SJS is an inspiring learning community. We provide an inclusive environment where effort is valued, learning is engaging and creativity is fostered. Our curriculum is underpinned by the elements of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and provides a robust international education. All stakeholders are encouraged to play an active part to enhance learning. We celebrate our cultural diversity, appreciate our place in Hong Kong, and believe in the importance of Chinese language and culture.
At Sha Tin Junior School, we believe that all children have the right to a balanced lifestyle. Part of this balance is respecting the right to rest, recreation and leisure. Home Learning is the opportunity outside the classroom to provoke learner’s thinking, develop conceptual understandings and promote a love for learning.
Rationale and Beliefs
Home learning at SJS is designed for students to:
- Positively reinforce and consolidate skills and concepts explored in the classroom
- Promote their self-initiated inquiry
- Provoke and deepen thinking and perspective
- Foster individual needs. In addition, on the occasions where learners require personalised home learning tasks, teachers, students and parents will be consulted, resource and plan for learning experiences.
With Home Learning, teachers, students and parents take into consideration:
- The importance of children spending time in other activities outside of school hours
- The complexity of modern life and the time constraints placed on families
- The up to date research on the effectiveness of home learning for students in Primary School
- It is important students understand the purpose of home learning to reinforce and consolidate on-going skills and concepts explored in the classroom. They are encouraged to motivate themselves to capitalise on the opportunity to engage in student-initiated inquiry.
- Parents collaborate in partnership with their child to learn at home, around family and other commitments.
- The sharing of home learning is the responsibility of the teachers, students and peers.
- Year Groups are responsible for overseeing the setting of home learning.
- Teachers will ensure that parents are informed of home learning expectations.
- Students and/or parents are to contact the classroom teacher if there is a concern regarding home learning expectations.
In support of student-initiated inquiry, a range of age appropriate scaffolds are offered by teachers. These include ideas for learning engagements across the curriculum such as the use of multiple intelligences, to support student choice in an experience of interest and in turn, spark an inquiry. These resources are uploaded onto ‘Online Resources’ on VELoCity in preparation for each unit of inquiry within each year group throughout the year.
There are many other valuable learning experiences encouraged, for example in the areas of creativity, action and service:
- The practise of a musical instrument or a fine and/or gross motor skill (e.g. handwriting or skipping).
- Taking action (e.g. writing a letter to the local council expressing an opinion to producing a sign to remind people to reduce, reuse and recycle).
- Visiting an area of interest (e.g. hiking in Po Toi Island, museum or art gallery visit).
Internet safety is paramount and supervision is required. Child-friendly search engines and resources are shared on VELoCity in Year Group and Learning Centre courses. Forums, blogs and learning tools are available to assist learners in gathering other perspectives, organising their thoughts and recording their findings.
Students are encouraged to show their understandings in a wide variety of creative formats which includes using ICT, the visual and performing arts and orally. Home Learning is a student led activity where teachers encourage learner’s self-motivation through a sense of achievement, enjoyment and positive reinforcement. There are no sanctions for children who are unable to complete their home learning. Learners are given regular opportunities to share their learning outside the classroom with members of their class. Like with all learning at SJS, teachers and students alike celebrate home learning and give constructive feedback in order to promote further learning.
Home Learning is a partnership between school and home, and between child, teacher and parent.