At Fairlawn, we believe that home learning should be enjoyable, collaborative, interesting and challenging. Home learning should not be stressful or onerous and should not lead to conflict between children and parents.
Home learning may be an extension of school learning, but may also involve activities that are not prescribed by the school, such as visiting a museum or reading a book from home. At Fairlawn, we believe that it is also important that children have time after school to play and socialize.
Each half term, classes receive a Learning Letter from their class teacher. This highlights the learning that will be taking place . Parents who wish their children to partake in more home learning than is prescribed by the school, should use this for guidance.
We believe that a rich dialogue between teacher and parents about reading is important to help children make good progress.
We encourage all children to read at home on a daily basis. This may be alone or with an adult/sibling.
We expect the adults at home to play an active part in promoting reading for pleasure.
We believe it is important that children experience a range of reading material, including e-books. We have a school subscription to Bug Club. Your child has a log in, and you are welcome to access this at home.
Spellings are taught across a 2-week cycle. In Week 1, the new spelling list is introduced to the children and practised in class; spellings are sent home at the end of that week. In Week 2, the spellings continue to be practised in class whilst the expectation is that the children also practise at home (remember: little and often is the key). At the end of Week 2, the children are tested on those words.
Most of the words will follow a taught phonic or spelling pattern. Some of the words may be personalised, and the teacher will be looking out for these words being spelt correctly in the child’s writing.
Key Stage 1 and 2
In Key Stage 1 and 2, we set paper home learning for maths. Your child will have their own maths home learning folder and will receive a home learning sheet every Friday. This will need to be completed and handed back by the following Wednesday.
The home learning will be a consolidation of what the children have been learning in class.
Please continue to encourage your child to play TTRockstars regularly.
There is also a “Helping your child with Maths” section on the website under the Maths section. There you can find extra activities and resources, including “How to” videos to support your child with their maths home learning.
We are also extremely passionate about learning and embedding our times tables. All pupils in Years 2 – 6 have their own TT Rockstars account and earn coins for their own rockstar by concentrating on different times tables each week and consolidating the ones they learn by revisiting them each half-term. The children can enter the garage, studio, arena or a festival! There may also be a Battle of the Bands competition between classes set, so keep an eye out for these as part of home learning or whole school competitions in the newsletter.
Reasons to play in the Garage: we recommend the Garage is the default game to play as it’s designed to help pupils get faster. After a few games, the TT Rock Star software engine starts to work out which number facts each pupil struggles with and then begins presenting those questions more frequently.
We recommend that pupils play 3 times (a total of 3 minutes) in the Garage every day.
The teacher can control which questions pupils get in the Garage so it’s more appropriate for younger primary school children to play there, particularly as they start out with the 2s, 5s and 10s. It’s free from the distractions of competing against other pupils and as an extra incentive, pupils get 10 coins per correct answer instead of 1. The focus, however, should be on competing against themselves.
Times-tables: unrestricted, i.e. questions from 1 × 1 up to 12 × 12 are possible. Roughly 1 in 5 questions are division.
Reasons to play in the Studio: we would get pupils to play in the Studio to gain a measure of their overall speed on all the times tables. Much like being in a recording studio, this is where we want TT Rock Stars to record their best performances.
The TT Rock Star engine works out the children’s mean score over their last 10 games in the Studio and it’s their speed in the Studio that determines their rock status. The more questions on average that they answer correctly in a minute, the higher their rockstar status. Starting off as a Busker, they get to Rock Star if their ‘per question average’ is 3 seconds, Rock Legend if it’s under 2 seconds or Rock Hero if their average speed is 1 second or less per question.
Pupils may find it easier to understand on a ‘per game basis’, which would look like this:
If you answer 20 or more questions, you’re a Rock Star!
If you answer 30 or more questions, you’re a Rock Legend!
If you answer 60 or more questions, you’re a Rock Hero!
Fortunately, because it’s based on the mean over the last 10 games, a single bad performance doesn’t have an exaggerated effect on the status.
From the innovators who bring you Times Tables Rock Stars, comes a highly engaging platform for learning to add and subtract… NumBots – a fantastic tool for supporting children to learn their number bonds in Years 1, 2 and beyond.
NumBots is all about every child achieving the “triple win” of understanding, recall and fluency in mental addition and subtraction, so that they move from counting to calculating.
So that children can solve more complex problems, NumBots’ intelligent practice methodology focuses on automatic recall of number facts as well as developing conceptual understanding.
Pupils choose their own Bot before launching into ‘Story’ and ‘Challenge’ modes, where our algorithm takes care of their learning. As they progress, pupils collect achievement badges and unlock hundreds of new levels and challenges.
For most effective practice, we suggest playing for at least 3 minutes a day, 4 or 5 times a week.
We believe TTRockstars and Numbots are fantastic tools for keeping the children of Fairlawn School engaged in maths. We hope that this guide will enable you to be involved too. If you have any further questions, please do ask Mrs Dhillon or Miss Thomas.
Home Learning in Years 5 and 6
The home learning expectations for Years 5 and 6 are determined by the class teachers as they begin to prepare the children for secondary school. There will always be a weekly maths and writing task set.