In 1994, the Headmaster introduced a unique process for school homework, which he developed on behalf of staff and pupils. It is called the Flint and Pyrite System© and its simple premise is that children should accumulate knowledge and skills through revision and practice ‘little and often’. Pupils join the school homework system in Year 3 and remain part of it until they leave the school.
Children are issued with a single daily document called a Flint. This document contains small manageable tasks or learning exercises for each curriculum subject.
Pupils in Years 3 to 8 take home a Flint each evening (Monday to Thursday) for completion by the following morning. Each Flint should take no longer than 45 minutes to complete.
Every Friday morning, material from the week’s Flints is tested in a short assessment known as the Flint Wall.
The structured format of the Flints ensures equal demands are made of the children in each subject and the Friday assessment allows teachers to monitor a child’s progress every week. There is certainty that the school, the teachers and parents can see whether material that is being taught is also being understood, and can discover this as soon as possible.
In Years 9, 10 and 11, the Flint Homework System is used as a medium for teachers to set homework tasks for each subject for delivery within a week. There is no Flint Wall but all weekly tasks in each subject are graded.
Benefits of the System
The Flint Homework System empowers all of its participants. Parents may readily and frequently, and certainly easily, have a window on a child’s work at school. By simply looking at the Flint Folder, parents can see what is being studied, at what level and with what success. Staff can have weekly dedicated assessments of their teaching, supervised in a test outside their valuable teaching time. Children can have the satisfaction of showing their parents, teachers and themselves how they are doing each and every week.
The Flint Homework System provides immediacy and visibility. It avoids drift and the hazard of a topic remaining misunderstood. Over eight years a child can accumulate an invaluable resource of information and graded assessments to be referred back to and used as a foundation for future learning.
Hall School Wimbledon does not issue homework at the weekend for children until they are in Year 9. We believe that the weekend is for family time, recreation and relaxation.
The Pyrite Mathematics Programme
The Pyrite Mathematics Programme for pupils in Years 6, 7 and 8 was also devised by Mr Timothy Hobbs, the Headmaster. It is an extension of the Flint System but specifically for Mathematics. Pyrites are timed exercises in Mathematics offering reinforcement of a technique taught in class. Through the Pyrite the practice is repeated and extended. This offers a very effective way to ensure understanding of a topic.
Click to view a Sample Pyrite for Year 6.