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Hi there. In my school in Reception the children do two or three pieces of writing a week and at least 4 pages of homework. But is this too much? Some people say yes it is too much at that level others say no and it may not even be enough to prepare them for Year One. I know about the Foundation Stages but some people say I should also follow the National Curriculum and I am CONFUSED! help?!! :o

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Welcome Phoenix - congratulations on your first post!

 

As a parent I wouldn't want my child in reception doing homework, and as a practitioner I'm not sure it says anywhere in the Curriculum Guidance folder that children need to do homework in order to meet the Early Learning Goals.

 

Is it your school's policy that you follow the National Curriculum as well as the Foundation Stage, or is there pressure coming from other quarters? Would these sources be pushing children in Key Stage 1 to be following the curriculum for Key Stage 2 in order to 'get them ready"? I think not!

 

Far from bringing the National Curriculum into the Foundation Stage, I would be all in favour in extending the principles of the Foundation Stage into Year 1!

 

Just my little rant - I feel it sets me up for the week ahead!

 

I hope you enjoy the forum - you're certainly assured of a wide variety of opinion and advice!!

 

Maz

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Welcome from me too! Hope you enjoy the Forum.

 

Please be reassured that it is the Foundation Stage Curriculum that is statutory for reception children and as such this their entitlement. There is no need to be working the National Curriculum for key stage one until they are are in Year One. Presuming you have children working beyond the Early Learning Goals in some areas you can still challenge these children while still providing for their entitlement for well structuted play and exciting appropriate learning opportunities. You can be assured they will be ready for year one having followed a rich, creative foundation stage curriculum.

 

Presuming that your children have reading homework as well as written, I would say 4 pieces each week is way, way way too much. (check out your schools homework policy)

 

I hardly ever give my children 'formal' homework but make suggestions to the parents on how they can enrich topics or activities that we have done in class at home. (For example, helping parents to write the weekly shopping list) I get lots of lovely writing and pictures, artefacts brought in to school that the children do at home, or that they wish to share.

 

I hope this helps - best wishes

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Welcome. I do not give any homework to my reception class. If parents ask for it I tell them to read as much as possible at home with their child. I did give out copies of the 45 reception words. Once they know these I give them copies of the KS1 words.

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hi Phoenix and welcome! :D

 

As the Foundation Stage Curriculum is statutory I think it can be regarded as part of the National Curriculum?

 

Homework! Urrrgh.

Unfortunately you need to be directed by your school's homework policy here. Guidelines are that children should have 10 minutes a day, I think, and what you offer will be likely to be dictated to you by your school. You need to make this homework meaningful and appropriate. it may also to some extent be dictated by the demands of the parents.

 

I used to tell my children that their homework was to learn to do their buttons up or something similar or even to have fun! Im not over fond of homework at this age but if it required of us then it needs to be quick and easy for you to set and assess! What homework certainly shouldnt be is a battle between parent and child.

 

The growing awareness of transition has also taken a way the emphasis on getting ready for year 1. Children should be allowed to access the FS curriculum in an appropriate way until the end of the reception year and into year 1 if they have not attained ELGs.

 

Good luck.

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Hi Phoneix

 

Yikes! Sounds like way too much too me. The only homework my reception class get are phonic based games to help with their reading. Even then I tell the parents it's optional and only to go ahead if the child is keen.

 

The Foundation Stage comes under the main umbrella of the National Curriculum, but isn't really a part of the NC as far as I can see. ' The powers that be' are now finally realising that there is a gap between the FS and the NC. The debate now is how to bridge that gap and to make the transition smooth and more connected between the two. In my LEA we've been told that Year 1 teachers have to carry on the FSP for those children who haven't achieved all the ELG's by the end of Recpetion.

 

Regards

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We do one focused piece of writing a week- but then not every week. We are meant to do handwriting daily- but it normally gets done 2 or maybe three times a week and is normally only for 5 minutes or so.

As for homework- the children have their reading books and are invited to bring things in to share with their class mates, in the summer term we also send home spellings- normally 5 a week, but assess that through weather the children use them in their independent writing and in written tasks. words relate to tricky words and high frequency words to year R

 

L

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Hi Phoenix

Welcome to the forum

Well the general opinion would be that homework is a big no-no! And I would agree with it, although not a teacher in a school. I know that I would have hated for my children to have to have done so much homework at that age. But I also know how much pressure is put on teachers by some parents. And as others have said you have to be guided by your school's homework policy.

Good luck!

Linda

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The Education Act 2002 extended the National Curriculum to include the foundation stage. The six areas of learning became statutory, and the Act also specified that there should be early learning goals for each of the areas. A national consultation on the content of the early learning goals as set out in Curriculum guidance for the foundation stage was carried out in autumn 2002.  Following this consultation the early learning goals, and use of the Curriculum guidance as a guide, became statutory in March 2002.

 

www.qca.org.uk

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so what's your point Susan regarding the quotation?

An expalnation would enlighten us all.

 

As I happened to say in a previous post the FS comes under the umbrella of the NC but the transfer isn't a smooth one and a large number of children have trouble adapting from the FS to the NC. I know what is said in the documentation bu t in reality it isn't that simple.

I have seen this as I moved up with FS children last year into Year 1 class as a TA.This is the gap that in reality certain LEA advsiors are trying to deal with and why they are getting Year 1 teachers in my LEA to use the FSP's.

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Hi Phoenix and welcome. :D

 

As a parent I would say that that is too much. My daughter brings home reading twice a week and sometimes has one other piece of homework for the week. Last week this was to design a poster for the village telling drivers to slow down to 20mph. A few weeks ago she had a 'diary' to draw any signs of spring she saw. Sometimes it is to write a list of words such as ending in 'at'. I would rather my daughter was spending her time with me at home doing more interesting activities than 4 sheets of work!

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Mousebat -

 

Susan's post looks like a reply to what was a direct contradiction by you of her post. You then edited your own post to say something different from your original post. I still have the wording of the original post.

 

Please don't use the tone you used above again - since others have read this conversation I'll let these posts stand and ask you to refrain from posting in a manner that I feel is directly against the spirit of this community.

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In reply to Phoenix's original post regarding homework. All I ask the children in my reception class to do 5-10 mins (on a spectrum from daily to as often as possible depending on family circumstances, child's interest) is whatever is in their book bag. It may be to share/read a book, to look through JP sounds book at beginning of year, to play matching game using leywords/book words.

When children are getting inspired by the current topic, they tend to bring things in from home to show or talk about - that is 'homework' too. Recently we did 'under the sea' and had stuffed fish, non-fiction books, fossils' brought in, without even asking for them!

Marie

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What is the edit button there for then?

 

I wanted to reword my post as I felt I hadn't made myself clear as why I was contradicting what has been said. You will now find that I have made myself clear and added reasons as to why I don't agree. This is called DEBATE . There is absolutely nothing wrong with my tone. I genuninely wanted to know the point of the quotation. I needed to be enlightened.

 

I think we should be allowed to air our views even if they differ from someone elses. I'm not a 'yes I agree with everything you say' person. Debate on this forum is sometimes stifled. I try to start on several occasions a debate on reading and methods used but becasue my views are not in line with this forum it is stifled and unprofessional comments are made by others to my views. No wonder people don't want to debate the really important issues. Where is their slap on the wrists?

 

If you have an open forum you should expect people to be able to speak their mind and you should not alter someones post because you don't like what it says. What happened to free speech?

 

Community spirit you say - bah - I don't know of any commuity that is all yes yes I agree all the time.

 

Where is your community spirit Steve to let me have my say?

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I have to say that I have found this a very friendly, interesting and useful community in the short time that I have been a member. I do have to say that when I intially read this topic earlier this evening, I did have to reread mousebat's post a couple of times (before it was re-edited by Steve) and found it rather brusque. There are certain ways to phrase a discussion or debate without putting others down. I agree that debates are useful and indeed necessary at times to get people thinking from all sorts of angles, but everyone needs to respect others' views, in a polite and supportive manner.

Marie

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Thanks for your post Marie - although I'd like to point out that I didn't edit Mousebat's post. She did it herself! :)

 

Mousebat -

 

The Forum doesn't have a 'point of view'. It consists of the views of hundreds of members. What we do expect, in line with our terms and conditions and with the Forum Introduction page, is that the discussions happen in an atmosphere of respect for different points of view.

 

Your editing of your earlier post seemed designed precisely to allow you to come back and post the following:

 

  [mousebat] so what's your point Susan regarding the quotation?

An expalnation would enlighten us all.

 

Your original post directly contradicted Susan's:

 

  [mousebat] The Foundation Stage isn't a part of the National Curriculum.

 

So the point of Susan's quote quite clearly shows why she made her original suggestion:

 

[susan] As the Foundation Stage Curriculum is statutory I think it can be regarded as part of the National Curriculum?

 

There have been plenty of discussions involving different approaches, beliefs and points of view in the Forum. You're welcome to have your say mousebat, but please do so by arguing your point of view in a reasonable non-confrontational manner. In this way you won't have any problem. I never complain about points of view - only the way they're expressed. :)

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Moving back to the subject of homework and writing in Reception...!

We use Jolly Phonics and every new phoneme is stuck into a little pink book which the children take home to practice with parents. They all take a library book home initially, which is replaced with a reading book for the child to read, once the child is ready. I have recently developed "Word Walls"which have 5 key words on and the children practice them at home and colour in when they know them. This can take anything from one evening to a half term!!!!! Once they have done those they get writing walls using the same words but having to write them. This has had a profound effect on their recognition of key words and they absolutely love doing them.

Some weeks I put suggestions for maths at home connected to the week's maths (adapted from the Abacus plans on Hamilton Trust site) that are purely optional, but most enjoy doing.

As far as writing goes - every child has a writing workshop with the teacher every week and also a handwriting session every week. Other days we have practicing writing names and other incidental writing tasks.

Hope some of this is helpful to someone somewhere.

I love this forum and spent my recent week off sick browsing all the articles and downloading things. It inspired me to rewrite my planning format and the Primary Strategy consultant had a look and thought they were good so thank you to everyone because it all came from here!!!

heyjude :o

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Well! I seem to have completely missed this thread of the forum, having only discovered it today :D

It's very sad Mousebat decided to leave, she had a lot to contribute :-(

 

As to homework in reception, all I ask the children to do is read with their parents or other suitable person - and that seems to be too much for some! :o

In addition to their reading books the children take one or two high frequency flashwords home each week, but strictly for reading. (Some choose to practise spelling them too)

Children who are struggling to recognise their letters are given personalised phonic fans as well.

As a school we also offer maths games to the children to borrow once a week as "homework" if they wish.

I really think that children have plenty of time to do homework when they're older!!

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Hello Phoenix, I've just got a couple of things to say about homework. My daughter only did the standard share-a-book-with-mum homework in Yr R and she has done well in school. It gave us time to do family things in the evening. When I was a Yr R teacher I didn't want to impose homework on my class so what I did was send home a weekely newsletter explaining what we would be doing during the week and suggest a range of activities they could do that would complement this. It would include things like cooking, going for a walk to look for certain things, story and rhymes to share, and even things like buying a quality childrens magazine that had something relevent. The parents who wanted to be involved were happy with the suggestions and the others didn't feel under pressure to do things. Oh, I never sent words home to be learnt and read out of context, and the books they took home were not reading scheme books.

Perhaps one day you might feel that you could participate in developing your schools homework policy to make it Yr. R friendly.

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Well done heyjude, it would be interesting to know which planning format you adopted that impressed.

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It was a bringing together of lots of ideas - a sort of casserole! We'd been doing work on Success Criteria and Learning intentions so I pulled off some ideas from the forum on that and have just kept adapting and changing till it fits. :o

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Some weeks I put suggestions for maths at home connected to the week's maths (adapted from the Abacus plans on Hamilton Trust site) that are purely optional, but most enjoy doing.

 

I had a look at this site and it looks very interesting but couldn't find the Abacus plans, can you direct me.

 

Just like to say I love this site - most of us are able to argue our point in a professional manner.

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Hey, HeyJude? Can you please tell me more about this "Jolly Phonics"? We use Letter Land. And thanks everyone for your replies so far! I am REALLY finding this year tough going and don't really think I'm getting enough info on what is expected (most of the time) unless I do it wrong! Plus am about to be "observed" for about the fifth time this year! TOO MUCH! :o (Maybe I am abnormal for a teacher in this respect but I can't STAND someone sitting and watching every little thing I do and taking notes, find it nerveracking! Would rather just get on with it but be able to ask someone for help if needed or to observe and give pointers in a private way. Everytime I've been observed the boss always gets feedback on it and although it's gone well, can you see why I feel under a microscope? Ah well..........

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Phoenix, if you pop into ELC they stock the Jolly Phonics resources so you could have a quick browse at the whole programme :o

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