It may feel like a strange time of the Academic year to be writing to parents about homework as students get ready for their Summer break, but the Summer holidays last a long time…
The long summer break is a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a family, but it can also lead to your child being intellectually under stimulated. In an age of social media and Netflix, it’s easier than ever for our youngsters to spend too much of their downtime frying their brains in front of screens.
While every child should be allowed their own time to relax and recover from the intensity of the academic year, it’s important not to let that behaviour dictate their entire summer break. Holiday homework provides the perfect opportunity to keep their “school brain” ticking over, and keeps them challenged and stimulated.
Throughout the Academic year, your child will have been set lots of different pieces of homework but they will all have one thing in common: retrieval. So, what do we mean by retrieval?
Retrieval supports children to move learning from their short-term to long-term memory.
- Being able to ‘find’ the information we need, when we need it, is the basis of retrieval practice (it has been taught but has it been learned?)
- Retrieval practice needs to be regular but not overly-repetitive in method.
- Retrieval practice is a learning tool, not a testing tool.
- Retrieval should be effortful and children should struggle a little to remember – this helps strengthen memory.
- Retrieval is most effective if it is spaced (self-quiz learning from yesterday’s lesson, last week’s lesson, last month’s lesson).
- Retrieval should be low-stakes (children self-quiz, correct, mark their own quizzes)
To support your child during the Summer break, we would recommend encouraging them:
- to continue with their daily reading, students can access books from the local library: Erdington library | Birmingham City Council
- to access e-books from Sora (soraapp.com) (A link to the Sora app is found in the ‘Useful links for students’ section of the academy website.)
- Username: school email (email@example.com
- Password: date of birth, but MMDDYYYY (8th January 2006 –> 01082006)
- continue to access the retrieval quizzes on Satchel:One (SMHW)
- continue to use the other online resources such as Mathswatch
The key thing to remember when it comes to holiday homework is balance. Your child deserves a break during which they can enjoy themselves and have some freedom, so opt for a fair working schedule that is flexible around their needs.