LEARNING AT HOME POLICY
St Therese’s Primary School
St Therese's School strives to be a faith and learning community
which celebrates God's presence through:
Our Catholic heritage, excellence in teaching and learning
and a strong partnership between Family, Parish and Staff.
Philosophy of Learning
At St Therese’s, we believe that our Catholic faith and our belief in God is at the heart of all we do, say, teach and learn. By developing positive, collaborative and meaningful relationships with each other, we commit to inspiring all members of our community tobe the people God made them to be. Parents, teachers and students have a co-responsibility for being actively involved in all learning and the development and wellbeing of the whole person.
Our learning is based on an inquiry approach, where students develop a thirst for life-long learning. We aim to provide learning environments that enable students to actively engage with our Educational Values, fulfilling curriculum expectations and where possible, embedding personal interests.
We use data informed planning, evidence based learning and meaningful feedback to monitor and plan for student progress, enabling them to reach their full potential.
Most children have two main educators in their lives – their parents and their teachers. Parents are the primary educators and the learning begins at home. Research shows that parental involvement in children’s education from an early age has a significant effect on educational achievement. Students who are supported and encouraged at home, develop positive attitudes about learning, have more self confidence, often stay in school longer and are more likely to continue their education after secondary school.
Parents will benefit by being actively involved in and supporting their child’s learning at home. They can see what their child’s abilities are and can identify their child’s areas for growth.
Education is more than just what happens at school. Non-school experiences greatly benefit a child’s development and both parents and teachers share the responsibility for a child’s learning.
Parents can effectively help a child’s learning and development by:
- Reading to children and listening to them read:
- Helping them master basic skills; eg tying their shoes, undoing plastic wrap around lunches etc:
- Listening to them talk about their experiences both in and out of school:
- Providing paper, pencils, glue, scrap materials for them to write, draw, design and construct etc:
- Watching and talking about TV programs --- together.
- Encouraging them to work to the highest possible level of an educational, on-line game.
- Encouraging personal interests such as sports, hobbies and other leisure activities.
Learning at Home tasks may fulfill a variety of purposes but should be motivating, interesting, engaging or purposeful, involving interaction with others. Activities should be focused on the skill rather than the end product or result.
Learning at Home tasks should be a reinforcement of skills and knowledge that are or have been a focus in class.
The most important aspect of Learning at Home is the opportunity to practice essential skills, especially reading, spelling and times tables. The major focus should be on these activities and skills.
The setting of Learning at Home tasks takes into account the need for students to have a balanced lifestyle. This includes sufficient time for family, recreation and cultural activities.
Throughout recent research, there is no clear evidence that formal homework has any direct impact on learning. Learning at Home tasks may have an influence on organizational skills and time management.
Aims / Goals
Learning at Home promotes three important keys for student success: academic learning, character development,and family engagement.
To further academic learning, Learning at Home:
- Helps students practise skills already taught in class, along with new skills and knowledge.
- Stimulates creativity, communication, and thinking skills
- Provides an opportunity for personalised learning
Learning at Home also provides the opportunity for students to develop:
- Efficient management of time and materials, both at home and at school.
- Concentration and task-orientated behaviour
- A sense of responsibility and ownership
- Initiative of Learning
Finally, Learning at Home engages families by:
- Communicating and interacting with others
- Providing the opportunity for positive family learning experiences
- Sharing the learning experiences of school with family members.
- Building relationships with family members.
Guidelines for Implementation
Academic Learning at Home can be encouraged by:
- The learning and practise of basic reading skills. Students are encouraged to read every night to practise reading skills and comprehension strategies. The length of reading time will depend upon the age and grade level of the student. Students may be asked to discuss, reflect or respond to read texts in a variety of ways.
- The learning and practise of basic number facts. Students are encouraged to learn number facts such as tables, number processes such as addition and subtraction, telling the time, reading and writing of numbers, etc. These tasks may be suggested by the teacher or can be initiated by families as the opportunity arises.
- Being aware of the learning that is happening at school. Staff will communicate with and inform families of the learning intentions that the students are focusing on at school at particular times of the year. This will allow Learning at Home to compliment learning at school.
- Assisting students with the preparation of tasks to be completed in class. This will be on a needs basis. Some examples of this may include preparation for presentations, the gathering of information for class based learning, familiarisation of new areas of learning, etc. By being prepared for activities at
school, students will be able to use their time wisely and effectively at school,
enhancing their organisational and time management skills.
Character Development can be encouraged by:
- Students being prepared and organised for class tasks to ensure that they make the most of every opportunity for learning.
- Students ensuring that all learning time is used effectively and that all tasks are completed to the best of their ability. This will eliminate the need for students to complete tasks at home that have not been completed at school.
- Students taking the initiative to be involved in their own learning. By discovering new ideas, investigating areas of interest and finding ways to reinforce their learning at school, students are taking positive steps towards personalising their learning being co-partners in this process.
Engaging families can be encouraged by:
- Providing and encouraging family based activities that promote interaction with others. Such activities could include board games, cooking, building, planning family events, shopping, timetabling of family events, etc.
- Discussing with your child what they are learning about at school. During these times, students enjoy sharing their learning with family and friends , taking on the role of teacher. Through sharing with others, students internalise information and take ownership of the learning.
- Reflecting on holiday experiences that occur during school terms. When families spend time together on holidays, a great short term activity would be to keep a journal of events to share with friends on your return. Journals can include photos, recounts, favourite places, drawings, etc. If families are away for a longer period of time, and as a result, students may miss a significant amount of school, it may be necessary to contact the classroom teacher to discuss learning opportunities during the time you will be away.
This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s regular review cycle.
Reviewed Term 1, 2014
Activities / Document Links
Learning multiplication facts can be a pain, but not when you have access to lots of cool times tables games which will enable you to practise while having fun. It's important to get your knowledge of times tables really secure, with instant recall of the facts up to at least 10 x 10. This is because future maths skills build on this knowledge, and without it you will struggle later on. It's a good idea to keep practising from time to time too, because if you don't use it you might lose it!
CARD GAMES FOR KIDS
Sometimes in these days of computers, video consoles, electronic robots and other expensive toys we forget that a simple pack of cards (or two) can provide hours of fun.
Cards are inexpensive, easily portable and endlessly adaptable. Families can enjoy a game together, kids can play in groups on their own, and a solitary child can while away the hours playing solitaire games or building card houses. Please browse our suggestions of card games for kids below...
This term, students are learning about ways to care for and sustain our environment, locally, nationally and globally. Caring for the environment can begin at home and attached are some great activities to promote our awareness of the beautiful world that God gave us and the world that we are blessed to live in. Any of these activities will support the learning that is currently being done at school.