Homework at Undershaw
We have a bespoke homework system which meets the needs of our individual students. Students can opt to complete compulsory homework or choose not to some or all of the homework set. Many of our students choose to complete some homework through key stage 2 and 3, increasing this in key stage 4 (year 10) when the courses which lead to qualifications begin.
Key Stage 2 Homework
In key stage 2, our students can choose to complete one homework activity a week from a range of suggestions that are relevant to the current thematic learning topic. Here is an example of a Key Stage 2 homework choice grid.
In key stage 2, students are encouraged to read daily as part of their homework, and we use the online programme ‘Mathletics’ for weekly numeracy homework. Students are set no more than two tasks at a time to complete – there is always the opportunity to complete more if they would like!
Key Stage 3 Homework
Homework is set for all subjects in key stage 3 according to the timetables (below) and students can opt to complete none, some or all of the tasks set each week. Often, students choose one or two subjects to start with and then increase the amount that they are doing over key stage 3.
Seneca, Hegarty, Mathletics and Lexia are all online platforms that are used by teachers to set appropriate homework which supports students in learning and embedding the knowledge and skills that they learn through key stage 3 so that they are fluent and confident in when they start formal qualification pathways leading to GCSE/BTECs in year 10. Students often engage well with homework that is set on an online platform, and teachers can easily track progress and set appropriate tasks for the individual student, based on their progress over time.
Key Stage 4 and Post 16 Homework
Whilst homework remains optional in years 10, 11 and post 16, it is recommended that students do engage in completing more work at home when they start GCSE/BTEC study. We continue to use a range of online platforms which are designed for students to learn and recall the key knowledge that they need for the GCSE and BTEC specifications. In some subjects, the homework may contribute towards a portfolio of practical work, for example, practising a piece of music for a GCSE performance or taking photographs for an art portfolio. When students are approaching exam periods, the homework will include revision, much of which will be done using the appropriate online platform to support revision and testing using exam-style questions to help the students to prepare for their exams.
Students at Undershaw are given a homework diary and are expected to record homework when it is set, with support from the TA and class teacher. Key stage 2 teachers will email the homework tasks home so that parents can see what the tasks are.
Parents are encouraged to look at the tasks set on Hegarty, Seneca, Mathletics, Lexia, and any other online platforms that are used with their child. Students develop independence by using their own accounts to log-in to these platforms and are often keen to share their progress with others are home.
To support the communication of homework between school and home, we are trialling the use of Assignments in Teams to set homework in the summer term 2022. This will initially be in humanities and computing until May half term and then we will seek feedback from students and parents. For support to access Assignments at home, please see our help sheet.