote the best learning.

 Each half-term, we embark on a new topic and a list of suggested homework activities to explore these topics further is shared with parents/carers.  Children are asked  to complete at least one of these ideas over the 6 week period, based on their interest, which we usually share during our topic celebrations during ‘Stay and Play’ at the end of the half term.  This is intended to offer the children choice in their preferred style of learning, whether it be academic, practical, experimental or creative.

 

 

Assessments

In Year 1 children take one formal external assessment, called the Phonics Screening Check. The Phonics Screening Check is a short, simple assessment to make sure that all pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6. The check comprises a list of 40 words and non-words (made up words) which each child will read one-to-one with a teacher. All year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools must complete the check. This national screening check is designed to help teachers identify the children who need extra help so they can receive the support they need to improve their reading skills. These children will then be able to retake the check in Year 2. Our nursery children begin learning about phonics about half way through their nursery year, and are well practised when they take the screening check.