We would like to thank all the parents who completed our Home Learning Questionnaire (April 2022). The responses and feedback we received will help us to move forward with our offer of Home Learning for Key Stages 1 and 2. Inevitably, there were a wide range of differing views on Home Learning between all parents and, whilst as much as we would like to, we will not be able to address all of them in one go. Below is a summary of the key highlights and our next steps.
For awareness, we received responses from 41% of the parents in the school.
As a starting point, 76% of the responding parents believe that Home Learning should be sent home on a weekly basis, which is encouraging as most families see the need to consolidate and practise skills and concepts at home.
Feedback on Microsoft Teams
Firstly, one of the purposes of seeking parental views was to understand how we can develop our use of Microsoft Teams moving forwards. Initially, this learning platform was introduced in response to the COVID pandemic, but with recent Government guidance stating that ‘use of a remote learning platform should continue for any child with an infectious disease but who is well enough to continue learning at home’, we want to ensure that we make effective provision for our families whose child cannot attend school. We have chosen to continue using Teams as our chosen platform as this has been embedded into QI life over the last 16 months. There was a clear pattern that families thought Teams was a good tool to promote independence for our older learners. At present, Teams is only used to communicate Home Learning to parents of our KS2 learners. During the period of partial school closure in Spring 2021, our Year 1 learners still attended school and did not necessarily use Teams at home with their families. Similarly, we understand that our current Year F families have not yet had the chance to access and use Teams either, as they use the Tapestry platform instead.
It was positive to see that the families of our older learners understand the value of independence with Home Learning, especially with the transition to secondary school becoming ever closer for those children. By posting learning on Teams, as well as emailing it home to parents, this ensures that families have the best possible chance of accessing our Home Learning offer.
Moving forward, regarding our use of Teams, we will focus on;
- Support for families with accessing and navigating Teams as an online learning platform through a Parents’ Workshop where support documents, advice and login details can be shared
- The possibility of returning Home Learning on Teams and receiving teacher feedback for some of this where appropriate
Feedback on SumDog
Secondly, we wanted to gain a better understanding about views on SumDog. SumDog is a new online Maths learning platform that we have subscribed to this year, following a trial period in Year 5 last year. Overwhelmingly, of the parents who responded, 92% of families believe SumDog to be a useful learning platform for their child. Parents expressed that they liked SumDog because of its fun game-based approach to learning – the children don’t realise they are learning at the same time as playing! Some parents responded saying that their child is now more engaged than ever when using SumDog as they can compete against themselves in order to improve, which is great to hear!
Moving forward, regarding our use of SumDog, we will focus on;
- Setting ‘Tasks’ each week, whether they are number-fact based or National Curriculum objective-based
- Ensuring enough challenge with some aspects of SumDog
- Further develop the use of SumDog for improving spelling skills
Feedback on Home Learning Distribution
Since September 2021, we have emailed Home Learning home to families each week and have generally followed a rolling rota of Reading, Maths and Spelling/Vocabulary-based activities. Where we have had many successes with this, some families feel that their child has at times lost engagement with Home Learning as a result of something paper-based and physical not coming home, as before it once did (pre-COVID). In general, most families who responded (60%) preferred the three-week rolling rota of Home Learning as opposed to a mixture of each subject each week.
Moving forward, regarding the distribution of Home Learning, we will focus on;
- How we can incorporate some paper-based Home Learning, where children bring their Home Learning back into school for teacher feedback
- How we can further engage and motivate children to complete Home Learning
Feedback on Reading at Home
It was very positive to see the value that parents place upon reading at home with their child. As we expected, regular reading with children happened more in KS1, with the children reading more independently by themselves the further they progressed through KS2. Even in KS2 though, where children may want to read more by themselves, it is still important for them to read aloud to an adult so that they can practise their fluency, tone and expression as this is something that we assess in school each year. We greatly value support with reading at home and encourage parents to continue this as much as possible.
Feedback on Home Learning and Time
Home Learning is something that we value as a school, and we appreciate that it is not always an easy task to get completed at home. We understand that finding the time can be a challenge when completing Home Learning as life becomes ever busier for our families outside of school. Please be assured that whatever can be done will always benefit your child – whether it is reading together, practising number facts or even simply getting them to explain what they have done at school each day. Encouraging your child to remember and go back over what they have learnt before is an important activity to do.
Again, we would like to thank all the families who spent their time completing the Home Learning Questionnaire.