What is Home Learning?
Home Learning is defined as the additional tasks and activities set by teachers to supplement the lesson material, building on the skills and knowledge taught in the classroom or Remote Learning environment. Whether a student is taking part in lessons within the school or whilst working from home, they will have additional Home Learning tasks to help enhance their understanding.
What is Remote Learning?
At Horringer Court Middle School, we define Remote Learning as lessons which take place either by distributed learning materials or via live lessons through Google Classroom, our Century platform or other approved online systems. These lessons are designed to replicate the classroom experience as much as possible for students who are unable to join us within the school building. Students will be expected to engage in Remote Learning if they are absent for defined reasons such as Covid-19 self-isolation.
Why is Home Learning Important?
The ability to think and work independently is a skill necessary for any young person to flourish when entering higher education and the modern workplace. It is also essential for their emotional and mental wellbeing. Young people need to be confident that they know how to organise themselves to meet deadlines, that they can be resourceful in finding and assimilating information and that they can do tasks without adult supervision. Students who have these skills are more confident, more relaxed and better prepared when sitting their exams, consequently going on to achieve better grades. Home Learning is a key tool in helping young people acquire the skills and knowledge that they need for the next steps in their education/employment.
- Key Stage 2: minimum 30 minutes per week per subject.
- Key Stage 3: minimum 45 minutes per week per subject.
Below are some examples that departments may set as Home Learning – this is not an exhaustive list. Every department will decide which Home Learning styles are most appropriate for their curriculum; different subjects will have different styles of Home Learning tasks to ensure suitability. This will be quality assured by the designated member of senior leadership for Home Learning.
- Reading and preparing a text for an upcoming lessons.
- Completing quizzes and assignments on Google Classroom.
- Making revision materials.
- Revising key information for a test.
- Research that will be used for an activity next lesson.
- Completing exam questions and past papers.
- Drafting an essay based on a source text.
- Completing activities using curriculum apps such as Century or Linguascope.
- Learning how to spell key vocabulary and their definitions.
- Reading a section of a text.
- Making a model.
- A creative piece of writing.
- Watching a documentary and reporting back on it.
Students should always attempt to complete the Home Learning task even if they are struggling. Effective learning does involve challenge and our students need to learn to persevere when faced with these challenges. Students are expected to see the teacher before the Home Learning deadline if they are experiencing difficulty, and at least the day before the deadline; teachers will be mindful of family emergencies and give extensions on the rare occasions when they happen.
Students who do not submit Home Learning tasks on time will receive an detention, in which they will be helped to complete the tasks given. In the case of continued non-compliance, which we define as any more than two per term, the class teacher will contact home to discuss this issue further.
Not all Home Learning tasks will need to be marked – for example: reading and preparing texts, practicing spellings and key vocabulary and Google Classroom quizzes; however, all Home Learning tasks should be acknowledged and checked in line with our school marking policy. Projects and extended pieces of work will receive full written feedback as part of the school’s assessment policy. Some Home Learning tasks, where appropriate, may be teacher-, peer- or self-marked during lesson time.
How CENTURY Aids Our Home Learning
CENTURY uses Science, artificial Intelligence and neuroscience to provide students with a personalised pathway. It provides students with access to learning materials and assessments in English, Mathematics and the Sciences. CENTURY makes personalised learning recommendations based on students’ strengths and areas for improvement, so that students always know the best topics to study next.
Students themselves get a personal profile which allows them to look at how they are performing. This is fantastic for independent learning and directs students to areas they need to look at, and areas which they are doing well at. Parents are also able to see this profile and are able to see what assignments have been completed and whether they were completed on time.
Teachers are able to see topic view for each students and see which areas they may need to re-teach with certain groups. Those students not performing as well as others can be given fast and informed intervention. This crucial feedback is all done without teacher effort in terms of marking, so therefore allows teachers more time to plan effective intervention strategies to overcome the weaknesses.
This is an example of the pathway that students will see when they log in. They can change their pathway and do have the ability to turn on and off different core subjects. The key shows the different meaning next to each ‘nugget’. A nugget is an interactive micro-lesson. Some nuggets are homework tasks set explicitly by teachers, or some can be memory boosts. The pathway is generated via artificial intelligence, so the more a student utilises the platform the more data they will get. One of the options will be ‘focus for improvement nuggets’. This will be recommended based on a previous nugget that the student has completed and will confidently direct them to the areas which they need to focus on to move their learning forward. This constantly adapting personal pathway are all designed to address gaps in knowledge, provide stretch and challenge and promote long-term memory retention.
The due assignment feature is where subjects can set homework tasks such as exam questions, essays or video links. This feature allows all subjects at Horringer Court Middle School to use the platform as a homework tool alongside the AI aspects for the core subjects.
Teachers are provided with their own personal dashboard. It allows teachers to see how the class is performing on a nugget. The dashboard also allows teachers to look at an individual’s progress. The difference we find with CENTURY is that it’s much more individually directed, it’s much more bespoke, so allows teachers to intervene where appropriate. It can also enable teachers to plan lessons based on an area for improvement, or student’s specific interventions. This allows teacher to plan differentiated lessons and allows leaders across the core subjects to see the bigger picture in terms of student’s difficulties or areas whereby they have a solid foundation.
Each term we are sent specific data for the school. We hope to see the data develop term by term, as students with support from parents will fully utilise the platform to its full potential.
Some subjects may wish to set assignments and this fantastic feature is that we can mark online via the platform and this can be written, audio or video feedback so gives teachers more flexibility in how they mark students work, taking advantage of revolutionary technology. In addition, students also are able to submit work in those three formats which allows us to move with current technology. This aspect of CENTURY will be developed over time as both teachers and students become more familiar with the system.
The potential impacts of CENTURY at Horringer Court Middle School are phenomenal and as the project moves forward and students fully utilise the platform the benefits to their independent learning will be reflected.