Last year, we spent some time reviewing the homework that we give to our children. This year we are focusing the children’s homework on reading. We will continue to set maths targets for your child, which will be published on the school website. We will also continue to provide online access to maths activities to support this target work.
Widespread research shows that children’s ability to read widely, fluently and with understanding is the key to unlocking the rest of the academic curriculum. Being a good reader can enhance a child’s future academic achievement, wellbeing and success in life. Pupils who struggle to read, struggle in all subjects and miss out on the wonders of a knowledge-rich curriculum.
For this reason, we are changing homework at Stafford Leys to make reading the keystone of learning at home. Reading is a priority and reading at home frequently (at least 3 times a week) will support your child in becoming a good reader and a more successful learner all round! We have given each child a reading diary for you to record the times when you listen to your child read.
Making use of the latest research and detailed analysis of the outcomes for our children, we have also decided to make a few changes in our teaching of spelling. It has been found that children who perform well in spelling tests actually show little or no improvement in their spelling within their writing. Children who find learning spelling lists difficult, not only do not use the spellings correctly in writing but also find the task of learning spelling lists stressful and often feel unnecessary pressure on the day of the test. The pressure on parents to ‘drill’ their children on spelling lists as well as the expectation that every child should read regularly at home and complete other homework activities provided other reasons to review our practice.
Spellings will no longer be sent home weekly to be tested. We believe that spelling should be taught explicitly in the classroom using a balanced approach to instruction which includes teaching: phonology, morphology, orthography and etymology in combination. Teachers will assess your child’s spelling in school and, depending on your child’s age and year group, may still send home lists of words to learn.
You will also be able to access information about your child’s curriculum on the school website. We will publish the knowledge organisers for each year group for you to look at or talk to your child about if you wish to.
The expectation will build as your child progresses through the school and in Year 6 we start to get the children ready for secondary school.
If you have any questions, please feel free to chat to your child’s class teacher.