Homework - Meaning, Motivating & Manageable
Homework enables students to:
- Take ownership and responsibility for their learning and progress.
- 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.
- Engage parental co-operation and support.
- Create channels for home school dialogue.
Homework is work that is set to be done outside the timetabled curriculum*. Homework enhances student learning, improves achievement and develops students' study skills and as such is an integral part of the curriculum. It requires careful planning and integration into the scheme of work of each curriculum area. Homework is an important step in teaching students independence; students should be reminded that hard work and a conscientious attitude will benefit them in the future. Students complete homework to benefit their own learning, confidence and progress.
- All homework set should be MEANINGFUL and its completion should directly impact the students’ knowledge and understanding in their subject areas.
- Students should feel MOTIVATED to complete their homework and should be rewarded when they do. Students need to understand that completing homework will impact their progress and in the long term will lead to success.
- All homework set should be MANAGEABLE for a student to complete so sensible deadlines for submission should be set. There should be a level of challenge in homework but it should be something students can complete independently so it may need to be differentiated. All homework set should be reviewed so should also be manageable for a teacher’s workload.
*Not all homework is done at home; in fact, for some students who find it hard to work at home, or for some tasks which may require resources (books, software, equipment) more readily available at school, it is necessary or desirable to carry out the task at school.
Expectations: When, how much and by whom?
As a guide students should be set one meaningful piece of homework per subject per week. All homework should be recorded on Show My Homework on the day it is set and teachers should also explain the homework expectations in class.
As all homework should be meaningful there may be some weeks in a subject scheme of work when it may not be suitable to set specific homework tasks. All homework should have a purpose so homework will not be set if it doesn’t impact the learning. This should happen infrequently. If any student wishes to complete independent study there will be additional learning tasks available that they can complete if they feel they have not been given enough homework in a week and they want to push themselves further. Below is an outline for how long each piece of weekly homework should take. This is a guide and again this could vary week on week and by subject*.
KS3 students would be expected to spend 30 – 45 minutes on each piece of homework and KS4 students 45 – 60 minutes. KS5 students will be provided the same number of hour’s homework as guided teaching (i.e. 5 hours of Biology lessons would equate to 5 hours of homework).
*The frequency of homework in practical subjects such as PE, drama, and music will be set at the discretion of the subject leader. Participation in clubs, teams, productions and additional lessons are encouraged in this area for student independent learning. Also in some KS3 subjects it is more applicable to set homework every two weeks. E.g. RE and Art.
Homework completed to the expected standard and handed in on the due date should be rewarded. Any exceptional homework can be given additional rewards following the school policy. A good work ethos should be sensitively praised in class – promote the positives in class and focus on the impact the completion of homework has on student learning rather than motivating through the fear of a sanction.
When homework is not completed, teachers should follow the school policy and issue the appropriate sanction.
First and foremost homework is for the benefit of the long term learning of the student so it is therefore their responsibility.
The Role of the Student
- Independent study and revision; students shouldn’t always wait to be instructed to complete independent learning.
- To listen to homework instructions in class.
- To copy down any necessary instructions for the task and deadline date into the homework diary or to ensure they can fully access this on SMH.
- To ensure that homework is completed and handed in to meet the deadline.
- To attempt all work and give their best.
- To inform the class teacher of any difficulties.
The Role of the Class Teacher
The class teacher controls the direction of homework and the nature of tasks undertaken. The teacher will:
- Set homework on SMH according to the school guidelines and discuss the homework expectations in class.
- Provide the necessary resources.
- Give full and comprehensive instructions.
- Set deadlines for completed work and ensure that they are met.
- Ensure that students are given feedback on their homework. Homework should either be used as part of a lesson and is reviewed then. Longer written pieces of homework should be taken in by the teacher and marked / monitored.
- Provide help and support.
- Ensure students are rewarded for homework completion and sanctions are set when students have failed to meet the homework deadline.
- Inform the subject leader, tutor or year leader, as appropriate, when problems arise.
The Role of the Form Tutor
- To discuss homework and the importance of completing homework where appropriate. To promote the reward points being awarded for homework.
- To see 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.
The Role of the Subject Leader
- Monitor the setting of homework on SMH according to the school guidelines and discuss homework expectations in the department.
- Monitor the rewards and sanctions given by the class teacher for each group.
The Role of the Parent
- To support their child to complete any homework set by ensuring they have time and a purposeful environment to do any tasks.
- To inform the school of any issues surrounding homework.