Research clearly indicates that homework in primary school has minimal to no effect on student learning (Professor John Hattie). As such, homework at Treeby Primary School is not encouraged, with the exception of home reading, which will be completed by all students.
We expect children to engage in home reading for 10-30 minutes per day, depending on their age and reading ability. In the early years, this will focus on children reading decodable texts. Unlike predictable texts, which focus on repetition of memorised words, decodable texts build children’s reading accuracy and independence. These texts support our school’s synthetic phonic approach of teaching children to blend sounds into words. In the younger years, 10-15 minutes of reading at home per day is expected. Once children develop their fluency and comprehension, up to 30 minutes of home reading is encouraged.
With all home reading, it is vitally important that children comprehend what they are reading and can retell the main points of the text. Even when children can ‘read the words’ of more complex texts, it is important that they read simpler texts and focus on developing strong comprehension skills, before moving on. This supports children’s long-term reading success. Asking non-literal questions about the text, after children read at home, will support the development of their comprehension skills. Classroom teachers can support parents with such questions. Listening to and discussing an audio book can also support children to develop their imagination and love of literature.
If on occasion homework is given by the class or specialist teacher, it will relate directly to teaching and learning programs and be appropriate to the needs of the students. Students may also be asked to complete unfinished work for homework.
If parents would like to engage their child with additional learning at home, we strongly encourage a connection to the real world approach. For example, helping with cooking is a wonderful opportunity to positively reinforce reading, oral language and measurements skills.
Similarly, building a cubby, gardening or putting on a play can all support the development of academic, social and developmentally appropriate motor skills.
Such activities have been found to positively support children's brain development and mental health by connecting school based learning, memory and understanding with real world activities.