Meaningful, Motivating & Manageable
Homework should enable students to:
- Take ownership and responsibility for their learning and progress.
- Consolidate and extend work covered in class.
- Develop research skills.
- Learn to work independently.
- Show progress and understanding.
- 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.
As such all homework should be accessible to all students and not require any specialist equipment. Moreover, all homework should be completed by the student themselves, and not require additional support from an adult. The purpose being that 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?
In Year 7 and 8, students should be set one meaningful piece of homework per subject per fortnight**; in Year 9 this increases to once per week for English, Maths and Science. In Years 10 and 11 students are set one meaningful piece of homework per subject per week. All homework should be recorded on Class Charts 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***.
Year 7 and Year 8 students would be expected to spend 20-30 minutes on each piece of homework; year 9 students, 30-45 minutes; and Year 10/11 students, 45-60 minutes.
*** 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. Project based homework is also to be encouraged but homework reminders should be set in Class Charts to support and encourage students.
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. This should include each pupil’s contribution to whole class rewards such as ‘Class of the Term’.
When homework is not completed, teachers should follow the school policy and issue the appropriate sanction. The first time a homework is not completed this should be a verbal warning. If a student persists in not completing homework they should be issued a detention. It is advisable for contact to be made with parents at this stage as well.
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.
- Make sure that they can access Class Charts and check it daily
- 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 Class Charts according to Academy 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. This can be as part of lesson through peer or self-assessment. For KS4, longer pieces and practice exam questions should be given a medal and mission.
- Ensure students are rewarded for homework completion and sanctions are set when students have failed to meet the homework deadline.
The Role of the Subject Leader
- Monitor the setting of homework on Class Charts 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.
- Parents can also monitor their child’s homework in Class Charts.
- Homework timetables for each year group can be found here.