At Darton Academy, we know that completing home learning is essential to long term academic success. It allows our students to extend their learning and to reinforce what has been learnt in class. From September 2018 we will be introducing our new home learning policy. Every day, your child will be expected to study for around one hour. Home learning will be in three 20 minute parts:
- Knowledge organiser self-quizzing.
- Reading for pleasure.
- Hegarty Maths.
Once students enter Key Stage 4 staff will also be setting examination questions and revision.
Knowledge organiser self-quizzing
Our teachers will test your child on the essential knowledge and skills that they are expected to learn in every subject. Most of this can be found within our Knowledge Organiser book. Your child should revise the specific knowledge, as directed by their teachers, using the strategies as outlined in their booklets. In each knowledge test, your child will be expected to ‘Pass’. This score will be set by their teacher in accordance with their ability. Please be proactive and support your child by testing them daily. Your child must bring their Knowledge Organiser pack to school every day and take it home every evening. Each student will be issued with a knowledge organiser and home learning exercise book to record their home learning on the first day of term in September.
Knowledge organisers are brilliant for revision. New GCSE specifications require learners to be able to retain large quantities of information in long-term memory. Specifying the exact knowledge through the use of knowledge organisers will help develop effective revision skills. Sequencing it, explaining it, checking it, quizzing on it, practicing combining it, testing it, and revisiting regularly are vital if pupils are to remember it for years to come. Our home learning strategy is based on the principle of retrieval practice, which you can read more about here.
Knowledge Organiser - Video Guidance
Following correspondence with parents, we have put together a short video that provides an overview of how to use the Knowledge Organisers for home learning. Initially the clarity of the video may be blurred while the file loads. It can be viewed on a mobile device but is best viewed on a computer screen.
Reading for pleasure
Like anything else, reading is a skill that becomes better with practice. The objective of Reading for Pleasure is to increase your child’s sense of achievement, confidence and develop their vocabulary – but most of all, for your child to learn to enjoy reading. We encourage your child to challenge themselves with their choice of reading material. Your child should try to read a range of fiction across genres with increasing levels of difficulty. Regularly Reading for Pleasure will have enormous benefits across your child’s subject areas and is heavily linked to success in later life. A list of suggested fiction and non-fiction books is available on the website and learners are encouraged to take advantage of our school library for borrowing reading material.
Maths home learning provides your child with the opportunity to become more fluent with their maths skills and practise what they have learnt in lessons. Tasks will be set from: Hegarty Maths: www.hegartymaths.com
Your child will also have the opportunity to take part in subject based Enrichment Projects and other home learning. These are aimed to stretch and challenge your child further. If your child is struggling with any aspect of their home learning then please encourage them to go and see their subject teacher. Your child can also attend our after school home learning club where computers will be available for those who may require internet access.
Home Learning Log
Every day, your child must complete their Home Learning Log, which can be found in their Knowledge Organiser. Your child must tick the subject they have been self-quizzing for, how they have performed in their knowledge tests, details of their reading and their scores from their Maths tasks. As their parent, everyday, please check their completed home learning tasks and sign their Home Learning Log.
Additional written tasks
From time to time your child’s teacher may set additional extended writing tasks or past exam questions, these should be completed alongside their usual home learning programme of study. Students should record the nature of such tasks in their planners alongside the hand in date.
At Darton Academy we want to reward hard work and effort. Rewards are given to all students who achieve ‘excellence’ in any knowledge test, pass all knowledge tests in a fortnight, complete their reading logs and perform well in their Maths home learning tasks. However, it is also imperative that students understand the importance of home learning and the study skills that it allows them to practice and grow. Therefore, if your child fails to pass five of their knowledge tests or Maths home learning tasks over a two week learning cycle then this will result in attending a compulsory after school supervised study session.
At home, please support your child by ensuring that they have a quiet environment to do their home learning. It is important that your child gets into positive and effective study habits now so that they can fulfil their learning potential. If you have any questions with regards to your child’s home learning then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Assistant Principal (Deep Learning and Deep Experience)