Home Learning Overview

At Newnham Croft we believe that formal homework tasks other than those mentioned below have limited impact on a child’s progress. We believe that our children put 100% of their energy into the school day and generally make the most of the learning opportunities that we provide. After school it is useful if children can enjoy reading with their parents/carers and spend some time practising basic skills such as spelling, number bonds and times tables.

Parents and carers may also like to make use of resources available on the Internet. However rather than spending time on longer pieces of homework, we believe it is much more useful for our children to pursue special interests, enjoy our local environment and city and relax with friends or their families. The exception to this is Year 5 and 6 children who benefit from more formal home learning tasks in preparation for the homework they will be expected to complete at secondary school.

After school, weekends and holidays are an ideal time for children to relax and follow their own interests. We know there are benefits of ‘boredom’ for the brain; how a bit of idleness can lead to greater productivity and creativity! We are all very busy all of the time and the children are no exception; weekends and holidays give them the chance to plan their days, play and think what they would like to do without the structure of school!

Notwithstanding the delight of free time, Cambridge has so many opportunities for children and we try to include these in our weekly newsletter. The Children and Young People’s Participation Service (ChYpPS) has an extensive free programme of activities for school aged children in Cambridge www.cambridge.gov.uk/chypps or contact the team on 01223 457873 email chypps@cambridge.gov.uk.

The National Trust have updated their 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ activity list https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/50-things-to-do-before-youre-11--activity-list. Many of the ideas are easy to organise and fun!

During weekends and holidays there is often plenty time for reading, drawing, free writing (maybe a holiday diary?) and practising other skills such as spelling tricky works, timetables and number bonds preferably in as fun a way as possible. There are many websites available but why not try and think of ways to learn and practise outside. Alternatively it’s really useful if children can practise applying maths skills in real life situations for example counting, cooking, telling the time and shopping using money. Our guide to having a Maths-rich household will help with this.

Holidays are an ideal time to do lots of sport for example, swimming – there is a free learner pool on Sheep’s Green near Lammas land and many leisure centres offer lessons. Learning to swim confidently is such an important life skill, especially when we are so close to the river and extra practice would really benefit those of our children who are just gaining water confidence and skills.

Below you will find links to our Mathematics Policy which includes a guide to how we teach calculations (it’s really helpful for the children to practise the methods we use in school) and a useful website for practising times tables.

Learn your tables - https://www.timestables.co.uk/

Some year groups in KS2 also have an account for Times Tables Rock Stars (click for link).

There is a link to a free learn to touch type programme – a really useful skill to master! The high frequency wordlists for each year group are listed as well as a Spelling rules presentation, the slides from our English workshop with a focus on spelling and handwriting, a document with a variety of methods to learn spellings and our handwriting scheme year group expectations – PENPALS.

BBC Bitesize Dance Mat Touch typing (7 -11 years) - http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr