Home Learning

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandella 

We expect all student to complete an hour of home learning each weekday. This is comprised of three parts: 

Reading 

“Once you learn to read you will be forever free” – Frederick Douglass 

At Darton Academy we know that reading is the single most powerful skill that our students will ever acquire. 

For 20 minutes each day we would like students to read for pleasure. To read books that they enjoy and to read books that challenge them to think, to imagine and to explore the world around them. 

Reading is the tool that will unlock learning and progress in every single other subject area. 

All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 access Accelerated Reader, a facility that allows students to quiz on their recent reads and track their own progress and development. 

Accelerated Reader is a key part of our English curriculum and can also be accessed online at home. Students can visit our school library to select their accelerated reader book and should bring their book to school each day. 

Maths 

Hegarty Maths (Y9-11) and Sparx Maths (Y7-8) are online maths resource which include video lessons, questions, marking and feedback all in one place covering the whole maths curriculum. 

Use it as a way to consolidate what is covered in class, revise prior learning or get ready for an upcoming assessment or get a head and look at the next topic on your learning journey. Using Hegarty makes an enormous difference to your progress and outcomes in mathematics. 

You will be set at least three tasks a week by your maths teacher where you should watch a video lesson alongside answering the set questions. 

Retrieval

What is it? 

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience or being taught. 

Retrieval is all about being able to recall specific information as an when required. Having the power of knowledge ready when you need it gives you the confidence and ability to unlock higher order skills such as analysis, evaluation, synthesis and problem solving. 

How to get better at it? 

Improved knowledge retention comes from practice. Repeated retrieval of information itself makes this information more retrievable to you. 

It’s all about making your brain process and recall any information you’ve looked at; it is not about copying! 

Aim to read and process any information you’re given. Then after a short break, cover it up and then complete a task in your practice book to recall that information. Then check to see if you missed anything and add this in after. Each time you are aiming to be able to recall more. 

Knowledge Organisers and Quizzing  

How to revise and retain information is a key skill which every student needs to gain, particularly when new GCSE specifications require learners to be able to retain large quantities of information. Considering this we want to equip students with the skills to revise as early as possible, so they do not become overwhelmed when starting their GCSE’s. 

Students in year 7, 8 and 9 will be issued a knowledge organiser termly. Within the Knowledge Organiser is the key information your child needs to know about their core curriculum areas. Your child should try and learn the knowledge within the organiser, using the strategies as outlined in their booklets e.g mind maps/flashcards or summaries. Your child must bring their Knowledge Organiser 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. 

Students will be quizzed by their class teachers to give students the opportunity to test themselves on the knowledge they have practiced from their knowledge organisers and see how well they have retained it. 

 

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. 

KS4 YEARS 10 & 11 

In some subjects, students will also be given a knowledge organiser at KS4 and be quizzed regularly. This is at the discretion of the teacher dependent on whether they decide it is beneficial in the lead up to their GCSE’s. 

Online 

SENECA breaks down subject content into small manageable chunks- it explains the content in a variety of ways such as animations and videos then tests your understanding through different types of questions. You can access it from any device, making it perfect for using it both on the go and when settling down for a longer home learning session! 

Your teacher will set you assignments on specific subject content or you can explore topics yourself that you want to improve your confidence on. 

After completing any assignment you must complete a retrieval activity in your book to help you memorise that information. 

GCSEPod podcasts are designed for mobile devices, so it’s like carrying a huge pile of textbooks and revision guides around with you everywhere. 

Have an expert read and explain everything for you clearly and precisely with all the right facts, quotes, keywords, dates and annotated diagrams on screen. You won’t need to use it for long before you feel the impact.  Consistent use in short chunks is proven to support achievement. 

Your teacher may create an assignment which will include a playlist of podcasts for you to watch and some questions for you to answer, or you can choose your own pods focusing on areas you know you need to improve. 

After watching a Pod you must complete a retrieval activity in your book to help you memorise that information. 

Languagenut gives you access to all the vocabulary you have been learning in your Languages lessons. You can access it from any device, making it perfect for using it both on the go and when settling down for a longer home learning session! 

The website and app are jam-packed with loads of different retrieval activities to keep your language skills tip-top. Play games on your own or challenge your friends and see who will be victorious! 

Practice all four of your key skills – listening, reading, speaking and writing – in the zone dedicated to exam-style questions, perfect for GCSE preparation. 

Your teachers can set you assignments to complete and you can deepen your understanding by independently exploring the wealth of knowledge available to you. 

After completing any assignment you must complete a retrieval activity in your book to help you memorise that information. 

Rewards 

Celebrate Success 

We love to celebrate our students successes. We will check knowledge organiser books on the Blue Line each morning looking for great work as well as a weekly form time check. Here students will be highlighted for praise in our weekly praise assemblies. 

If your child is struggling with any aspect of their home learning then please encourage them to go and see their subject teacher or to attend the Homework club. Homework club is available daily as part of our enrichment program for KS3 and KS4. Here students can use school computers or have a quiet space to complete any aspect of their home learning.   

Knowledge Organisers

Copies of knowledge organisers can be accessed by clicking on the year groups below