In order that our pupils can attain the highest standard (spiritual, moral, social, cultural and academic), we recognise the crucial importance of an active educational partnership between home and school. Homework is just one of the ways in which we seek to foster this partnership. Homework encompasses a whole variety of activities instigated by teachers and parents to support children’s learning.
Regular, well planned homework can:
- Enable pupils to make maximum progress in their academic and social development
- Develop good work habits and self discipline for the future
- Encourage skills and attitudes which help children improve their educational performance
- Help parents gain insight into their child’s schoolwork and promote partnership between home and school.
- Provide opportunities for individualised work and develop skills of independent learning
- Offer access to resources not found in school (public libraries, local museums etc.)
- Consolidate and reinforce learning done in school and assist in preparation for future class work
- Provide a context for pupil/parent interaction
Homework is seen as ‘an essential part of good education that supports children’s development as independent learners’. We believe that homework is one of the main ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.
What is Homework?
Homework should not be a chore, but children should see it as an extension of their schoolwork. There may be occasions when some tasks are more challenging or difficult than usual as homework plays a positive role in raising a child’s level of attainment. We also acknowledge the important role of play and free time in a child’s growth and development.
We see homework as encompassing a wide range of possibilities. The following list gives just a few examples:
- reading with a parent
- a family visit to a local museum
- undertaking individual research for a project at the local library
- learning facts
- revision for exams
- practising skills learnt in class
- literacy activities both written and verbal
- being an active member of a sports club or youth organisation
- going swimming
It can be seen from this list that homework can be a two way process. Teachers may ask for tasks to be done at home, but are delighted to learn about children’s success in other aspects of their lives and will seek to recognise this in school.
When teachers set homework they will ensure that:
- It is always clearly related to current areas of study within the classroom.
- The task is made clear to children and matched to their abilities, especially for those pupils with special educational needs.
- Time scales for completion and submission are explicit.
- Work is marked as promptly as possible.
- Problems or difficulties encountered by children are dealt with swiftly.
- Regular completion of homework of a high standard is recognised and celebrated.
- All children will be expected to complete tasks. They will be given an opportunity to succeed in this through using a homework session in school leisure time if they continually fail to complete it.
Amount of homework
We increase the amount of homework that we give the children as they move through the school.
- Reception, Years 1 & 2 10 minutes per day
- Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 20 minutes per day
- Years 7 & 8 30-45 minutes per day
- Year 9 60-120 minutes per day
- Years 10 & 11 120-150 minutes per day
Please note these are guidelines and may not mean homework being given every day particularly in the primary phase.
Children who do not complete their homework may be asked to stay in to do so at the teacher’s discretion. Behaviour points will be given to children who fail to hand in homework.
If a child persistently does not complete homework then the teacher may contact the parents and ask to speak to them in order for school and home to work in partnership for the benefit of the child.
The Role of Parents
Parents need to discuss with their children the following questions:
- When is it a good time to do any homework?
- Where is the best place for homework to be done?
- What helps concentration?
- How long should my homework take me?
- Who should I ask for help and how much help should I expect?
It is vital that parents display a positive attitude to homework and value its importance. It is also important for parents to recognise that it is the children’s responsibility to complete the work.
The boundary between what many parents see as constructive help and what children view as interference, is indistinct and can vary from day to day. Parents need to listen to the child’s explanation of what they have to do and discuss the work their child is doing and whether or not help is needed plus what form this might take.
Pupils with special educational needs
We set homework for all children as a normal part of school life. We ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to the ability of the child. If a child has special needs, we endeavour to adapt any task set so that all children can contribute in a positive way.
Reception to Yr2 are provided with a homework book with information on tasks to complete.
All pupils from Yr 3 upwards are given a ‘pupil planner’ and are also expected to record details of homework that is set. This is regularly checked by class teachers and we ask parents to sign the weekly diary, to indicate that work has been done. There is space for comments from parents and teachers. We do ask parents to consult the form tutor or Head of House if, over a period of time, their child is not doing homework or is spending excessive time on the completion of set assignments.