Homework is an important part of every student’s learning experience that helps them to make more rapid progress. It provides students with the experience of working by themselves to consolidate or extend work covered in school. It also establishes and develops good study habits, time management, self-discipline, commitment and perseverance that are so valuable in the future of life long learning and adaptability. Homework must be viewed as important by staff, students and parents / guardians.
Purposes of homework
- encouraging students to develop the skills, confidence and motivation needed to study effectively on their own;
- consolidating and reinforcing skills and understanding developed at school;
- extending school learning and encouraging broad and original thinking;
- encouraging reading for information and for pleasure;
- sustaining the involvement of parents and carers in the management of students’ learning and keeping them informed about the work students are doing;
- managing particular demands such as GCSE coursework.
Setting, recording and quantity of homework
The general expectation is that staff will set at least one piece of homework per subject per week. However, extended tasks may be set, particularly at GCSE level, which may take several weeks.
Homework tasks for each subject should take an average of 30 minutes in Years 6 & 7 increasing to an average of an hour per subject by Year 10.
Homework tasks are recorded by students in their diaries which are checked and signed weekly by parents / carers and form tutors. Tasks are also displayed by staff on the noticeboards for each year group on the 3rd floor for the benefit of students who were absent when the work was set.
In addition to homework tasks, students who have been absent due to professional work, or other reasons, have to catch up with missed classwork. The school has a clear procedure and proforma in place for setting of such work which is known as ‘CW1 work’.
Failure to submit homework on time without a reasonable explanation results in a letter home and may also generate a detention.
Appropriate tasks for homework
Homework time should not regularly be used simply for “finishing off” work carried out in class as this can place too heavy a burden on some students and too light a demand on others. However, there are occasions on which this type of homework may be necessary / appropriate.
Appropriate homework tasks will vary considerably between different subjects but might include:
- tasks to consolidate classwork;
- extension tasks;
- preparation for forthcoming work;
- learning tasks / revision
Homework tasks should be differentiated, where possible, to allow students to achieve at their own level.
Feedback for students
Homework should be handed in / completed by the agreed time and feedback should generally be given to students by the following week. Extended tasks such as GCSE coursework obviously take a lot longer to assess and feedback should be given as soon as is practical and possible after the work has been submitted.
Feedback is given through written and verbal comments and, where appropriate, by marks, grades or National Curriculum Levels. Comments are used to recognise good work / effort / progress and also to give suggestions and targets for improvement.