Accelerated Reader Programme - KS3

As part of Key Stage 3 your child will be participating in the Accelerated Reader programme as part of their English lessons. Accelerated Reader is a tool which we use to encourage and monitor reading for pleasure. Research shows that children who read regularly for pleasure are more academically successful than their peers. The increased demands for literacy at both KS3 and KS4 mean that reading for pleasure is now more important than ever before.

Your child has already completed an online assessment and their reading age has been identified. They will have been allocated a range (known as the ZPD range). They then choose a book from the library within this range; this ensures that your child is reading a book which they can access but which also provides the appropriate level of challenge. Your child will complete a quiz on each book when they have completed it and gain points towards their target. Your child will earn certificates and badges as they pass through the programme - the more they read, the more rewards they will earn. There is a full range of books available on the programme, including non-fiction and a variety of genres of fiction texts. Your child’s English teacher will talk to your child about the books they are choosing and we also have an experienced librarian available from 8.30am - 4.00pm each day.

Your child will be set a fortnightly reading target by their English teacher; this takes place during their fortnightly library lessons. They have been given a bookmark which shows the reading target and the due date. We have set the targets based on an expectation that your child will read at home for 20 minutes each day. This is an additional expectation and is therefore not stated explicitly on Show My Homework; only the standard English homework will be recorded on there. Your child should have this book with them every day and they may be given opportunities during form time or English lessons to read their book. Reading for pleasure will help your child to improve in all areas of the school curriculum and we would encourage them to read as widely as possible.

Additional information about the programme can be found at http://www.renlearn.co.uk/accelerated-reader/

You can also access information about individual books and their Accelerated Reader level at http://www.arbookfind.co.uk/UserType.aspx This tool allows your child to read their own books and still gain the points; it also allows you to gauge the level of challenge in books that your child may wish to read.

Thank you for your support in this matter. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact either:

L. Pilkington  (Assistant Headteacher) lpilkington@parklandsacademy.co.uk or

D. Banks (Curriculum Leader for English) dbanks@parklandsacademy.co.uk

Show My Homework

All homework is now set, recorded and viewed through the online website Show My Homework. The link is on the bar at the top, left of our homepage, together with other links to keys areas. Show My Homework is a public access site and usernames and passwords are not required, although there is an opportunity for both pupils and parents to login to an individualised section of the site. All parents/carers were issued with usernames and passwords and new users will be issued with usernames/passwords in September of each year (or whenever they join the school). A help desk is supported by Show My Homework for both pupils and parents, should they need help with using the site and parents should email Mrs C Slater, (School Network Manager), at cslater@parklandsacademy.co.uk with any technical issues.

Show My Homework Calendar

Show My Homework Step by Step Guide

Homework at Key Stage 3

The homework programme outlined below gives you, as a parent or carer, an idea of what to expect in terms of homework during Key Stage 3. If you have any specific queries concerning homework, please contact the subject teacher or Curriculum Leader in the first instance, as they will be most able to help with homework they have set or has been set in their subject area.

Art

One homework per fortnight/approximately 3 per half term will be set for all year groups. Art homework may constitute research tasks, skills tasks, work development and progress tasks (catching up with class work).

The topics being studied are:

Year 7

Nature forms, e.g. shells, or trees or insects.

Year 8

Art from other cultures, e.g. African, Celtic, Japanese, and Aboriginal art.

Drama

One homework task per fortnight will be set for all year groups. These tasks will vary in nature: research of topics covered in lessons, scriptwriting, sourcing props/costumes/sound files, learning lines, written tasks to develop understanding of characters and written evaluations of practical work completed in lessons.

English

At least one task per week will be set in all three year groups. These tasks will vary in their nature and will be one or more of the following: preparation and /or writing of assignments; reading; research; practice of speaking and listening tasks; learning of spellings or editing of written assignments. The time allocation for these tasks will also vary and guidance will be given by staff.

Food and Nutrition

Throughout Years 7 and 8 homework will be set in the form of a Recipe for the following week’s practical lesson. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for the organisation and preparation, i.e. weighing of ingredients and reviewing the method, for their practical lesson.  Following practical lessons pupils will create their own Recipe Blog which must be updated as homework following each Food lesson. This may involve self and peer assessment plus parental feedback. Pupils are also guided to refer to practical dates and homework details i.e. recipes, on Show My Homework.

Additional homework will be set as appropriate for years 7 and 8 which links directly to the topics covered within their classroom based learning e.g.

Year 7: Hygiene and Safety / Healthy Eating

Year 8: Food Safety, Preparation and Nutrition

French and German

Homework may focus on learning, one or more of the four main skills - writing, reading, listening, speaking - or it may be a research-based project.

At least one homework a week will be set in every year group.

The time spent on these will vary according to pupils’ abilities and year group. Occasionally one task or project may be set to last over several weeks.

Learning homework is just as important as written homework and words set must be learned well much like spellings in English.

Pupils are also encouraged to engage with online language resources such as Vocab Express, Linguascope or Mary Glasgow or by listening to foreign language materials.

Geography

At KS3 homework tasks will be set once every 2-3 weeks, where appropriate. These tasks will vary in their nature and will be one or more of the following: completing work from lessons; research; completing specific topic related tasks; keeping up to date with major geographical events (e.g. the ash cloud).

Some website links which pupils will find useful, (many of which are already in the links section in our departmental area on the school website), are as follows:-

Themes being taught are as follows (in Autumn, Spring and Summer Term order):

Year 7

What is Geography, Britain and Japan, Mapskills, Rivers and Flooding

Year 8

Weather and Climate, Ecosystems, LEDC study (Kenya or Brazil), Geography of Crime

Year 9

Volcanoes, Tourism, Earthquakes, Population and Resources

History

Homework varies over the course of KS3. Pupils in Y7 have History once a week and thus homework may only be given every 3-4 weeks.

Year 8 should be receiving homework every 2-3 weeks

Year 9 -Year 11 receive homework every 2 weeks.

However, if pupils are working on projects then these rules may be put aside. 

Pupils will be assessed throughout the year using a wide range of assessment techniques. Pupils will complete at least one extended written piece each term in KS3.

During KS4 pupils will be continually assessed using exam questions from the AQA exam board. Grading will reflect A*-C or 1-9. It also will reflect the amount of marks available for the question.

The following websites may be useful for homework:

Further detail about the History Curriculum is available on the departmental section of the school website.

Mathematics

At KS3 at least one homework will be set per week unless a larger project style homework is set which may require more time.  The tasks will vary from mini projects, written questions to either reinforce the current topic or revise previous learning, and ICT tasks may be set using the mymaths website.  The tasks and the deadlines will be set by the class teacher appropriate to the individual tasks.

Music

One homework task will be set in all three year groups each half term. These tasks will be project based and will involve researching and presenting information about areas of study being covered at the present time. The time allocation for these tasks will also vary and guidance will be given by staff.

Product Design

Product Design homework may constitute research tasks, skills tasks, work development and progress tasks (catching up with class work).

Key Stage 3 pupils will be given approximately 3 homework tasks per half term, for each year groups.

The topics being studied are:

Year 7

Year 8

Religious Education

Homework will be set as appropriate in all three year groups, with a minimum of three per half term, more if deemed necessary. These tasks will vary in their nature: preparation and /or writing of assignments; reading and research. The Department will ensure that time is given for the pupils to record their homework in their planners. The time allocation for these tasks will also vary and guidance will be given by staff.
There are also extensive materials on the school’s Moodle site (RE section), which can be accessed by any pupil who may need to revisit or catch-up with work already completed in class.

Science

At the start of each topic taught there is a title page in exercise books listing key words. Pupils should know the meanings of all these by the end of the topic.  BBC Bitesize website is useful for pupils to revise KS3 topics prior to end-of-topic assessments.

Homework may include:

Finishing writing up experimental work & drawing graphs, drawing diagrams, carrying out research, specific worksheets related to work studied in class.

Year 7

Five lessons per fortnight with between one to four pieces of homework per fortnight

Year 8

Six lessons per fortnight with between two to five pieces of homework per fortnight

Year 9

Six lessons per fortnight with between two to five pieces of homework per fortnight

Homework at Key Stage 4

We adopt a more flexible approach to the timetabling of homework at Key Stage 4. Pupils are often asked to spend an extended length of time, (often over a period of several weeks), on a single piece of coursework and subject teachers, therefore, use their professional judgement to decide what other homework, (if any), best fits around this commitment. Our aim is to engender in our pupils a responsibility for their own learning and to manage the workload that comes with this learning.

In drama, any additional rehearsals will not be shown on SMHW as these are pupil specific, not by class. 

To this end, we also ask that pupils in Key Stage 4 take on responsibility for some independent learning during the week, to enhance and improve their subject skills, understanding and knowledge, e.g. booking time with the school’s foreign language assistants, attending after school sessions, reading through revision material provided, etc.

Year 10 Allocation

English x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes each).

Mathematics x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes each).

Science – up to 2 per week, (up to 30 minutes each).

Foreign Language x2 per fortnight, (up to 30 minutes each). Homework set will comprise of a mixture of research, learning, written work, and practice.

Information Technology x2 per fortnight as an on-going completion/improvement of coursework depending on computer access, (up to 60 minutes each). Additional homework will be set when appropriate.

Religious Education - outside of the classroom pupils are expected to complete homework at the request of the teacher. All homework is available for pupils, parents and staff to view via Show My Homework. The regularity and depth of homework is individual to year groups. GCSE homework usually takes the form of revision and pupils will always be encouraged to take a proactive approach towards their preparation for examinations and assessments.

Option 1 x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes per week. Art up to 90 minutes per week).

Option 2 x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes per week. Art up to 90 minutes per week).

Year 11 Allocation

English x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes each).

Mathematics x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes each).

Science – up to 2 per week, (up to 30 minutes each).

Foreign Language x4 per fortnight, (up to 30 minutes each). Homework set will comprise of a mixture of research, learning, written work, and practice).

Information Technology x2 per fortnight as an on-going completion/improvement of coursework depending on computer access, (up to 60 minutes each). Additional homework will be set when appropriate.

Religious Education - outside of the classroom pupils are expected to complete homework at the request of the teacher. All homework is available for pupils, parents and staff to view via Show My Homework. The regularity and depth of homework is individual to year groups. GCSE homework usually takes the form of revision and pupils will always be encouraged to take a proactive approach towards their preparation for examinations and assessments.

Option 1 x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes per week. Art up to 90 minutes per week).

Option 2 x2 per fortnight, (up to 60 minutes per week. Art up to 90 minutes per week).

If you have a concern about, or feel that we can improve, the information provided, then please contact the school and either write or speak to Mr McDermott, Assistant Headteacher who will contact you regarding your concern. If you have a query regarding specific homework set, then please contact the subject teacher or Curriculum Leader concerned.