If there is anything you or your family may need some help or support with, especially at the moment, please let us see if we can help in any way!

St Mary's Farnham Royal Church of England Primary School

Founded in Faith focused on Family and fulfilling Future potential


Homework Autumn 2020

In 2019  Governors   carefully monitored Home Learning across the school and listened to the feedback from children, parents & teachers. The  findings echoed those of the Education Endowment Foundation, which is held in high regard for its research in education:


  • The quality of the task set appears to be more important than the quantity of work required from the pupil. Children often get more out of the open ended projects they complete with their family.

  • Parents can have a positive effect on homework completion and help children to develop effective learning habits. Children who are encouraged & supported by their parents to complete homework regularly form good work habits & are more successful in school.


It is for this reason we changed our Home Learning/Homework strategy. Each term teachers will send home:


  • Age appropriate expectations for English & Maths. Including recommended time allocations.

  • Topic Tasks for you to complete with your child. The discussion & fun you have with these is just as important as the outcome.


Families completing the tasks will be, generating valuable discussions, increasing vocabulary, installing effective learning habits, promoting self-discipline & equipping children for learning in school.



These include spellings, maths & reading along with recommended time allocations:

  • Create a family routine to ensure these are revised regularly and appropriately.
  • Older children should be encouraged to be more independent with the routine created. Fostering good learning behaviours in preparation for secondary school.



Complete these with your child(ren). The discussion & fun you have with these is just as important as the outcome.

  • There is no right or wrong way to complete Topic Tasks
  • Take as long, or as little, time as you like on these tasks. A large project my take a number of weeks. Many of them will lend themselves to ‘family time’ rather than an add on.
  • Bring Topic Tasks to school in any way you like: email, photo, written, scrap book, artwork, edible…
  • Siblings may find it fun to complete the same tasks, they can present their homework to their own class, even if it is not their allocated Topic Task.

How do ‘Topic Tasks’ link to the academic curriculum?


‘Topic Tasks’ are hugely important, as recent research shows children need experiences & the languages involved in them, as much as they need the ‘Academic Expectations’. In fact, they cannot meet the ‘Academic Expectations’ without experiences & language i.e.; they find it more difficult to write about something they have not experienced & talked about. A ‘Conservation Trust’ was mentioned in a recent SATs reading paper. Children who have not been to one will find it harder to understand the context & answer the questions.


Teachers indicate on homework task which subject the ‘Topic Task’ is linked to. But as with life, tasks can cover a multitude of skills & subjects. It is really important for children to apply skills in real life activities, so they extend their breadth of knowledge

How do I know what my child is learning week to week?   


  • You will receive an overview of the topics being taught at the start of each term
  • The termly curriculum is published on the school website
  • Children’s learning objectives for the year are available on the school website
  • Individual targets are given to parents at parent’s evenings, along with objectives for the whole year


Use any of these, or a combination of these, to structure a conversation with your child. By explaining to you what they have learnt, they will consolidate their learning.


Easier said than done?  ‘What did you do in school today?’  ‘Nothing…..’



Sound typical? Some ideas to get your child talking! Asking your child specific questions will help them spark their memory & ignite conversations beyond “fine.”


Sample questions to ask:

  • Which story did your teacher read to the class today?
  • What was your favourite part of the story?
  • What was [insert another child’s name] favourite part of the story?
  • What does your teacher have planned this week?
  • What are you looking forward to at school tomorrow?
  • What has been your most favourite activity this year (ask this at various points throughout the year)?
  • What was your favourite part of your day?
  • Did you get frustrated with anything at school today?
  • Were you able to finish all of your work today?
  • Do you have any questions that maybe your teacher couldn’t answer?
  • What successes did you have at school today?
  • What are you learning to write about at school at the moment?
  • What good questions did you ask at school today?
  • What are you focusing on improving at the moment?

Without homework deadlines how can I motivate my child?


At SMFR we want to install a genuine ‘love of learning’, whereby children enjoy learning & value learning because it benefits them. This is best achieved in partnership with parents, who encourage good attitudes toward learning.


Spelling tests are always on a Thursday, however ‘Topic Tasks’ do not have a deadline. The benefit of this is that families/children can do these at a time that suits them, making them more enjoyable experiences.


If a routine is useful to your family/child, help them learn to manage their time by:

  • Creating a written an agreement/timetable with your child
  • Writing on the homework sheet, or on a family calendar when each task will be completed
  • Agreeing the day & amount of time to be spent on each task.



Tracking sheets, enable staff to monitor and reward children for developing good learning behaviours

Families completing the tasks will be, generating valuable discussions, increasing vocabulary, installing effective learning habits, promoting self-discipline & equipping children for learning in school.