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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in January 2023 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

Home Learning at CHSG

Research tells us that the greatest benefits of homework for students are when tasks are associated with the rote learning, practice or rehearsal of substantive (factual) knowledge. Task - orientated homework has higher effects than independent projects that focus on problem-solving (Hattie, Visible Learning, 2008). The more specific the task, the more likely it is going to benefit all learners, regardless of the time spent on the task. We also know that up to half of what is learned is forgotten within a few days.

Therefore, we refer to homework as Home Learning, as the majority of tasks set will focus on our student’s memorising the most important content as decided by our Heads of Departments, our subject experts.

In Years 7 – 9 Home Learning tasks will be based on students memorising a specific section of a Knowledge Organiser using a metacognitive technique (self – quizzing ‚Äč. As a result, Home Learning is also a form of revision.

In Years 10-13, Home Learning tasks will be a combination of the accrual of substantive knowledge and opportunities to practice using learned content.

What principles guide our approach to Home Learning?

We have designed our home learning policy with the following principles at the centre,

  • Accessibility – we want all students, regardless of ability or circumstance to be able to complete Home Learning successfully.
  • Consistency – we want all students to have the same experience of home learning, regardless of the subjects they study or the teachers who teach them.
  • Value – we want all home learning tasks to be of value to the students. All of our tasks are focused on the accrual of substantive knowledge, or, as they mature, extended practice of learned content.
  • Predictability - we want home learning to not be a source of anxiety for students. We want them to know exactly what is demanded of them and feel capable of completing all tasks successfully.
  • Challenge – learning is hard. We believe the best home learning tasks support this process. When well planned, it gives students the opportunity to build on their lessons, deepen their understanding of key content and consolidate learning.
  • Revision – we want students to use metacognitive approaches to revise the key substantive knowledge of the courses they study. Home Learning is therefore a form of revision.
  • Checking – to ensure every student has learned effectively, teachers set low-stakes quizzes regularly in every subject. This enables teachers and pupils to see what has been learned, and enables them to address any gaps in understanding.

How much Home Learning do we set?

Year 7 - 9

We expect students to complete 1.5 hours of home learning every weekday evening following a schedule that is mapped out for the entire term. In Years 7 - 9 students will spend four 15 minutes blocks learning specific content from a Knowledge Organiser per evening, totalling one hour. For the last 30 minutes, we expect students to read a book.

The only exceptions to this are Maths home learning and Reading Progress. For Maths, students will spend one hour per week working on an online programme called SPARX. For the occasional English home learning task, students will be asked to complete a reading progress assessment via MS Teams.

In addition to this, each subject will set one Extended Task per academic year. These tasks are optional and seek to extend student’s mastery of a subject by allowing them to explore the powerful knowledge of each discipline. Departments take turns to set the throughout the academic year and so students will have three of these Extended Tasks set each half-term, starting in the second Autumn half-term.

Year 10 + 11

We expect students will complete at least two hours of home learning every evening. These tasks will be set by class teachers via MS Teams and will for the most part provide opportunities for extended practice of the content they have learnt in their lessons. For some lesson, where relevant, tasks may be in the form of coursebook or longer exam preparation tasks. As part of students’ home learning in Years 10 + 11 are still expected to read for at least 30 minutes per day.

Sixth Form

In Years 12 + 13, home learning and independent projects are set accordingly by class teachers via MS Teams. Students are expected to complete an hour of personal study for every hour they spend in lessons.

How do we check Home Learning tasks have been completed successfully?

Years 7 -9

Students’ Home Learning exercise books are checked every morning in the morning line-ups. If a student hasn’t,

  • Attempted the home learning tasks from the previous evening
  • Filled at least one side of A4 in their books
  • Reviewed their work in a different colour

They will be set a centralised detention.

In addition, low-stakes quizzing will be a feature of lessons to gauge the extent students have learnt the key content of the subjects they study.

Years 10 – 13

Students’ in these year groups will be set deadlines for the homework tasks by their class teachers. Class teachers will be responsible for the setting, collecting, marking and giving feedback of these tasks, according to their department’s policy.

How can parents/carers support their child’s home learning?

  • Students should be completing 30 minutes of reading each night. It is important to encourage your child to read challenging books. Their English teacher will be able to support them in this.
  • Students in Years 7 – 9 will be revising from their Home Learning work books every night or completing SPARX Maths. Every night you can support this by quizzing them on the sections they have been learning. All they need to do is to memorise the named sections for that evening using ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check, Review’, therefore you do not need any additional knowledge to support them.
  • Students need a quiet space, without distraction, in order to complete their Home Learning, If, for whatever reason you cannot provide this encourages your child to attend Home Learning Club at school.

How will the school support your child’s home learning?

  • In Years 7 – 9 the school will provide all the materials needed to complete Home Learning tasks successfully. These include, a Home Learning work book, an exercise book and a plastic wallet to keep these items safe.
  • The school runs Home Learning Clubs for each individual year group. These run for one hour after school so all the Home Learning tasks set for that evening can be completed (apart from 30 minutes of reading or any optional Extended Tasks). They are staffed with Learning Support Assistants, Pastoral Support Officers and some teaching staff.

How can my daughter who is in Year 9 find her Home Learning schedule?

As students have individualised timetables that are named we cannot publish these on our website. Students in Year 9 can find their schedule on the ‘Registration Year 09’ school intranet page. Students need to enter their name and check they have the correct month showing to find their schedule.