The Great Homework debate Part III – What does outstanding home learning look like?

As detailed in previous blog articles, current research suggests that the impact of homework is greater if the task is concise, meaningful and tightly linked to current classroom learning. Key Stage 3 students in particular need to be supported with developing an effective approach to home learning. Teachers should aim to support students by developing predictable and expected home work routines, and most importantly, by planning/designing high quality home learning tasks alongside their lessons and schemes of learning.

The best ideas for home learning activities are often the simplest. Use the chance to engage learners with their learning! The more emphasis that we as teachers place upon home learning, the more pride our students will take with their work. Here are some fantastic ideas for homework activities that you can use today!

  • Create a survey and ask your family/friends. The results could be used in the starter of the next lesson.
  • Why is it difficult? Give students 2 questions about the same topic. Ask them not to answer the questions, but to write a paragraph explaining why 1 question is more difficult than the other.
  • Real life scenarios. For example; ‘You are preparing for a moon landing- what would you need to take with you?’
  • A photo says 1000 words. Give students 2/3 photos. Ask students to write a page about why you have given them these photos, what relevance they have to the topic and what they can teach you. Great for students that may struggle to complete reading tasks independently!
  • Write the alphabet down the side of the page and ask students to fill in the alphabet with words about the subject. More or less words could be given to students with different abilities!
  • Completing the missing half to the torn page.
  • Designing. Allow students to get creative and design a cell/ food package/ campaign poster/ animal/ space ship/ planet/ habitat/ advert/anything relevant!
  • Watching a video/using an animation on the internet. There are thousands of excellent resources for students to explore online. Teachers can direct students to appropriate resources and ask them to write a comment on what they have learnt.

Please also see the attached templates for more ideas for great home learning activities.

Research assignment templates Tic Tac Toe scaffold Timeline template Video comparison template Comic strip template Letter template Levelled poster template Photo analysis template Question, reflection & answer

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