Homework Policy

Rationale

Homework fosters independence, self-reliance, co-operation and responsibility. It is an essential part of primary education as it re-enforces what children learn in school. It provides a link between teacher and parent and encourages parental involvement in their child’s education.

In general, homework is meant to be achievable by a child working on their own to the best of their ability. Younger children, however, will obviously need more support than older children. It is normally based on what has been taught in class.

Parents’/Guardians’ role

Parents are the child’s primary educators. Children spend significantly more time at home than at school therefore support from home is vital for a child’s development during primary school.

Children need to know that their parents think homework is important. If they know their parents care, children have a good reason to complete homework. There is a lot you can do to show that you value education and homework. Homework can bring together parents, children and teachers in a common effort to improve student learning. Helping your child with homework is an opportunity to improve your child’s chances of doing well in school and life. By helping your child with homework, you can help him/her learn important lessons about discipline and responsibility. You are in an unique position to help your child make connections between school work and the ‘real world’ and thereby bringing meaning and fun to your child’s homework experience.

Homework should be enjoyable and should promote learning as an enjoyable experience.

Parents/Guardians should

•    Encourage a positive attitude towards homework in all subjects from an early age.
•    Encourage children to work independently as far as possible. Resist over-helping.
•    Encourage children to organise themselves for homework. Have all books and materials to hand. The pupil should have the Homework Journal open to tick off work as it is completed.
•    Agree a suitable time for doing homework, taking into account of age, the need for playtime, relaxation and family time.
•    Monitor how long their child is spending at homework. Set clear but realistic starting and finishing times to keep children focused and to avoid homework ‘dragging on’ all evening.
•    Providing a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from distractions, interruptions and TV.
•    Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time.
•    Ensure they read with/to their child/ren regularly, in a relaxed atmosphere where the emphasis is on enjoyment.
•    Sign the homework diary checking that all homework is complete.
•    Check that the child has all necessary books, homework journal, copies, pencils, mathematical equipment, dictionary, PE clothes, if needed for the next school day.
•    Communicate difficulties to the teacher using the homework journal.
 

How often is homework given?

Homework is usually given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays.
Usually there is no homework at weekends.

‘HOMEWORK OFF’   -   WHOLE SCHOOL

Homework off for Mayor’s Visit, Diocesan Visit, Special Occasions
Principal to announce ‘homework off’ – via Aladdin or intercom to teachers – (before mid-day ) lunch to ensure infants know before they go home.
Homework off on week prior to Christmas & summer holidays – the children may receive ‘homework off’ in the lead up to school holidays at the teacher’s discretion.

Duration of Homework

The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent may vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines:

Infants           Up to 15 minutes
1st & 2nd         20 to 30 minutes
3rd & 4th         30 to 40 minutes
5th & 6th         40 to 50 minutes

Pupils should

Enter homework accurately at school in their homework diary.
Ensure they take home relevant books and copies
Complete homework assignments to the best of their ability
Present written work neatly

Teachers’ Role

The teacher will set appropriate homework, review homework and provide feedback to students. They will monitor and differentiate homework to cater for all pupils. They should think critically about exactly what they assign and why it is being assigned. Teachers will regularly evaluate the homework they set to ensure that it is of benefit to the children.

How often do teachers monitor homework?

Ideally, teachers check homework on a daily basis. However, with large class numbers, it is not always possible to check each child’s homework and /or journal every day. As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often, e.g. every second day or once a week. Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked  by children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children as it promotes responsibility and self esteem. Some items of homework, such as project work or work requiring research on behalf of the children, may be set over a longer period of time,especially in the older classes. This is good preparation for secondary school where homework is often staggered.

What happens when Homework is not done?

Parents should send a note, in the homework diary, to the class teacher explaining why their child has been unable to complete their homework. When homework is not done regularly or without explanation the teacher will contact parents with a view to discussing and resolving the situation. If the situation continues, then the matter is brought to the attention of the Principal who will contact the parent(s) and arrange a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved.