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Year 6 Parents and Teachers

(35 Posts)
flowerfairy Fri 21-Nov-14 20:34:39

Just curious as to whether the amount of homework my ds is bringing home is normal/too much/too little compared to other Year 6 children. Since half term he has been bringing home - a list of spellings of which 20 are chosen for the spelling test, a maths piece and grammar worksheet type of thing. Also we having a comprehension piece (writing what each line means in The seasons of man by Keates and Shall I compare thee to a summers day? by Shakespeare, then compare and contrast the two poems) and another piece of maths as he is now in a group working on the level 6 maths. So to summarise that's spellings, 2 pieces of maths, 1 English grammar and 1 comprehension, plus the usual reading.
It's hard enough to get him to do it (we often have a battle to begin it) and he's a good student and lad, but I don't want him to be spending between half an hour and an hour doing homework every night. I want him to be a well-rounded human being, he attends scouts once a week and swims weekly. We eat our evening meal together, we have some family time too and he has to have time to himself too. Advice please how to cope with the Y6 death by SATs. Or am I being extremely naïve and this is good preparation for high school?

SingingSands Fri 21-Nov-14 20:44:09

Sounds very similar to my DD, apart from the poetry. Wonder if we will get this soon? Decoding each line and comparing and contrasting sounds quite high level for yr 6 and takes a lot of time and concentration. DD does level 6 maths at local high school once a week plus maths club once a week so that's even more maths work coming home. Our class homework comes home on a Thursday and is to be handed in on or before the following Wednesday.
I agree that it is a lot and all aimed at SATs. I get the impression there is no joy to their learning this year and although my DD is clever and capable, I want her to enjoy her last year at primary, not be hothoused for high SATs results.

spanieleyes Fri 21-Nov-14 20:44:39

My children are given
10 spellings to learn which follow the spelling pattern we have covered that week
maths questions that follow on from the work we have been doing
grammar questions that also back up the week's focus
a comprehension activity.

It takes most of them half an hour at the most ( and I know because the majority can complete the lot in the homework club run on a Friday lunchtime if they so wish.)

I certainly wouldn't expect them to be doing an hour each night.

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 21-Nov-14 20:47:46

I have two in Y6, in different classes.
This is a typical homework load during one week:

1 grammar exercise

2 maths worksheets

List of spellings to learn & practise

Two sessions reading aloud to an adult plus three sessions of independent reading.

flowerfairy Fri 21-Nov-14 20:53:33

Singingsands That is so how I feel "I want her to enjoy her last year at primary, not be hothoused for high SATs results." The homework was all coming home on the same day now it keeps appearing on different days, and in for different days. Am worried as I am returning to work full-time after Christmas and just think it will be even worse in the term before EAster. I don't want to add to the pressure the school is putting on, but keeping on top of it all is going to take some organisation!

SingingSands Fri 21-Nov-14 21:06:26

I work 5 days and between homework and activities my head is spinning during the week.
Our school is known locally for being very academic, but they have never had a Yr6 before (we have expanded from an infant primary to a full primary over past 4 yrs), so I really feel that our current Yr 6 are being pushed as they are setting the benchmark and of course the school want an excellent result. Gah! At least they have their residential to look forward to in June!

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 21-Nov-14 21:19:29

Ds is in year 6 but at an independent school so he won't be doing SATS.

Each week he has a spelling test (20 spellings, some children have to learn all 20, some 18 & some 16)

On Monday he gets literacy homework. This seems to alternate between 2 pages from a grammar book & a comprehension exercise (ghost of thomas kempe was the last one). Occasionally he gets a piece of creative writing instead.

On a Wednesday he gets two pages of a maths workbook.

On Fridays he gets something related to other classwork he is doing, maybe art or research eg RS, history.

flowerfairy Fri 21-Nov-14 21:20:45

At DS's school they went on their residential in Sept, and they do a big production in the summer term, so as not to waste valuable "learning" time on Christmas plays hmm Generally I do not have a problem with the school, though am not pleased with the quantity of homework at the moment and the time it's taking!

LoveWillTearUsApart Fri 21-Nov-14 21:24:26

We set:
1 x English per week
1 x Maths per week
1 x Topic per week

20 spellings

If I'm totally honest, I would bin the first three as a)most of my class are very active out of school with clubs, sports etc and b) it's hard to tell how much parental help was involved. It's set for the parents really.

impatienceisavirtue Fri 21-Nov-14 21:24:36

DS has the same amount,and is also being put forward for the level 6 tests. Getting him to do homework is like pulling teeth.

tippytappywriter Fri 21-Nov-14 21:28:35

Dd gets maths, literacy, 10 spellings, xtables and reading. They are all due on different days. Each should take 30 mins tops.

flowerfairy Fri 21-Nov-14 21:32:33

impatienceisavirtue I feel your pain wink

LePetitMarseillais Fri 21-Nov-14 21:35:20

Lucky you my dc are bored shatless and get sfa.They've been parked whilst they concentrate on the kids they want to get level 5s.Those already on a 5 they couldn't give a stuff about.

They're soooooooo bored.

EustaciaVye Sat 22-Nov-14 08:41:09

10 spellings
1 maths
1 literacy
5 french spellings
reading is expected but not set.

PastSellByDate Sat 22-Nov-14 08:58:03


This is more work (and more ambitious) than DD1's primary - but we did affectionately call the school St. Mediocre. We went from no homework to speak of in Y5 to suddenly having maths/ comprehension tasks regularly (30 minutes per week) and then total Y6 freak out just before easter with 200+ photocopied pages from SUCCESS at KS2 L3 - L5 workbooks sent home. It amounted to close to 10 hours work for DD1 over the Easter Holidays - we did 30 minutes a day about 5 days a week).

Having been through this process I think you have to ask yourself whether getting used to ~30 minutes to 1 hour of homework a night ultimately is a bad thing? Because come senior school (and I'm just speaking from Y7 DD1 experience at an ordinary Birmingham comprehensive) that's normal and if you're thinking grammar school expectations of 1 hour - 2 hours a night aren't atypical around here.

I suppose the question to ask yourself is would your DS mind 30 minutes watching tv/ playing a video game/ on the computer?

I suspect the answer is no. If you think that education is equally important to relaxation time (if not more important?) - then as much time on homework (30 minutes - 1 hour) vs. sport/ play/ tv/ computer/ etc.... doesn't seem terribly onorous really. We tend to insist that work is done before 'play'/ 'relaxation' - with the exception of Friday evening (when everybody is tired after a busy week).

Finally you have to think about the positive feedback loop - the reality is that come senior school doing your homework keeps you up to speed with what is going on in class and often helps with doing well on quizzes/ tests/ exams. Developing these skills in Y6, in preparation for senior school, actually is a good thing. Data on benefits of homework in secondary here: - where metadata analysis of years of research suggests 30 minutes a night places you about 5 months ahead of peers who don't do homework.

What is key from these studies is homework for homework's sake is less beneficial than homework which is specifically designed to 'intervene' where there's a struggle or provides challenge (so stretches skills).


redskybynight Sat 22-Nov-14 10:53:46

Sounds similar to my Y6 DS.

He has
- 15 spellings (weekly)
- reading (daily or most days)
- piece of maths (sufficiently complex that it can't easily be done in 1 sitting)
- piece of English (ditto)

and each half term he is expected to produce a project on a given topic.

We are told that the secondary school he will go (barring weir statistical anomaly) expects approx an hour of homework a night, so even this is way under that, and I guess trying to get them used to work more independently at home.

Thatssofunny Sat 22-Nov-14 11:56:11

Mine do:
- 2 pieces of SPaG per week (one straightforward basic skills task, the other is a follow-on task from work in class, which means they have to complete a written task and apply what we have covered; differentiated)
- 1 piece of Maths (follow-on from classwork; differentiated)
- 1 piece of Science (follow-on from classwork)
- 15 spellings (differentiated)

They are expected to do reading. They also get to take any tests home to go through (more for the parents, than for the children).
It's slightly more than they got from me in Y5, but not much more. They've always had Maths and English. All in all, they shouldn't spend more than about 20 minutes on each of them. I'd rather they go out and do some sports or whatever else.

MilkRunningOutAgain Sat 22-Nov-14 17:30:04

My DS is now yr7 and getting 1 or 1 1/2 hours a night and 3 hours at weekends. He got very little in yr 6, often less than half an hour a week ( he had much more from other teachers lower down the school, my yr 4 DD is getting about 40 mins a night and 2 hours at weekends). Getting such a small amount in yr 6 wasn't helpful in my view, the secondary homework has come as a shock. It sounds like your primary is doing , and giving out homework, that's far more interesting than my dcs primary school, I'm a little jealous.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 22-Nov-14 17:46:14

How does he find the time to do that amount of homework milkrunningout?

Dd is year 8 & probably gets around 45 mins a day which she tends to do mostly at the weekend or in the spare half hour before registration.

MilkRunningOutAgain Sat 22-Nov-14 17:57:49

Btw, I don't much care about SATS results, so was pleased that there was little hot housing, though the school did give extra lessons, and I'm all in favour of extra teaching time for the DCs, so that part of it was good.

padkin Sat 22-Nov-14 18:25:01

My dd gets...
1 x maths, an exercise reinforcing work done that week
1 x English, sometimes SPAG, sometimes creative writing
1 x theme, all sorts - history, DT, science
10 spellings
Reading x 3 with comments in reading log

It's just about manageable when done in chunks, probably takes 2 hours altogether ( not including the reading). We struggle a bit as we often don't get home til gone 6, and there's some stuff going on in the evenings and weekends (swimming, scouts, sports clubs etc). She needs to be asleep by 8.30, as up early at 6.20ish leaving the house by 7.20. I would be unhappy with any more, although I suspect as SATs get closer the amount will increase...

I love the fact that their school doesn't set any holiday homework. Holidays are just that, holidays.

SugarPlumTree Sat 22-Nov-14 18:32:52

10 spelling to be written into sentences for Monday and tested Tuesday. Weekly tables test I think. Monday night Maths to be in for next day (Fairly often SATs questions). English on Tuesday for following Wednesday which varies from correcting punctuatio to write a Biography. Science on Thursday in for the following Thursday. They are expected to read daily.

There has also been some French, RE and Art on a couple of occasions plus some optional projects for over holidays with reading challenges.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 22-Nov-14 20:46:36

This week we have:-
Geography - write about Sydney opera house, Sydney harbour bridge and another landmark in Australia
History - compare and contrast victorian school and your school
Science- create a keynote presentation on the planets in our solar system
English - a comprehension took 45 mins
Art - use iPad to create self portrait
Maths- mathletics 1000 points
School recommend an hours homework every night.

StrumpersPlunkett Sat 22-Nov-14 20:54:54

public school - each week DS1 gets
English 40-50 mins
Maths 40-50 mins
20 spellings
science 40 mins
then Geography or history (alternate weeks)50 mins
MFL 40 mins

on top of this he has
Monday - rugby training till 5pm
Tuesday - football training 6-7pm
Wednesday rugby match till 6pm
Thursday - free
Friday night scouts - 7-9pm
Saturday Football match.

He is pretty pooped, next year he is dropping football.

AnonyMust Sun 23-Nov-14 10:33:09

I'd discuss the a,into and leavel of homework set for English. Sounds like they're gettig YOU to prep your child for the L6 SATS. Cheeky - and far too much pressure as an additional, out of school, angsty, time consuming piece of work.

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