Home Learning - Mill Hill Schools

Head’s blog

Home Learning

Greeting the children at the door each morning is always a treat and recently I have noticed that Year 2 children have an extra item of kit to bring in with them each morning – and egg!

As part of their topic work on ‘One the Move’ Year 2 have been tasked with the egg drop challenge, which involves the creation of a container that will safely house an egg and prevent it from cracking when dropped from a height. The children are testing out their designs by transporting the egg to and from school each day and I have been amazed by the range of solutions the children have come up with to try and fulfil the brief, as well as the care they are taking with their eggs.

Must do challenge…

Design technology – create a container (using junk found around the house) that will prevent an egg from cracking when dropped from a height of 2 metres. Designs can be as simple or as detailed as you would like them to be. Please google egg drop challenge for further ideas.

The creations produced range from simple boxes to elaborate designs which cushion the egg using air filled balloons. The designs have prompted lots of interesting discussions at the door and in class.  The opportunity for children to learn from one and other and reflect is really powerful and exciting.

One of my main observations here is the on the value of home learning. By home learning I do not necessarily mean ‘homework’ – although this task happens to have been set by the school. Learning at home is not confined to the work that comes home from school (in whatever form that may be) – it is happening all the time! Maths, science and dexterity whenever you are baking or cooking, language development and vocabulary every time you have a conversation, writing when you write the shopping list together (or even if they just watch you do it – this is modelling). Playing board games for maths, strategy, problem solving and resilience. Writing a friend’s birthday card for writing, wrapping the present for motor skills and DT – and then looking on google maps before you drive to the party to see where you are going.

Homework can fulfil these tasks and add depth and purpose, but so can just living and being. The home is a rich learning environment all of its own so do not underestimate what children learn when they are with you and enjoying their weekend.  Not all learning happens at desks, in fact more learning probably happens when you are not.

One parent mentioned to me this week that he did not learn how to learn until after university, when he began working and having to solve problems and respond to situations. For our children at Grimsdell they understand that they are learning all the time, they are building skill sets as well as knowledge – and they are also happy and having fun.