Current pupils and parents: if you are looking for your current Home Learning Tasks, please log into Moodle and look at your calendar.
At Test Valley School we believe in the value of pupils working individually at home and view ‘Learning at Home’ as an essential aspect of a good quality education. Regular work undertaken at home gives pupils the opportunity to practise for themselves the tasks and skills undertaken in the class allowing them to work at a pace that suits them and their ability. Whilst working at home, we will expect the highest possible standards of work so that pupils develop the skills of self-discipline, personal organisation, independence and effective study habits that will prepare them for the rigorous demands of GCSE courses.
Our Home Learning Tasks are therefore an essential and integral part of the learning process for our pupils. The tasks aim to provide pupils with an element of independent study that is not directly supervised by a teacher. This is seen as important in raising pupil achievement and developing successful lifelong learning habits. Undertaking a variety of Home Learning Tasks is one way of enhancing learning that allows parents to have regular participation into their child’s education, so creating a partnership in the learning process involving the pupil, parents and the school.
What are Home Learning Tasks (HLTs)?
Home Learning Tasks cover all types of learning activities and will have varying timescales for completion as shown below.
1. Core subjects (English, Mathematics and Science) and Modern Foreign Languages
Home Learning Tasks (HLTs) will be set at least once a week by the Core subjects and Modern Foreign Languages and will need approximately one hour, per subject, to complete. Occasionally, pupils will be given an Additional Learning Task designed to take between 20 to 30 minutes only to complete. The nature of the HLT will vary according to the age and capabilities of the pupils. Occasionally, a longer task will be set involving a 2/3 week time period. If this is considered necessary, all details will be recorded in the pupil’s student planner.
Longer Home Learning Tasks (LHLTs) will be set in all other subjects and will require, on average, between 3 to 6 weeks to complete. These longer tasks require pupils to focus on what they are currently learning, what they are going to learn and give opportunities for pupils to demonstrate what they have learned. They will be designed to develop independence in learning and to give pupils a choice of how they complete the task. Occasionally, pupils in these subjects will also be given an Additional Learning Task designed to take between 20 to 30 minutes only to complete.
Pupils will take responsibility for completing all Home Learning Tasks, but will be given advice and support by their subject teachers.
Home Learning Tasks should:-
- Consolidate, support or extend what the pupils are learning in the classroom and so raise pupil attainment and achievement.
- Prepare pupils for the rigour required to complete G.C.S.E. study and instil the habits of successful lifelong learning.
- Build confidence, develop independent research skills so allowing pupils to personalise their learning.
- Stretch and challenge pupils by giving them opportunities to practise classroom skills by themselves so encouraging them to take ownership and responsibility for their own learning.
- Develop a greater sense of individual responsibility and independence in learning.
- Assist teachers in assessing individual pupil strengths, weaknesses and learning needs.
- Enhance study skills e.g. planning skills, time management, organisation and research skills, self-discipline, self-motivation and workload management.
- Engage parental co-operation and support and create channels for home-school dialogue.
- Offer access to resources not available in the classroom – (e.g. local libraries; real-life situations).
How can parents help?
The kind of help parents can give will depend on the age of the pupil and the type of task they have to complete. Talking about the tasks and providing the right home conditions will be helpful. The following points are considered to be of importance in achieving a successful outcome:
- Providing a supportive environment and a suitable place to work
- Negotiating when HLTs will be completed via a daily routine based on the Home Learning Tasks Timetable.
- Checking the time spent on individual HLTs and praise effort
- Ensuring a balance between the time needed for HLTs and other leisure pursuits.
- Being interested and engage in talk that will show what has been learned so far.
- Signing the student planner every week, making comments as appropriate.
- Being positive about HLTs and not letting them become a chore.
- Logging on to Moodle to check HLTs and resources, as needed.
How will Home Learning Tasks be marked?
Pupils work will be marked using the subject department’s mark scheme and marks will be used as part of the overall assessment of a pupil’s individual progress. Feedback to pupils will take a variety of methods including peer and self-assessment, oral feedback and written comment from the teacher.
How can pupils gain support in completing Home Learning Tasks?
Individual subject staff will provide regular support for pupils as part of their normal classroom lessons. Pupils requiring additional support at school have access to the Learning Resource Centre at lunchtimes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3.30pm there are focussed support sessions in the Learning Resource Centre until 4.30pm. Pupils can seek staff guidance on any task during these extra study sessions.
What happens if Home Learning Tasks are not completed?
If an HLT is not completed the teaching staff will initially try to avoid a punitive approach by creating a positive HLT climate where non-completion is recorded and will be the subject of further action. This action will depend on the circumstances. The pupil will be given opportunities to explain and to catch up during a lunchtime detention. However, if there are genuine reasons why a pupil cannot complete an HLT, it is essential that the school is informed of this by a note written in the student planner, prior to the deadline.
Each pupil is provided with a Home Learning Task timetable and a student planner in which to record the tasks. Parents are asked to support their child by discussing the tasks and encouraging completion within the deadline date.
As a rough guideline, time to be given to HLT’s should be as follows:-
Years 7 & 8 45 to 90 minutes each school day
Year 9 1 to 2 hours each school day
Years 10 & 11 11/2 to 21/2 hours each school day