Sunday, July 20, 2014


This is the second half term that I have decided to do a more open ended kind of homework, which lasts the half term rather than weekly. I have blogged about homework before and had been trying to find a better way of managing it. The last half term one about nocturnal animals was a great success, but I was interested in whether this was due to the novelty factor. My colleague in class one decided she would like to try this way too, to see if the quality of her homework would improve. We had a seaside theme, but whereas my colleagues focus was boats, mine was  buildings - mainly lighthouses and beach huts. 

 We have both been bowled over by the quality of the work that has been handed in. Yes, a lot of it has clearly been achieved with huge parent involvement, but isn't that great? One child brought in a photograph of a wooden boat planter that he helped his dad make, another spent a whole day designing and making a submarine type of vessel with his dad.  Brilliant.

We invited the parents in after school again to come and celebrate their children's work. It is wonderful to see and hear their responses. Prior to this, 3 teachers came at different times before school to visit us and were totally distracted by the display of work that was being created. One of our teachers is a parent of a child in class one and she explained that although she groaned when she read the homework, her husband thought it was great and it turned out to be the best homework her daughter had done. Our colleague told us how her daughter looked forward to doing it, didn't moan once and had a huge sense of pride in her achievements. It was meaningful, quality time with her family. Wow! That's just what I was hoping for - homework being enjoyed, not a chore. It was wonderful to hear my colleagues talking about the quality and value of what they could see and I wish the children could have heard the lovely comments that were being made. All the homework was different, all unique, all brilliant.

The positive comments that my colleagues made were replicated when families came in. What more could I ask for?

The thing that hasn't worked so well this half term is the maths, which is additional to the topic work. This half term I wrote a range of activities, all on the theme of shape, space and measures.  The children were required to colour in at least 5 of the activities that they had completed over the half term. When I looked in their books, very few had been coloured - and there is little evidence that what has been done has had an impact. I will rethink the maths activities for next year.

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