At The Lyceum School, homework is given to pupils from Reception onwards. Teachers work collaboratively with parents to ensure the appropriate amount of homework is given. This allows children to develop good time management skills and structure their home learning. The type and volume of work set is age-appropriate and increases as your child moves through the school. Tasks may include learning phonic sounds, spellings, reading, Maths or a creative independent project. Homework can include paper-based or online activities.
In KS1, a combination of formative and summative assessments, which follow the National Primary Curriculum, are used to track and maximise the children’s academic progression. An outline of these assessments is shown below:
In KS1, the children complete a ‘long write’ each week, which is based on their current unit of work. The class teacher uses this ‘long write’ to assess the children’s progress and understanding. On each piece of work, the children are given a star (a skill that they have successfully used in their writing) and a wish (a point of improvement or target).
Children in KS1 read with an adult each week. This acts as a reading assessment and feedback is communicated verbally to the child and is written in their reading record for their parents. Each term, the children complete a reading comprehension paper and a reading test, consisting of the KS1 common exception words, both of which act as a formal assessment. The children are given opportunities to practise reading the KS1 common exception words and to practise comprehension papers on a weekly basis. A phonics assessment is also carried out for each term. This tells us the percentage of phonics sounds that the children are able to recognise and read, which is communicated to parents on the termly report.
Spellings are given out as homework each week, which the children are then tested on the following week. However, we refrain from calling it a ‘spelling test’ and choose the term ‘spelling practice’, so as not to worry the children. A formal assessment of the children’s ability to spell the KS1 common exception words is carried out each term, in conjunction with the common exception word reading test.
We use the ‘Maths No Problem’ (Singapore Maths) scheme to teach Maths in KS1 and use the corresponding assessment papers, which children carry out twice per academic year. The children complete tasks in their maths workbooks four times a week, which are assessed by the class teacher. Feedback is given where necessary for their progress. The children are also given the opportunity to self-assess their skills at the end of each unit, which encourages self-reflection and allows the class teacher to understand their confidence levels.
In KS2, teachers are very aware of the need for regular formative and summative assessments to help maximise the progression of the children, target gaps and prepare pupils for the National Curriculum and 11+ secondary school entrance exams. In line with our high expectations of the children, assessment becomes a vital tool in assisting the children to reach their goals and preventing tests from appearing daunting. Subsequently, KS2 children have weekly tests in arithmetic/problem solving and reasoning, mental maths and spelling; each half-term, KS2 children will sit formal paper tests in Maths and Reading, whilst extended writing tasks are assessed at least every 2 weeks.
Furthermore, The Lyceum uses GL adaptive assessments (once a term) to supplement data on the children and highlight target areas to further help inform planning and interventions. The tests also produce standardised scores which are viewed by secondary schools in children’s Year 6 references; greater experience of these tests allow the children to develop the flexibility needed for different exam formats.