The school believes Home School Learning is important because it:
Students will be expected to extend their learning at home. There is a home learning programme created by each department. The learning tasks are related to the topics covered in class. To enable parents to support their child or extend their learning we also have the outline of each department’s Home Learning tasks organised by half termly units on the website.
Students are expected to use their Planner to record homework and deadlines. We ask parents and Family Tutors to sign the Planner each week. There is also space for parent comments and requests. We encourage students to complete the Home Learning on the night it is set.
As some tasks may involve IT, we have facilities at school to support students where needed. If parents have any concerns regarding homework or study support, they should contact the Learning Leader for their child’s House. We have introduced an IT programme called “I am learning” which students are encouraged to use to extend their subject knowledge.
Organisation of Homework
Year 7 and Year 8 : 45 to 90 minutes per day.
Year 9 : 1 to 2 hours per day.
Year 10 and Year 11 : 1½ to 2½ hours per day.
Each student is provided with a student planner – a hard-backed personal diary to help them organise their work, set targets and record progress. Students are expected to record the homework set each night and parents are asked to sign the planner once a week. Family Tutors check that the student planners are being used efficiently and subject teachers can use them as a means of communicating with parents.
Reporting on Progress
The progress of all students is reviewed termly, and reported to parents three times per year. The school has a progress monitoring tracking system to ensure that the performance of every child is scrutinised closely. Should a student exceed expectations or cause concern, parents will be kept informed and involved either through subject teachers or the Learning Leader. Parents can request an update on progress at any time.
During the year assessment information is used to place young people in the most appropriate classes where their needs are best met, and where they can work at a pace which recognises both their current abilities and potential. As progress is made, students could move groups or sets during the year. During the first few weeks of Year 7 benchmark assessments will be undertaken in all subjects, students will then be placed in sets for mathematics, English and Science and students are then placed in sets. These groups are
not cast in stone and students will have the opportunity to move groups based on the progress made. We believe that these arrangements allow students an equal chance to settle into their new school and to adjust to the different styles of working which are expected in the secondary school.
Students with special educational needs or those in need of intensive support will receive a combination of in-class support and withdrawal from lessons. This enables intensive work to be undertaken with respect to key skills, literacy and numeracy. Transfer between sets is common on the basis of performance during the term and in tests and examinations. A “Reading Recovery” and “Literacy Recovery” programme is also available for those in need.
Our “Learning Base” is often the location for some of this intensive support work, and is highly regarded by parents and professionals working in this area. Students causing concern due to behaviour issues are supported by our Student Support Team, and parents are closely involved in developing appropriate support and intervention.
Our More Able and Talented students (Gifted and Talented students) are supported through both departmental and whole-school programmes. Using nationally agreed criteria we identify our gifted and talented students during their first term at school, and this cohort is reviewed annually. Students who are exceptional will be offered the opportunity to fast track through some subjects.
Parents will receive three reports per year. Two reports provide a snapshot of progress and information about National Curriculum levels (KS3), predicted GCSE grades (KS4), homework, effort and application to study. All students receive one full written report each year.
Where requested, appointments can be made with subject teachers throughout the year if concerns arise and updates are necessary. Within classes students are set specific targets as part of our ongoing Assessment for Learning focus, and these are recorded in exercise books as appropriate. Parental feedback on the content and format of the report is sought whenever a report goes home.
We feel that our reporting system is robust and informative. Our reporting system is also constantly under review as we seek to use the latest technology to improve the quality of the feedback provided for students and parents. During the year there is also an opportunity to meet with subject teachers. In Year 7 there is also an opportunity to meet with Family Tutors early in the year to check on how well students have settled in to school and address any issues arising.