Reading at home
At St Paul's we expect all children to read at home at least 3 times per week, but encourage them to read every day. This reading should be noted in the child's 'reading record book' to inform the classroom adults that they have read. Each week, a total of how many times each child has read is added together and celebrated in our celebration assembly every Friday. The class with the highest number of 'reads' for that week, wins the school's reading trophy to keep in the classroom until the following Friday assembly. As well as the trophy, the highest achieving classes in each year group also receive a special cuddly toy to keep in their classroom until the following Friday.
In the school hall we have created our ‘Reading Mission’ display. On this display we have our special reading monsters who live on their own planets. Each monster is a reading milestone with a brilliant prize for any child who achieves a certain amount of ‘reads’ at home. The first reading monster is 25 reads at home and this progresses all the way up to 500 reads at home. When a child reaches 25 reads, they can put a photo of themselves onto the display. The more they read at home, the further they will travel across the display and the more prizes they will win! Each time a child reaches a new reading planet, they will also receive a certificate to take home.
Spelling at home
In year 1 and year 2, children are set spellings each week to learn at home. They are then tested on the spellings the following week in the classroom. The children have a small blue spelling book and new spellings are stuck in the front of the spelling book each week. The children complete their spelling test in class in the back of the spelling book. Both the children and adults at home can check their score each week by looking in the back of the book.
Each child has a log in to 'Spelling Shed' (an app/website) where they can practice their spellings each week. Spelling Shed has different interactive games and provides the children with an exciting method of practising their spellings at home. The children are sometimes able to play on Spelling Shed in school too, using the classroom's iPads.
Other home learning
Each term, the class teachers upload some home learning suggestions to Class Dojo and send a printed copy of this home too. The suggested activities are based around the learning that will be occurring in school for the upcoming term and are a chance for children to extend their learning further. The children are always encouraged to adapt the suggested activities to suit their interests and ideas. Parents are asked to upload photos or send in any evidence of their child's home learning so that it can be celebrated in class.
Top Tips for Home Learning
Many of you will have more than one child at home trying to do their learning. This can be very difficult, especially if children vary in age. Remember that in school, children would not have a grown up with them at all times while they are working. Encourage them to have a go on their own and, if they need your help, try to get them to solve problems themselves before you help them. This allows you to take a step back and do other things that you need to do, but also encourages your child to use the skills they have learnt in school. This is such an important skill that children need to maintain so that they are prepared to learn again in a class with 30 children in it.
When writing or reading, children are expected to use the sounds that they have learnt in phonics to Fred Talk (sound out) the word in order to write or read the new words. This may mean that spelling is not correct, but that is ok because they will learn to correct this as they learn more spelling patterns through their phonics. When praising their efforts, you can show the correct spelling if you think they can cope with hearing that at that time. For more complex words, the children would be supported by a teacher, word banks or dictionaries.
During Maths lessons, children are shown the way to work out an answer using a given method and then are encouraged to investigate this using objects before writing so that the concept is embedded. This is especially useful when adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing (sharing). Please see the attached link for more information about how to support your child at home with their Maths learning.
At school, the children learn that it is not just the end result that is important in learning, the most important thing is that they try their best! Don’t worry about each piece of work being perfect, they do not need to correct every mistake. Instead, focus on praising them for how much effort they put in.
Tap into their interests
There will be times when it is hard to motivate your child! If they are losing interest, try to think about the things they like to encourage learning. All of our children have times at school when their learning is initiated by them, give them opportunities to do this at home as well.