We expect all families to support and engage with our homework.
There are several types of homework at Bourne:
Every child in Years 1 to 6 is given their own homework book. They are allowed to cover this neatly with wrapping or other paper, to protect it, and to make it individual – as long as it is neat and tidy! The books are slightly larger than A4 paper, and have a variety of coloured pages. We want each week’s homework to cover no more than a double page in these books.
Mindcraft challenges are set every week, and the children have until the following week to respond to a single, open ended question. Each week, the question will be about different subjects and topics that the children are studying at school, depending on how the class teachers feel the children can most usefully spend their time learning in that particular week.
Every week, before the next homework is set, all the children share their work with their classmates. The teacher also uses this time to mark some of the homework books in detail. During the other weeks, the children will receive feedback from their classmates, and their work will be stamped by the teacher. One child in each class will be chosen to be a homework star each week.
The key principles for this homework are:
The Bourne Maths Challenge
Knowing your tables is a necessary skill that is the basis for a great deal of learning in maths. We are keen for every child to know their tables up to 12 x 12, forwards, backwards and inside out. In 2020 it will be mandatory for Year 4 pupils to sit a Multiplication Tables Check - please click here for further information.
At Bourne, when we think they are ready, we test the children on their number bonds and times tables. The tables are grouped into grades and the children have to answer all the questions correctly in a limited time in order to pass each grade. The questions require the children to know their tables extremely well, and they rely on rapid recall of their number facts in order to answer all the questions in the time given. We also include division questions, as this is the inverse of multiplication, and is a very important part of learning tables successfully. Success at each grade earns the children a certificate.
The Starter grades all take three minutes. All of the main grades (Grade 1 to 12 and the Advanced grade) have twenty questions and take two minutes. The children have to get all the answers right in a test to pass that grade.
How can parents help?
If it is fun, they will learn their tables more quickly.
Learning Key Words
Along with learning their phonics, the children will also learn to recognise ‘key words’ which they will soon be able to read on sight, and then to spell securely. These key words are important for two reasons:
Reading at Bourne
We want every child to read for about ten minutes every night. For the younger children, this will mean reading to an adult or an older brother or sister, who can understand how well they are reading and help them with any tricky words. Once they are fluent readers, they will not need to read directly to adults as often, but we would encourage them to discuss what they have read, to explore their thoughts and reactions, and to start developing their own preferences.
Every ten times your child reads they will earn a book ticket. To ensure this happens, as a parent/carer, you must listen to your child read and then sign their reading record. Every Monday, in assembly, the names of children who have earned a ticket are read out to the whole school, and the tickets are placed in the Reading Box.
Each week a ticket will be drawn from the Year 5 and 6 box, one from the Year 3 and 4 box, and one from the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 box. Each of the tickets picked will win a small prize. At the end of each term another ticket is drawn for a more community prize. The class with the most reading tokens each week (as long as there is more than 15) wins an extra turn on the climbing frame.
We are hoping that this will not only help to develop children’s reading but also encourage the enjoyment of reading.
Spellings at Bourne
We have looked at a LOT of research that shows that testing spellings once a week really doesn’t work – the spellings are soon forgotten! We teach the children at Bourne about spelling rules and patterns, and we send these home to you to look at with them. There is, however, no test. We will check their understanding by looking at the way these words are spelled in the children’s writing. We use a programme called ‘No Nonsense Spelling’.
If you would like more information on how to help your child, please see this page.