Home Learning

Home Learning

At Barn Croft, we encourage parents to support children to consolidate and practice their skills at home. We understand that there are lots of exciting events and tasks within your family time but we ask that you read with your children daily and encourage them to practice times tables/number fluency a few times a week.

If you need any further clarification or have any questions, please email the school office on school@barncroft.waltham.sch.uk


Children should read at home daily for around 20 minutes. For early readers this time should be around 10 to 15 minutes.

Children who are on the phonics programme should read the two books given to them (changed weekly) aloud to an adult, overreading each day to promote fluency and increased reading speed. These books have parent pages with questions to discuss with your child about the story throughout the week.

For more information on our RWI Phonics programme please visit the ‘Phonics’ section on our website.

Children who have finished the phonics programme should read their library and class books (or home literature) daily. We encourage you to listen to your child read regularly as well as allowing them independent reading time. It is important to have regular discussions with your child about their current book, the themes, characters, events and predictions they may have made about the next part of the story.

We also encourage parents to read age-appropriate, high quality texts/stories to children, daily, to promote a love of reading and stories through texts they would not be able to read independently. It is important that you discuss the stories with your children as you read with them to ensure good understanding and to address any misconceptions they may have about the story/themes/concepts.

If you speak another language at home please do also read to your children in the languages they also speak, this is an excellent, immersive activity to promote language acquisition and to help them to make links between English and their home language. For younger children or those newer to another language, start by reading simpler but familiar stories to support their understanding.

Please have a look at the recommended reads by year group at the bottom of the page.

Number Fluency and Times Tables

At Barn Croft, our maths curriculum focuses on mastering number concepts and becoming fluent in numbers and maths language to support later development and confidence with maths. It is key that children practice their number facts and times tables (depending on their current attainment) at home to further their understanding. We use ‘Times Tables Rockstars’ and ‘Numbots’ to support children to embed these skills on a fun, engaging and safe platform.

EYFS and Key Stage 1

Children have an individual login to ‘Numbots’ to use at home to practise skills and number fluency facts set by their teacher. The tasks are all games based and the children often use this platform in school so they should be familiar with it, although younger children may need support logging in and navigating to the tasks. We expect children to use Numbots for around 5/10 minutes, three times a week. Teachers set activities based on the skills your child needs to secure for the next unit or to consolidate learning from a previous unit.

Key Stage 2

Children have an individual login to ‘Times Tables Rockstars’ to use at home to practise times tables fluency, set by their teacher. The tasks are all games based and the children often use this platform in school so they should be familiar with it, although some children may need support logging in and navigating to the tasks. We expect children to use Times Tables Rockstars for around 15 minutes, three times a week. The National Curriculum expects children to be fluent in all times tables (up to 12×12) by the end of Year 4, we understand that children make progress at different rates and so the times tables that are set for your child to practice will be based on their current attainment and what they individually need to practice.

Times Tables Rockstars also has a feature where children can play with their classmates and other children who also have school accounts, but still complete questions relative to their own learning stage (as set by class teachers). This platform is safe for children to use and there is no chat or communication feature. All names are ‘Rockstar’ alias’ that the children have set up, no identifiable information is on the platform.

Times Tables Rockstars Parent information video

Some children may be accessing ‘Numbots’ in Key Stage 2, this is so that they secure their number facts, fluently, before moving on to times tables.

Open Homework

Open Homework is set half-termly and linked to the topic children will be/have been learning about in class. These projects are optional although we encourage children and adults to take some time to enjoy working on a small project at home. The project can be anything they want to create around their topic and can involve adults and people at home helping too. Please encourage children to think outside the box and show off their creativity: this is an opportunity to show their flair!

Open Homework projects do not need to be big, extensive or complicated, they may research some facts, write a poem, draw a picture, make a model, make up a story or dance or song, paint a mural, bake something, craft a representation, and everything or anything in-between! These projects can be completed independently or with adult support and children will have the opportunity to show their work to their class and talk about their project and creation. Projects are then displayed in class or centrally for the rest of the term and then returned home. It is wonderful to see children speak with confidence, pride and joy when they share their work, we hope you enjoy creating these with your children as much as we enjoy hearing about and seeing them!