Academic Matters

Academic Matters

Reports

Parents will receive three academic progress reports each year – one per term. Autumn and spring reports will be short interim reports. At the end of the Summer Term you will receive a longer end of year report and a general summary of the student’s personal and social development. Individual SMART pupil targets will be included in the report to highlight key areas for improvement. Please discuss the reports with your child to help support their learning at home. A summary of each child’s punctuality and attendance is included on the reports. Please note that we can only distribute reports at the end of school on the day of issue. At any time within the school year, you can request a meeting to talk about your child’s progress. As in many other schools, it is not our practice to send workbooks home, but we would encourage you to make an appointment to talk with the teacher, see the books and discuss the work in context.

Homework (Home Support)

“Learning at home is an essential part of the good education to which all our children are entitled. It is not just about reinforcing learning in the classroom, although that is important. A good, well organised homework program helps children and young people to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful, independent, lifelong learning. Homework supports the development of independent learning skills, so inquiry and investigation are seen as part of the learning process. Given the increasing importance to everyone of flexibility and the ability to learn independently, developing these skills and attitudes must be a central aim for all schools.” – David Blunkett (Former Secretary of State, UK)

AAESS bases our homework policy on UK government guidelines which emphasize the importance of homework and how it helps your child to learn.

Why homework is important?

• It raises children’s achievement
• It consolidates and extends the work they have done in school
• It helps to inform parents about their child’s school work and gives them the opportunity to support this work
• Working independently is a valuable life skill and develops good work habits for secondary school and beyond

What sort of activities should children be doing?

Our homework activities are related to the work your child is doing at school, but will not always be written work.

For young children it will usually be:

• Reading with parents or carers
• Games or activities to practice literacy, maths or other skills

For older children, homework may also include:

• Reading
• Preparing a presentation to the class
• Personal research
• Designing or making something
• Trying out a simple scientific experiment
• Solving problems
• Completing literacy, maths or other work

How much homework should your children be doing?

Years 1 and 2: 1 hour per week (with a focus on reading, spellings, other literacy work and number work)
Years 3 and 4: 1.5 hours per week (literacy and maths as for Years 1 and 2 with occasional assignments in other subjects)
Years 5 and 6: 30 minutes per day (regular weekly schedule with continued emphasis on literacy and maths but also ranging widely over the curriculum)

How will you know what homework your child will be getting each week?

Parents will be informed of homework in the weekly PATHs letter which will be available on the AAESS website. From Year 1 to Year 6 homework will also be recorded in your child’s individual homework diary/record book.

Should you help your child with their homework?

Homework allows you to see what your children are doing and to support their learning. This partnership between school and home is a vital part of successful education. At AAESS we take the view that children are likely to get more out of an activity if parents get involved – as long as they do not take over too much! If you are unsure about how much help to give, you should discuss it with your child’s teacher. They will be pleased to talk to you and will help you to get the balance right.

Twelve things you can do to help your child to learn:

• Give your child confidence through lots of praise and encouragement
• Read to, and with, your child as much as possible – at least 20 minutes per day
• Encourage your child to observe and talk about what they see, feel, think etc.
• Make use of the AAESS library
• Visit museums, parks and other places you think your child might find interesting
• If your child likes watching television, watch it together sometimes and talk about what has been watched. Children enjoy sharing their experiences and will gain a lot from the discussion
• Try to provide a reasonably quiet and suitable place where your child can work and show that you and all members of the family value and respect the homework activity
• Try to set time aside to support your child’s homework activities whilst also allowing some independence where appropriate
• Encourage your child to discuss homework with you, including feedback from teachers
• Try to help your child to see the enjoyable aspects of homework
• Help your child to see the importance of homework and teach them to become more independent and take more responsibility for themselves as they get older
• Remind your children to complete and hand in homework on time.