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Five Acres High School

Homework

Our homework model is designed around some tried and tested principles which favour regular repetition and interleaving through a deliberate practice model. We want every student to be successful and feel that homework plays a vital role in the process. Our students need to develop a variety of skills including time management, perseverance, resilience and determination, all of these come through independent study or homework as it's commonly called. The extra knowledge or application of knowledge gained through regular homework is invaluable as these students seek to gain the grades necessary for higher quality further education or employment when they leave Five Acres High School.

Our model increases as the students progress through the school years, this is essential as the workload during GCSEs is higher and our students need to be familiar with working independently outside of the normal school day to be successful during the summer of Year 11. Ideally in Years 7 and 8 students should be spending approximately 1.5 hours (4 times over 7 days) completing their reading, quizzing and Hegarty Maths. If carefully managed a student in Year 7 and 8 can comfortably complete their homework during the week and keep their weekends free for other recreational activities.    

Maths Year 7

Sparx is a new online platform that combines an independent approach with supported reinforcement of learning from lessons in an easy, intuitive format. The programme adapts to the individual student based on their performance, meaning it is highly differentiated. 

Pupils have a full week to complete 90 minutes of the compulsory questions that are set around topics being studied in class and revision of previous material. All questions are tailored to each student’s understanding and all questions must be answered correctly before the homework is considered to be complete. Wrong answers will prompt students to complete similar questions with greater support until they have mastered this element. Pupils write all of their working in their Sparx exercise books that are then checked by their class teachers to ensure that pupils are employing the correct methods and learning to structure their work well.

There are then additional optional and target sections of questions that are specifically chosen for each student that extend their knowledge and application of methods. Points (XP) are earned by completing questions and pupils can upgrade their level and earn badges with their engagement.

This is a highly valuable reinforcement platform that helps pupils to solidify their learning and revise past topics through the interleaving process. It is proven to significantly increase overall pupil progress and attainment (amounting to a whole grade’s difference at GCSE level) in an interactive and engaging way.

English Y7-8

Years 7 and 8 have Bedrock with a minimum expectation that students complete two ‘lessons’ per week, which should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Bedrock gives valuable exposure to cross curricular texts; it allows students to engage with fiction and non-fiction texts.

Homework in Years 7 and 8 builds vocabulary for students and also gives valuable exposure to a variety of text types. It is self-regulating so provides an independent and tailor-made learning experience for individual students, who are able to progress at their own rate. Teachers can easily monitor student progress and parents are also able to engage and support their child’s learning by accessing the vocabulary lists at home. It boosts cross curricular reading skills by developing tier two vocabulary. By increasing students’ experience of different text types it also lays foundation skills for approaching more demanding texts across the curriculum in KS4.

English Years 10-11

Seneca is set for KS4 classes, with tasks to take no more than 1 hour. This work is targeted specifically at our curriculum and covers set texts for literature as well as exam skills and terminology for English Language papers 1 and 2.

This is easily monitorable by teachers and specifically targets necessary knowledge for GCSE. It enables students to really embed core knowledge of the English Language and Literature curriculum by committing to memory things such as terminology, text plot and quotations through recall which then gives students a better chance of success in their final GCSE exams.

English Years 10-11

Seneca is set for KS4 classes, with tasks to take no more than 1 hour. This work is targeted specifically at our curriculum and covers set texts for literature as well as exam skills and terminology for English Language papers 1 and 2.

This is easily monitorable by teachers and specifically targets necessary knowledge for GCSE. It enables students to really embed core knowledge of the English Language and Literature curriculum by committing to memory things such as terminology, text plot and quotations through recall which then gives students a better chance of success in their final GCSE exams. 

Science Years 9-11

For Science, pupils complete between 1 hour to 2 hours (depending on their year group) of Seneca tasks each week. For Set 1 classes, the minimum score is 80% and for others it is 70%. Before counting as complete, pupils must achieve this target in each task.

Homework is a chance for students to reinforce the knowledge they learn at school. The Science department at Five Acres uses Seneca as our homework platform because it is effective, fun and easy
to use. 

Students learn twice as fast with Seneca as other methods of home learning, like revision guides. This is because Seneca was created in collaboration with neuroscientists from Oxford, Cambridge and UCL to promote understanding, engagement and memory.

Reading

We ask that students spend 20 mins per day reading an appropriate book of their choice. This needs to be signed off by the parent/guardian. Students need to complete 4 reading sessions a week.

Reading underpins everything we do at 5Acres and is proven as a significant factor in determining the amount of progress that a student makes. We also recognise that it is an important contributor to the cultural capital of the students, broadening their understanding of different times, different cultures and a wide range of issues, problems and experiences that will only benefit them in their learning journey and their future lives and careers.

Low Stakes Quizzes

All pupils are to complete 4 quizzes in a one-week period, and use the pages in their planners for this. These are self-created by the pupil taken from the information in the knowledge organisers. Pupils have a choice over the subject they choose to do these quizzes for but should be varying the subjects and focusing on those areas they find most challenging. Tutors will check these quizzes weekly with their tutor group.

This is a valuable retrieval exercise. Cognitive science has shown that the more often knowledge is retrieved, the more it is committed to long-term memory and therefore the stronger the learning taking place. It is also a highly effective revision method that pupils are taught how to use from their first year here, giving them vital tools for later on in their school career when they are approaching their exam years.

Consequences

As a school we do not set homework for any other purpose than to give each individual student the best possible chance of success whilst they are here. We feel strongly that our homework model works, and for this reason students who fail to meet the expectations are sanctioned with a one hour after-school detention.  

Support

We currently offer a homework club Monday-Thursday in the hall from 3-4pm. This provides access to computers for the purpose of completing their online homework model.

Expectations

Years 7-9 = 1.5 hours (approximately per week night)

Years 10-11 = 1.5-2.5 hours (approximately per day)

 

 

Reading

Low Stakes Quizzing

Sparx Maths

Seneca Science

 Seneca English

Other

Year 7

4 x 20 mins

4 quizzes

4 tasks

 

 

Bedrock

Year 8

4 x 20 mins

4 quizzes

4 tasks

 

 

Bedrock

Year 9

4 x 20 mins

4 quizzes

4 tasks

Complete tasks

 

 

Year 10

4 x 20 mins

4 quizzes

4 tasks

Complete tasks

Complete tasks

GCSE subjects

Year 11

4 x 20 mins

4 quizzes

4 tasks

Complete tasks

Complete tasks

GCSE subjects

The reading and low stakes quizzing will be checked on a Friday morning; students will need to have their planners with them and show their tutors their signatures/quizzes.

The Modern foreign languages (French and Spanish) team will be setting an additional “Look/Cover/Write & Check” quiz to help students learn their new vocabulary.  This should take no more than 15-20 minutes per week and will be due in during one of their MFL lessons, which their teacher will inform them of.

For both the low stakes quizzes and MFL quizzes, students should be using their Knowledge Organisers to find the relevant information.

Sparx Maths 

Sparx Maths is due by 3pm on a Friday afternoon, at this point the Maths team will download the Sparx information which shows what has or has not been sufficiently completed. Students have the opportunity to complete tasks Friday lunchtime, but there isn't enough time to complete it all in that time. Students will also need to bring their Sparx homework booklet with them every day to show their Maths teacher.  Further information will be available on the website shortly in terms of how to use Sparx effectively.

Seneca Science 

Science homework expectations, current 14/02/2020

Students will be set a number of assignments each week. The precise number will vary, but in general will always include Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics.

Students have joined Seneca in school, and have a username and login that should be the same as their school e-mail addresses. The e-mail address is their school username with “@5acreshighschool.co.uk”. The password is made by the student when they make the account. If a student forgets their password, they should click the link provided to reset their password. Teachers have no ability to change student passwords. When joining Seneca, the class teacher gave each student a code to join the class on Seneca; this is where all assignments are set.

1. There is a minimum score students need to achieve to successfully complete their homework:

                Set 1/Higher Tier students: 80% in each task

                Set 2 and Set 3/Foundation Tier students: 70% in each task

2. Homework is expected to take a different length of time depending on the year group:

                Year 9 and Year 10: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes a week

                Year 11: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours a week

3. All homework should be completed by 7am on Friday morning.

If your son or daughter is having difficulty achieving the minimum scores and spends the expected length of time on their homework, they should speak to their teacher, who will support them and provide further advice.

Subject specific homework at GCSE 

Subject specific homework at GCSE is set and therefore completed at different times, these deadlines are set by the teacher and shared with the students.  We are using Google classrooms as a school and many tasks will be set via this platform.  As a general rule there should be no next day deadlines at GCSE level, where possible students will have a few days or even a week to complete their tasks.