A good, well-managed homework programme helps children and young people to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful lifelong learning. Homework also supports the development of independent learning skills and provides parents with an opportunity to take part in their children's education. Ownership of homework by the subject teacher provides opportunities to reinforce the high expectations which are formed and established within the classroom.
Learning at home is an essential part of a good education. Regular homework is important as it gives students the opportunity to practice at home the tasks covered in class, and helps the student to work towards improving important learning and thinking skills. It also helps children and young people to become confident and independent in their learning, which will help throughout their time at school and later in adult life.
Homework enables students to:
- Consolidate and extend work covered in class or prepare for new learning activities.
- Access resources not available in the classroom.
- Develop research skills.
- Have an opportunity for independent work.
- Show progress and understanding.
- Provide feedback in the evaluation of teaching.
- To enhance their study skills e.g. planning, time management and self-discipline.
- To take ownership and responsibility for learning.
- Engage parental co-operation and support can create channels for home-school dialogue.
Students need to understand what they have to do, why they have to do it and what they have to do to be successful. They need to know how much time to spend on their work. The homework should be clearly linked to what they are supposed to be learning in the classroom and it should be planned at the same time as the lesson. Therefore, it should form part of the Scheme of Work which the students follow. It should be noted that homework should not normally be an opportunity to finish any incomplete work from lessons, although there might be some occasions where this is necessary.
Subject teachers consider the implications of planning activities which are reliant upon the completion of homework. There is the expectation that all students complete homework to the deadline to avoid unnecessary disruption to learning if the lesson is linked to the submission of the work.
All teachers accept that it is their responsibility to adhere to the following:
- Homework should be set regularly. This should be based on the needs of individual students, groups of students or whole classes to ensure it impacts most positively on their progress.
- There is an expectation that homework is completed by everyone. Students who require additional support in completing homework should be identified and alternative provision should be provided in line with their needs. (E.g. young carers)
- Homework should be taken in when asked for to ensure it is valued by teachers, students and parents
- Homework must be marked promptly and positively in line with the School’s Marking and Feedback Policy and returned to the student to enable them to identify their strengths and improve their work.
- Opportunities should be provided for students to engage in self and peer-assessment activities with regard to their homework.
Show My Homework
The school will be moving across to an online homework tool called 'Show My Homework' which will enable a faster and smarter way to manage homework. The aim of this is to ensure that work undertaken at home provides a much more effective contribution to the learning experience of our students.
The use of Show My Homework will improve communication of homework tasks between teachers, students and parents and carers and will provide opportunities for students to understand what they have to do to be successful and when they have to do it by. They will be informed of how much time to spend on their work and how to record it effectively.
Over the coming weeks, teachers and mentors will support students in accessing the site at school and will help them to navigate to the homework tasks for each of their subjects. The system will officially go live on Monday 19th September 2016.
To log in to the site students will use the same log on details as they currently use in school.
Frequency and duration of homework
Every piece of work should be purposeful and relevant to the learning needs of the student.
Every teacher is expected to plan, set, take in and assess student homework regularly. The frequency of this will depend on the individual needs of students, groups of students and classes.
For example, where a student is not making expected levels of progress, a teacher might be expected to increase the frequency of homework for this student.
The following guidelines should support departments in deciding on the appropriate frequency and duration of homework based on the needs of the students and the department.
Departments might decide to adopt a more flexible approach to homework. Where this is the case the impact of this will be monitored carefully to ensure it has a positive impact on progress and learning.
As a guide, in Key Stage 3, homework should be set once per week, per subject equivalent to approximately one hour in length for English, Maths and Science.
For all other subjects, it should be set once per fortnight, per subject equivalent to approximately one hour in length.
In Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, the frequency and duration of homework should be determined by individual departments in light of requirements of the programme of study. The duration of homework may vary to allow students time to complete longer projects, assignments, coursework or the necessary planning for Controlled Assessment.
Assessment, Monitoring and Recording of homework
It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to plan, set and mark homework in accordance with the Teachers’ Standards and the School’s Marking and Feedback Policy. The subject leader should monitor the provision of homework within the department and ensure a departmental framework for homework is in place. The AHT should have an overview of the provision of homework within the subject areas of the relevant School of Learning and Moodle should be monitored regularly to ensure the quality of homework provision remains high. This should be in line with the School’s programme of Quality Assurance. Homework should be assessed as appropriate to the needs of the department and feedback should be provided to students on a regular basis.
Rewards and Sanctions
Students should be rewarded for the completion of homework by the subject teacher. Teachers should consider the range of rewards available to them when praising students for the completion of homework, including commendation letters and positive parental contact. Students who regularly produce homework of a high standard should be referred to the Subject Leader or to the AHT in recognition of the effort that has been shown.
Students who choose not to complete homework on a regular basis should be monitored and contact should be made by the subject teacher with the parents/carers. Persistent offenders should be identified to the Subject Leader where appropriate and further parental contact should be made and other sanctions introduced.
Failure to complete homework is not considered a pastoral support issue in the first instance and concerns raised at Subject Leader level should be taken up with the relevant AHT rather than the PSM.
Homework should not become a barrier to learning in lessons and staff are encouraged to avoid situations where conflict may arise as a result of a student failing to complete homework.
We have identified that some students may require additional support for the completion of homework. For example, Young Carers and students with English as an Additional Language. In such cases an alternative homework programme may need to be provided.
The school will provide opportunities for students to complete homework at school. A supervised study session will take place every night after school in the LRC from 3:00pm to 4:00pm where students will be able to have access to online resources and reference books. Additional support is provided to our most vulnerable learners through the deployment of Teaching Assistants who are on hand to provide guidance on the completion of homework tasks.
Students who have difficulty in completing homework for extenuating reasons should consult their subject teacher for help and support.
The role of the pupil
- To copy down homework instructions, including the deadline date, into their homework diary.
- To ensure that homework is completed and submitted on time.
- To present work to the highest level possible.
- To inform the class teacher of any issues before the lesson.
The role of the Mentor
- To monitor that homework is being set and recorded.
- To check that the diary is being signed by the parent/guardian.
- To note and respond to any comments written in diaries by parents.
- To contact home where necessary
- To ensure that all students are prepared for their learning