Home Learning

Home Learning

The following information is designed to offer some ideas on the ways in which you can help to support and enrich your daughter’s education.  The ideas are intended as a resource for you to use as and when they are appropriate.

We have recently introduced the Homework section within SIMS Student/Parent. Please see the guide for instructions – student user guide

 At The Holt we encourage all of our students to be:

  • independent and resilient learners; able to take responsibility for their own learning and learn from feedback.
  • active learners who participate fully in the learning process by working hard, asking questions and learning from their mistakes
  • progressive learners, who use their knowledge to make links with new ideas
  • creative and original thinkers.

We believe that you, as parents, are a vital part of your daughter’s learning and we value your support and involvement.

Home learning is set on a regular basis throughout the school. Each student has a home learning timetable that shows when home learning is set and how long it should take.

Home learning can take a variety of forms. These include practice exercises, completion of classwork, extended writing, learning, reading and researching. As students move through the school an increasing amount of home learning will be set over a longer period; this develops your daughter’s independent study skills.

Some subjects set ‘home learning’ projects, in Years 7, 8 and 9 across the year. It is one project per fortnight. The timetable will be on the website at the beginning of each term. We recommend students spend 4 – 5 hours on the project over the fortnight. This is in addition to the regular home learning set by the subjects not setting home learning projects, as well as some additional home learning set by subjects, who do set home learning projects, when applicable (maximum 20 minutes).

Year Recommended Time
7 1 - 1½ hours of work per evening
8 1½ hours of work per evening
9 1½ - 2 hours of work per evening
10 and 11 2 hours of work per evening

Good Home Learning Routines

It is advisable to establish good home study routines at the very beginning of the year so that it becomes normal and reduces stress and confrontation in the approach to exams or project home learning deadlines.

  • Each day your daughter’s teacher will enter brief details of the actual home learning set on FROG (school website). This is a reminder to her and also for your information.  We also remind girls to record their home learning in their planners when the teacher sets it.
  • Look at FROG together each day and discuss what needs to be done. Encourage your daughter to share this experience from day one and they will then perhaps be willing for this process to continue as they get older.
  • We strongly advise students to get into the habit of doing home learning in advance of the deadline. It helps with the long term memory and also if there is a problem your daughter has time to seek help from her teacher or browse the internet or go to the learning resource centre to gather some additional learning resources.
  • Plan out together when your daughter will do her home learning, incorporating other activities that take place after school such as visiting friends, having tea, watching television, social networking online and clubs. We want our students to be able to organise their time and to have a balanced attitude to work and leisure.
  • Ask to see home learning when it has been done and get your daughter to explain it to you. If you are not satisfied with your daughter’s effort, it is fine for you to make your daughter redo her home learning or to develop it further.
  • Praise your daughter’s work as much as possible. You could comment on informative, clear or imaginative work, on her ability to get on with home learning independently or maybe her  perseverance at something; avoid dwelling on errors. It is better to praise effort rather than ability.
  • Encourage your daughter to reflect on how to continue to make progress in the different subject areas, rather than focusing solely on the grades awarded. We encourage our students to link hard work and perseverance with success not talent or ‘smartness’.
  • Encourage your daughter to ask for feedback from her class teachers and to see making mistakes as a path to success. To reinforce this parents can ask “What mistakes did you make today? and “What have you learnt from this?”
  • Encourage the balanced use of social media so they are switched off at bedtime, mealtimes and whilst doing home learning.
  • Providing an environment that is conducive to study helps with the home learning routine. Your daughter should have a desk, chair and somewhere to store her books and other resources in one place so they can be easily found.  A range of stationery helps too, such as coloured pens and plain paper for mind mapping or A6 cards for revision.  Periodic drinks and snacks also reduce the perceived burden of home learning!
  • Getting organised is a major issue for many new students. It would be helpful if you could look at the timetable with your daughter before bedtime and check that everything needed for the next day (books/PE kit/ technology resources etc) is safely packed in the bag – including home learning for the next day. Obviously though, over time your daughter needs to do this on her own – it often just takes a week of support and then they are much better at doing it on their own.

Our suggestions above demands time and effort but if you can establish clear routines, your daughter will reap the rewards of this basic groundwork of good study habits.  It will make for your daughter’s learning to be a meaningful and enjoyable experience and hopefully lead to less stress and anxiety for you.

Lifelong Learning

Education is a lifelong learning process that should be fostered both in and out of school; in this way, your daughter will become a lifelong learner.  Activities that will support this process of “learning how to learn” include:

  • Visits – a wide range including theatre, concerts, exhibitions, sports events, careers conventions
  • Wider reading, including newspapers, magazines, specialist magazines, fiction and non-fiction books
  • Encouraging use of research skills, including dictionaries, Internet, public libraries
  • Encouraging the development of a wide vocabulary
  • Encouraging the development of numerical skills in everyday life
  • Supporting the learning process by discussing different ways of approaching tasks
  • Debating and discussing topical issues that reflect key events in the world today.

During the school year we hold parent workshops which cover practical strategies that parents can use to help their daughters become better learners.  During the sessions we also spend time discussing common anxieties of parents over their daughter’s wellbeing and learning.

We hope that these ideas will be helpful to you.  Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any other queries