Joanna Hughes 0

Larch Centre - let's stop giving our children homework

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This is a petition only for parents of primary-aged children at Simon Balle All-Through School. Please sign if you support the sentiments of the request so we can determine how the majority of parents feel. The letter will only be sent if parent support is high.

Dear Mrs Saunders and Mrs Kirk,

As lockdown eases and we begin to return to some semblance of normality, it is important to reflect on the experience we have had and consider which aspects of normal it is desirable to return to.

You frequently cite the excellent partnership that Simon Balle has with its parents and, more than ever, this time has shown that we can trust in our ability to work together to do the best for our children. Whilst challenging in many ways, lockdown has also provided families with many beautiful moments. More time together, more time outdoors to explore nature, and to find fun in simple things. Our children have had opportunities to follow their interests, and crucially to just ‘be’ – something they are so often denied in the fast-paced world we usually inhabit, and something that is so critical for their healthy development.

Thinking back, our children were so often exhausted by the demands of a school week. Finding an opportune moment at a weekend to tackle a home learning task can bring stress and anxiety into the home. It removes autonomy and dictates how we spend some of our time, having an even greater impact for families who have multiple children being set different tasks. Crucially, time spent doing home learning tasks means there is less time for all the other joys and requirements of childhood, so many of which have been recognised and given their due importance over the past few months.

In this context, we are requesting that Simon Balle ceases to set home learning activities for our primary aged children. We are so lucky to have a team of amazing teachers at our school, and we trust you to provide fantastic learning opportunities for our children during a school week that are more than sufficient to meet their needs. We are asking that you trust us as parents to make the best decisions for our children about how they spend the precious time they have at a weekend. We are asking that collectively as adults, we recognise the need for our children to balance academic learning with time to follow their interests, time to be with their family and time to just be.

This request is supported by the undersigned, and we hope you will give it due consideration.

Yours sincerely,

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