Homework and Home Learning
At Neville’s Cross we believe homework is a valuable aspect of children’s learning. Homework helps children improve important skills such as independence, resilience, and self-motivation. We believe that homework is a valuable opportunity for children to share with their parents/ carers things they have been learning and doing at school.
Homework will focus particularly on developing key skills in Reading, spelling and maths.
What does homework look like in school?
In nursery and reception class we encourage parents to share things children are learning and doing at home via their child’s Tapestry account. For some of our youngest children, self-help skills may form part of their homework e.g. learning to fasten their coat, putting on their own shoes – these are learning tasks and skills our children need to become more independent. These are very much celebrated back in nursery/school.
We encourage parents of our nursery children to share memorable events e.g. visits /walks at the weekend as they will form the basis of discussions back in nursery and contribute to vocabulary development, language exploration and listening and attention skills.
In reception class, homework will become a little more formal. As children begin to learn phonics there will be a focus on practising new phonic sounds daily using Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). ELS is our phonics scheme in school and any games and phonetically decodable books we allocate to your child are matched to their pace of learning in phonics in school. The general expectation is that we learn one new sound each day in school and children should spend 10-15 minutes a day at home practising new sounds, preferably within the context of their Reading book. All children in reception class have a planner and it is important that parents comment daily on how their child is managing with reading/phonics at home. Children may also bring home a second book to share with an adult. These books will not necessarily match their phonic learning and should be used more to discuss characters, feelings, plot and settings to broaden vocabulary and foster an enjoyment of reading.
Across Year 1 and into Year 2 the focus on reading will continue. Children move through our ELS phonics programme and again are introduced to new sounds each week. It is really important that this learning at school is supplemented by practise and reinforcement at home using phonetically decodable books and phonic games which are allocated by class teachers. Parents are very much encouraged to comment daily in their child’s planner on their child’s reading. We will continue to send home books to enjoy and, of course, children should be encouraged to read books of their own choosing at home for enjoyment too. Daily phonics and reading practise will better prepare our Year 1 children for the statutory phonic screen in June each year.
We use a progressive spelling programme throughout school to support spelling skills, related to the National Curriculum year group expectations. Children will have spelling activities allocated on ‘Spelling Shed’ to practise and reinforce spelling rules and tricky words. Spellings can be practised in a number of ways and this doesn’t have to be on screen. We do ask that you comment on how your child is managing their spellings in his/her planner. Spellings will be checked/tested in school.
Children across KS1 will have access to ‘Numbots’ and as they progress, ‘Times Tables Rockstars’. These are online programmes and support fluency in number and mathematical operations. Your child’s teacher will allocate activities as appropriate.
Across KS2 we encourage our children to read daily. In Year 3 and Year 4, children will still be allocated age and stage appropriate reading books by class teachers. As children move through KS2 they will be encouraged to supplement school allocated books with their own choice of books from our class/school libraries and from home. Parents are still very much encouraged to write in their child’s planner daily or encourage children to write in and counter-sign any entries.
Spellings will be allocated to match learning in class and these will form the basis of a weekly spelling test in school. Activities will be provided on Spelling Shed and spellings may also be put in a child’s planner. Children will be encouraged to practise the rule and apply this to a wide range of words.
Times Tables Rockstars will feature particularly in Year 3 and 4 to aid fluency in times tables knowledge. By the end of Y4, all children should know their times tables from 1x table to 12 x table. They should display automaticity and be able to recall these facts rapidly. Times tables are key to developing mathematical fluency and underpin work across other areas e.g. division, fractions, decimals. Children who aren’t secure within their times table knowledge will find other areas of maths difficult. Children in Year 4 will be expected to sit the statutory multiplication tables check in June each year.
In preparation for statutory assessments in Year 2 and Year 6, children may be set additional activities so they are familiar with the layout of questions and how to approach them.
In the event of your child having a longer term absence from school, through illness (e.g. COVID/broken limb) we are keen to support your child via home learning. We will be in touch directly via text and Tapestry/Seesaw with some activity ideas that will help your child to keep up with his/her classmates.
Below you will find links to websites that you can use to practice those all-important skills. Logins for these platforms will have been sent home with your child, however should you require these, please contact school.
If your child is in Nursery, Lambton or Lumley, you will find regular updates on their Tapestry Online Learning Journal.
Tapestry is an online application that collates learning that takes place for every child in Nursery and Reception. A range of media such as photographs, videos and written observations are taken of the child to highlight new learning that has taken place. Communication between school and home is an integral part of school life and Tapestry allows both parents and practitioners to discuss, comment or ask questions.
Find out more about setting up and accessing your account as well as adding observations and messages from home here:
If your child is in Years 1-6, you can view their online portfolio on Seesaw via the app or website. Teachers update these portfolios regularly to showcase the learning that is happening in school and to set regular homework tasks. In the event of a long-term absence, home learning tasks will be set on Seesaw. Seesaw is a secure online ‘classroom’ and Learning Journal, similar to Tapestry (which we use in the Early Years Foundation Stage), where children and staff can set work, record audio clips, add photos, observations and comments about your child’s learning. At Neville’s Cross Primary School, we are also using Seesaw to ensure that children can continue with their learning remotely and keep up with their peers.
Find out more about the benefits of Seesaw here, how to access Seesaw as a parent and how your child can use Seesaw from home here:
If you experience problems, please visit Seesaw Family Help Guide or contact your child's class teacher.
Use Times Table Rockstars to practise recalling multiplication and division facts.
When it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts your child remembers, the easier it is for them to apply these facts to a range of mathematical concepts (e.g. fractions, decimals and percentages) . Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help children master the times tables! To be a Times Table Rock Star you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!
It is essential that your child practices their times tables regularly. In our experience, short bursts of daily practise are more effective than spending hours once a week.
By the end of Year 4, all children should be secure with all times table facts up to 12 x 12 and be able to recall these automatically within 6 seconds, in order to meet the requirements of the national Multiplication Tables Check (MTC). For more information about the MTC, please view the following booklet from the Standards and Testing Agency here: Information for parents: 2024 multiplication tables check
Find out about why we use TTRockstars here:
Find out about the different games and modes available for your child here:
Find out more about logging in and using TT Rockstars here:
Use Numbots to practise recalling your number bond facts.
Numbots is an online learning platform which is accessed through the Timestables Rockstars login. The game is aimed at boosting addition and subtraction skills for all aged children.
All children start at the same place in Story Mode, and when they get to a certain stage they unlock Challenge Modes. The idea is that they play little and often, and this will significantly improve their understanding of number bonds and addition and subtraction facts.
Find out more about how to access Numbots with this: Numbots parents guide
Spelling Shed is an online platform, designed to help children learn their spellings through an engaging interactive game. Each week, pupils are assigned a list of words which match the spelling rule or pattern they have been working on in class.
There are three kinds of game that children can play to help them learn their spellings:
• Practice – This is the main game type and use used for assignments etc.
• Bee Keeper – Can you guess your words by choosing letters.
• Buzz Words – Make words using random letter tiles.
Practice Games have four difficulties:
• Easy – The word is shown, an audio clip is played and only the included letters are shown.
• Medium – An audio clip is played and only the included letters are shown.
• Hard – an audio clip is played and the included letters plus some random letters are shown.
• Extreme – An audio clip is played and a full qwerty keyboard is shown. Letters must be correctly accented and capitalised.
Children will have an avatar which can be personalised and upgraded using honeypots which are earned by spelling words correctly in all game types. Children’s scores on Spelling Shed combine to help their class move higher up the school league.
If you need help accessing any of these learning platforms or app, please contact your child's class teacher.