Homework and assessments
In Reception, homework is phonics based and designed to reinforce recognition of sounds and words, and practice letter writing. Children may be asked to practice tracing letters and then writing them independently, or given 'flashcards' to read, to encourage recognition of 'tricky' words. Every child will be given reading books to share at home, beginning with simple picture books to encourage children to begin recognising and discussing the events which are pictured. As their understanding of phonics progresses children will move on to short stories featuring simple words and sentences.
It will help your child immensely if you are able to sit and listen to them read regularly during the week. Reading together is the single most effective way to instill a love of reading, and encourage your child's literacy skills. Each child will have a Reading diary in which we will record the one to one and guided reading practice your child has had in school, and in which you can record reading at home.
Our books are colour banded in line with National Book Band guidelines, rather than following the colour coded 'stages' defined by individual publishers, so you may find that some weeks your child brings home books from different 'levels'. We help the children choose a book which is suited to their level of progress, but if you feel that your child is struggling with their home reading books, or conversely is finding them too easy, please let us know.
Year 1 homework
In Year 1 children will receive up to 2 reading books to practice at home, plus weekly spellings and mental maths/time tables to learn (which will be tested in school). The children are also given a Homework scrapbook in which homework activities can be recorded with the support of a parent or carer. Fortnightly or weekly the children are given a topic or theme which they can respond to in their own way, through writing, model-making, drawing, painting, collage, or any other appropriate medium. This open collaborative approach encourages children to use their initiative and creativity. Homework scrapbooks will be available to share during Stay and play on Thursdays so that children and parents can be inspired by each other's work.
In Year 1 children take one formal external assessment, called the Phonics Screening Check. The Phonics Screening Check is a short, simple assessment to make sure that all pupils have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard by the age of 6. The check comprises a list of 40 words and non-words (made up words) which each child will read one-to-one with a teacher. All year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools must complete the check. This national screening check is designed to help teachers identify the children who need extra help so they can receive the support they need to improve their reading skills. These children will then be able to retake the check in Year 2. Our nursery children begin learning about phonics about half way through their nursery year, and are well practised when they take the screening check.