Our policy for home learning at Branfil is to provide you with a menu of options so you can choose how best to support your child at home. This enables parents/carers to make their own decision about how much time they want to invest in home learning and the approach that best suits their child.
We will be encouraging children to complete some home learning each week and rewarding those who do so regularly. There will not be consequences for those children who do not do this since we acknowledge that it is not always possible to do so within the demands of family life.
We also believe that home learning should be fun and not be an area that causes conflict at home. If your child is struggling to complete their home learning then please stop and let us know - we do not want you to feel that you have to battle on!
If you feel that your child needs additional challenge in their home learning then please speak to your child's class teacher and they will provide you with some ideas of how to deepen your child's understanding.
Science and the wider curriculum
Following parental requests, each year group produces a termly list of activities, visits and websites that support learning linked to the science themes and the main topic being studied that term.
Reading: We follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme from Reception. Children progress through the colour bands until they become a confident and fluent reader. They then move on to a colour banded scheme: bronze, silver and gold. These books form our school library and encourage the children to become more independent. Children in Years 3-6 are encouraged to complete their year group's Reading Bingo, which rewards them when they read, and respond to, specific books.
We expect children to read at least 5 times a week as we know that reading is key to a child's success. Younger children should read for a minimum of 10 minutes, with this time increasing as the children get older. As well as reading their school book, we encourage them to read anything; comics, newspapers, non-fiction, fiction and poetry are all important. We want them to love reading so it must be made an enjoyable experience.
All reading should be recorded in the reading record alongside the parent/carer signature and any related comments. Children who read at least 5 times in a week are recorded on the Star Reader chart in their classroom and those who do this consistently, every week, are rewarded at the end of the term with a school event or activity.
Y6 children have CGP comprehension books and grammar, punctuation & spelling (GPS) books (purchased after October half-term) which are used alternate weeks for English homework.
Phonics and Spelling: We follow the Read, Write Inc phonics scheme from the start of Reception. In the first half term of the autumn term, children in Reception and Y1 will bring home a list of high frequency words and tricky words to learn. From the second half of the autumn term, the children take home a Read, Write Inc (RWI) book each day, as well as their Oxford Reading Tree book. The RWI book includes spellings to practice alongside their reading practice.
In Y1, children also need to practise reading and spelling the Year 1 Common Exception Words provided by your child's class teacher.
In Y2-6, children will take home their spelling log book, linked to our RWI Spelling scheme, so they can learn spellings that follow the pattern or spelling rule that they have focused on in class that week.
Each Friday your child will bring home their spelling log book. This will contain both words they have learnt that week and words they have found difficult. Please spend time practising each word and return the log book on a Monday.
In the back of the log book you will find a list of red or orange words. Your child should be able to spell each of these words by the end of the school year. Please practise two or three each week.
At the front of the log book you will find a sound chart. This chart is really useful for illustrating different ways of spelling each sound. Please refer to this video for the correct pronunciation of each sound: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RlpsmpWOUFY.
All spelling logs must be brought to school every day so they can be regularly updated.
Please choose from the following activities to support your child's maths learning at home:
1. Times Tables Rock Stars (www.ttrockstars.com) - a carefully sequenced programme of daily online times tables practice - additional support is available on the school website (Y1-6)
2. Family Maths Toolkit - a resource designed for parents/carers and children to enjoy everyday maths activities together (Y1-5) - sent home each half-term
3. Rapid Recall practice to support the timed tests completed in the classroom - your child's Rapid Recall 'step' is written in their reading record and will be updated regularly - additional support is available on the school website (Y1-6)
4. CGP SATs revision books for Y6 only - pages will be set each week (purchased after October half-term).
The school website will also provide ideas and website addresses for additional information and activities (Y1-6).
Please note: if you would like to do more formal work with your Y3-5 child at home, CGP do a variety of maths books for each year group (www.cgpbooks.co.uk). You will be able to match this to the weekly learning objectives on the year group page of our website. We recommend the following:
Y3: KS2 Times Tables 10-Minute Weekly Workouts - Year 3
Y3: KS2 Maths 10-Minute Weekly Workouts - Year 3
Y4: KS2 Times Tables 10-Minute Weekly Workouts - Year 4
Y4: KS2 Maths 10-Minute Weekly Workouts - Year 4
Y5: KS2 Maths 10-Minute Weekly Workouts - Year 5
Y5: KS2 Mental Maths Workout - Year 5
If you have any questions about home learning, please speak to your child's class teacher.
FREE online education resources
Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it's mostly common material.
This site is old and no longer updated and yet there's so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.
Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).
For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.
Free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.
Learn computer programming skills - fun and free.
Creative computer programming
All sorts of engaging educational videos
National Geographic Kids
Activities and quizzes for younger kids.
Learn languages for free. Web or app.
Free science lessons
The Kids Should See This
Wide range of cool educational videos
You Tube videos on many subjects
Crash Course Kids
As above for a younger audience
Science awards you can complete from home.
Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.
Paw Print Badges
Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.
All kinds of making.
Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age.
Listening activities for the younger ones.
A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location!
Resources for English language learning
Oxford Owl for Home
Lots of free resources for Primary age
Big History Project
Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.
Blue Peter Badges
If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.
The Artful Parent
Good, free art activities
Red Ted Art
Easy arts and crafts for little ones
The Imagination Tree
Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.
Educational online games
DK Find Out
Activities and quizzes
This is more for printouts, and usually at a fee, but they are offering a month of free access to parents in the event of school closures.