What is Home Learning? Relevant and challenging work for our Year 7 and Year 8 students, that is set by classroom teachers to extend or embed knowledge gained in the lesson.
Who is responsible for Home Learning? Students must write the full task into their planners including when no homework is set. The deadline should also be written in the Due column. As a parent or carer, we’d like you to check the planner as often as possible but certainly every week. Please ask to see the work from your son or daughter, then sign the planner if you’re satisfied. If you aren’t content please use the comments box to contact relevant staff.
When/how should Home Learning be completed? Home Learning should be done at an agreed time each day. Students can do this at home in a safe, calm environment or could attend Home Learning Club after school. Year 7 and Year 8 HL Club is every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 3.15pm-4.15pmin DT3. It is supervised by the Year Team Leaders Mr Clark (7) and Mr Hassan (8).
An Overview of Home Learning across Key Stage 3 at Acton High School
We strive each and every day to ensure that all students at Acton High achieve in as many different ways as possible. We are a school that is both proud of, yet constantly self-evaluating, our teaching and learning strategies. A major focus that contuse to dominate our self-review is how to continue to make our students better independent learners. Learners who have life skills that not only allow them to be successful in exams at school and in further education, but are also skills that can be used in professional terms in the world of work.
Please take a look at the hand-out, published in the student planner. It's a summary of how teachers will assess students work. This also shows you our expectations of students. They must take a direct involvement in their own understanding of how work is marked. This will mean they can improve it more easily and make faster progress. Please look out for these strategies in your child's books and homework tasks.
Setting Home Learning at Acton High School
English, Maths and Science will set homework once a week. Tasks set will be based on improving classwork and will link to an improvement question or point the teacher has given via feedback to the student.
For example in English an essay about Shakespeare is written in class: student’s homework would be to check the spelling and grammar and to redraft the introduction based on verbal feedback in the lesson.
The Home Learning will mostly be marked by the teacher, however we also use a variety of Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies to get students much more involved in their own progress.
For example in maths, students work in pairs to peer mark their work using green pen. The teacher circulates and double checks answers or goes through the answers after the marking has been done.
Foundation Subjects (for Years 7 and 8) These subjects will set Home Learning tasks when it is relevant. This will mostly be every fortnight. Some subject are practical-based and thus setting useful and valuable tasks outside of the workshop can be difficult. That said, we recognise this creates a gap in standards. We therefore introduced RISE Challenges to address this gap.
In essence, this is an opportunity for each student to have a very clear focus on each Foundation subject area for a sustained time. It’s important to note that these subject teachers will and can set other Home Learning throughout the year, but we feel this schedule will allow students to gain a deeper experience of each subject, giving them yet more confidence to choose wisely in their Options for GCSE.
To help facilitate and support this, the Year Team Leaders for Y7 (Mr Clark) and Y8 (Mr Hassan) will be helping our Heads of Department keep a close eye on how our students are progressing with the projects. The projects will:
- be launched in assemblies where students will see what they must do
- each have a menu of tasks to complete
- create stretch and challenge opportunities and provide a variety of ways to gain credit and build upon strengths, while also giving a chance for taking risks
- include a celebration assembly after the deadline where medals and certificates are given out
How can you help your son or daughter?
The tables above include the time line of RISE Challenges across the academic year. You can also download the menus and assembly presentations so you know what students been asked to do. These projects are supposed to be challenging. so not all the answers have been given and students should seek advice from their teachers if they are unsure.
There are also some really useful pages in the student planner which will help your child to learn at school, and at home. Page 28 explains what to expect when the teachers marks your work. On pages 34, 35 and 36 there are schedules to organise social time vs. homework time. Your child's tutor will work on these over the first half term.
Details of how work will be assessed, including the use of different-coloured pens and verbal feedback, and the steps students can take to develop their performance further, are summarised in the PDF below.
Summer 2016 Home Learning
In 2016 incoming Year 7 students were challenged to complete two pieces of Home Learning, one using maths skills, and the other a creative writing task. The creative writing challenge saw students writing their own horror stories and producing book covers and illustrations to accompany their work. The best ten pieces of work from each of the Home Learning tasks were selected by teachers and their creators presented with medals and certificates in the second Year 7 assembly of the academic year on 13th September 2016. The commended students are pictured below, along with some of the artwork produced to go with the horror writing.