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Homework

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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013

Homework Policy

Rationale

"Homework is not an optional extra, but an essential part of a good education." - 1999 White Paper, Excellence in Schools”

Homework is work that is set to be done outside the timetabled curriculum. It contains an element of independent learning in that it is not usually directly supervised by a teacher. It is important in raising student achievement. Not all homework is done at home; in fact, for some pupils 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, in particular in the Learning Resources Centre and at Homework Club.

Homework enhances pupil learning, improves achievement and develops students' personal learning and thinking skills and as such is an integral part of the curriculum. It requires careful planning and integration into the schemes of work of each curriculum area.

Aims

The purpose of homework is:

 

  • To encourage students to develop the confidence and self-discipline to work on their own, an essential skill for adult life.
  • To consolidate and reinforce skills and understanding.
  • To extend school learning, for example through additional reading.
  • To enable students to devote time to particular demands such as GCSE coursework or extended project work.
  • For students to take ownership and responsibility for learning.
  • To support the home/school relationship.
 

Types of homework

Homework might include such things as:

Extended writing tasks; Researching “Background Information” on a topic/theme; Building on information from a lesson; GCSE structured revision; Finding real-life links (e.g. Newspaper articles) to lesson topic; Spelling/keyword revision; Practical tasks e.g. in Drama; Reading; Creative projects eg.; Revision preparation for exams; Research/investigating; Blogging (Keeping a diary using Journal function on VLE throughout a project or unit of work)(all KS4 students do this regularly in ICT); Design work; Extended projects; Problem solving exercises; Creative (making); Consolidation; Independent working; Skills based; Independent and group homework; Lesson Preparation; Verbal keywords; ICT based; Practical/rehearsing; Exam questions; Model making; Research – linked to lessons; Quizzes; Gathering resources; Group projects; Practical research.

It is important that students should have frequent and increasing opportunities to develop and consolidate their competencies as independent learners.

The amount of homework

Broadoak has a fixed homework timetable with time allocated for different subjects on different evenings. Students will need to learn to manage their time so that they do some homework each evening. Teachers will not normally set homework to be completed for the next day, but will give students at least two days to complete the homework. The time devoted to homework should increase as the student progresses through the school. Guidelines for the amount of homework to be set are outlined below:

 

KS3

Time per week (in minutes)

Subject

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

English

2 x 20

2 x 30

2 x 30

Mathematics

2 x 20

2 x 30

2 x 30

Science

30

2 x 30

2 x 30

ICT

30

30

30

Geography

Humanities in Year 7

1 hour

30

30

History

30

30

RE

30

30

Technology

30

30

30

Art

30

30

30

Music

30

30

30

MFL

30

30

30

Drama

30

30

30

 

KS4

Time per week (in minutes)

Subject

Year 10

Year 11

English

60

60

Mathematics

60

60

Science

60

60

ICT

30

30

Options (3 subjects)

60

60

60

60

60

60

National Average

Year 7 and 8

45 to 90 minutes a day

Year 9

60 to 100 minutes a day

Year 10 and 11

90 to 150 minutes a day

No homework will be set in PSHCE or in Core PE at KS3 or KS4.

Extended Projects

In some cases students will be asked to complete extended projects as homework. These are to enhance students’ personal learning and thinking skills however they should be recorded in student planners on a weekly basis.

How do we motivate students to ensure effective use of homework opportunities?

High quality homework and a good work ethos should be sensitively praised in class. Where appropriate, homework should be included in display work to celebrate good practice. Homework should be well planned and integral to learning and offer a variety of learning opportunities. Homework should also be assessed regularly making use of a variety of assessment for learning strategies e.g. self and peer assessment. Homework should be valued by both staff and students and should be seen as an essential part of a good education.

Differentiated Homework

Homework at Broadoak should be personalised ensuring all students can achieve their personal best. Homework should offer challenge and support therefore in planning homework there should be a differentiated set of tasks for all learners to extend them and support their learning.

Responsibilities

The role of the student

To listen to homework instructions in class and to copy down instructions for the task and deadline date into their planner; to ensure that homework is completed and handed in to meet the deadline; to attempt all work and give their best; to inform the subject teacher of any difficulties.

The role of the Personal Tutor

To include homework in student monitoring where appropriate; 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 planners by parents.

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 according to the timetable; provide the stimulus and resources needed; give full and comprehensive instructions and check understanding; set deadlines for completed work and ensure that they are met; mark and return all homework promptly; provide help and support and differentiated homework where appropriate; inform the Faculty Head, Tutor and Year Leader when persistent problems arise.

The role of the Faculty Head

To seek to enhance the quality of homework set; to monitor and evaluate homework policy within their curriculum area; to ensure that homework is planned within all schemes of work/learning.

The role of the Deputy Head of Curriculum Development

To provide staff, students and parents with the necessary homework documentation; to develop classroom practice to enhance homework across the school; to review annually the school homework policy; to monitor and evaluate the school homework policy.

The role of the Parents/Carers

The role of the parent is crucial if a student is to gain success from homework. To reinforce its value through positive feedback will give students the confidence to persevere, work hard and reach high standards of achievement.

Parents can assist by providing a table, chair and a quiet place to work; negotiating with the student when homework is to be done as a student's free play is important too; checking the time spent on individual tasks; ensuring that outside clubs do not hamper a child's quality of work and put a child under undue pressure; checking presentation and content of all homework being returned to school; signing the planner each week; Providing the school with information about any problems through the planner or by contacting the school directly.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Pupils

Student planners will be checked by:

The form tutor (weekly)

The Year Leader (sampled termly)

Member of the Senior Leadership and Management Team (sampled 3 times a year)

Subject Teachers

Will keep a record of homework tasks as part of lesson plan.

Make the record available to the Faculty Head and Deputy Head - Curriculum.

 

Faculty Head/Year Leader

Will sample homework records.

Will look at examples of homework and talk to pupils and staff according to monitoring programme using homework monitoring criteria.

Will evaluate, feedback and update action plan.

Will ensure that homework is clearly planned within schemes of work/learning.

Deputy Head – Curriculum/SLMT

Will sample homework records and feedback through faculty reviews.

Will sample examples of work and talk to pupils according to monitoring programme and feedback to staff.

Will review school policy annually.

Evaluation

This will be undertaken by SLMT, Heads of Faculty and Year Leaders co-ordinate by Deputy Head of Curriculum Development. The following questions should be considered

  • Whose needs are currently being met?
  • Whose needs are not being met and why?
  • What are the problems that require short and long term solutions?
  • What is the relationship of homework to the curriculum?
  • How can policy and planning be more effective?

Useful Websites

Homework: case studies, DCSF
http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/homework/casestudies/

Homework? A total waste of time, Times Educational Supplement, 7 May 2010
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6043047

All work and no play?, Times Educational Supplement, 19 June 2010
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6015783