How to use this exemplar to improve practice?
This exemplar could be used to support improvement to:
- strengthen/improve the learning home and home / school partnership links
- increase attainment in reading, writing, numeracy
- increase parental engagement in their children’s learning
- Have parents been involved in developing/reviewing the setting’s home learning policy?
- What are the positive elements of your current policy about homework or learning at home? What improvements are required to improve this policy?
- What support strategies do you have in place to improve the nature and quality of parental involvement in supporting learning at home?
- Do parents get information about how they can help support their child's learning at home?
- How are parents encouraged to share their interests and skills with their children?
- Do parents know that members of the extended family can be involved with learning at home as well?
Explore this exemplar
What was done?
We began several years ago to plan a weekly homework focus on Listening and Talking. The structure has evolved over the years, and after consultation with parents these Listening and Talking tasks are now set termly, to enable maximum preparation time at home. A huge variety of themes, ideas and genre are explored, reflecting our current learning and topical current events. We regularly plan topics for study with pupils through our Pupil Council, and seek feedback from parents at Parent Council meetings.
Self and peer assessment is built into our learning, whether that be ‘one small change’ or ‘two stars and a wish’ etc, and the weekly discussions around skills being developed feeds into learning profiles as well.
Listening and Talking homework is also regularly used as a springboard for further deeper learning. For example World Book Day Dioramas which then became the foundation for learning on making Book Trailers, developing understanding of the elements of effective storytelling in a very creative way. We also regularly use these tasks as an opportunity for senior pupils to practice and develop their skills in note taking, and reporting back on what they have heard.
We recognised the huge importance of Listening and Talking, and the clear links between this and success / progress across the curriculum.
What was the impact?
Feedback from pupils and parents is extremely positive. Our Friday morning Listening and Talking Slot is now an eagerly awaited highlight of the week, with pupils from P1-P7 all keen to share their learning and presentations with their peers. Clear guidelines and planning advice has been well received by parents and the variety, scope and interest in the tasks themselves ensures that all pupils continue to be motivated, producing a very high standard of presentation.
Parents report that pupils love the challenge and creativity of the tasks, and the flexibility as to how the task can be presented. Parents also talk positively about this opportunity for family learning and their enjoyment in working with their children on these tasks in a focused way.