The Russell School

Aim High, Have Courage, Be Kind

Homework

Homework is an integral part of our pupils' learning process, offering an opportunity for parents to share in their child’s progress and support their learning. It is critical that home learning is an enjoyable experience and we encourage parents to take an active interest in this, their learning targets and their achievements.

For homework to be successful it should:

  • be an enjoyable, interesting and rewarding experience
  • be matched to children’s abilities and previous experiences 

  • widen and enhance children’s current learning 

  • develop or consolidate children’s knowledge, skills and attributes 

  • enable children to make progress 


We have adopted a personalised approach to homework, which allows pupils to work at a level and speed that is appropriate to their individual needs.  The following homework tasks are completed on a weekly basis:

  • Home/School Reading Scheme 

  • Differentiated spelling lists 

  • The Mathletics Mental Maths Scheme 

  • Differentiated multiplication/division facts recall 

  • All pupils are offered homework matched to their age and ability. As pupils progress through the school, the type of activity and amount may be increased, but it is still important to have adequate leisure time. A short time set just before/after tea in the evening is useful for sharing information about the day’s activities and assisting with any work brought home. 


Homework should take up a manageable and balanced part of children’s lives and provide the opportunity for parents to support their child’s progress. It is essential that homework does not dictate the pattern of every evening. Children need time to follow their own personal interests and hobbies and quality time to relax, enjoy leisure activities with their family, socialise with their friends and exercise.

There are occasions when children may struggle with the homework set for them or it is not possible to complete a homework task. Homework may be too difficult or be taking too much time. Circumstances may arise at home which make homework difficult to complete.

If there are any such problems, please let your child's teacher know as soon as possible so we can modify arrangements as necessary.

How can you help?

  • Find a quiet place at home to use as a homework area. 
  • Plan a homework timetable and agree on when your child will do their homework.
  • Allow your child to have something nutritional to eat before starting on homework.
  • Discuss any homework tasks with your child and how it connects with what they are studying at school.
  • Turn off the TV whilst homework is being completed. 
  • Explain how to look up information or find a word in a dictionary if your child is stuck.
  • Keep homework sessions short.  Children work hard at school each day and need time to unwind in the evenings and weekends. 

Helping your child with reading

Research shows that reading with your child is the single most important thing you can do to help their education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.

Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you're both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.

Books aren't just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.

Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:

  • Encourage your child to pretend to 'read' a book before he or she can read words.
  • Visit the library as often as possible - take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
  • Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
  • Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language - you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language.
  • Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
  • Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.

Helping your child with maths

As with reading, try to make maths as much fun as possible - games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It's also important to show how we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this.

Identifying problems and solving them can also help your child develop maths skills. If you see him or her puzzling over something, talk about the problem and try to work out the solution together.

Tips for helping your child to enjoy maths:

  • Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
  • Take your child shopping and talk about the quantities of anything you buy.
  • Let your child handle money and work out how much things cost.
  • Look together for numbers on street signs and car registration plates.