Rationale for Homework
Homework is a very important part of a child’s education and can add much to a child’s development. Research has shown that the completion of homework has a very positive and significant effect on children’s achievement and embeds positive learning habits for life long learning. In Mossvale Primary we see homework as an important way of establishing a successful dialogue between teachers and parents. When parents and schools work together, children do better. One of the aims of our school is for children to develop as independent learners. We believe that homework is one of the main ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning.
Aims and objectives
The aims and objectives of homework are:
- To promote partnership between home and school in supporting each child’s learning
- To consolidate and reinforce learning done in school and to allow children to practise skills taught in lessons
- To help children practise the skills of self-discipline, independent learning and management of their own time
- To develop and encourage learning from external sources e.g. library, internet, museums, parents, grandparents etc
Main features of Homework Tasks
The content of the homework task set may vary from stage to stage and at different times throughout a session but should always be:
- clearly understood by pupil and closely related to ongoing class work
- at an appropriate level of ability for the child
- able to be completed without specialised resources
- reflect a variety of activities although generally concentrating on basic skills.
At Primary 1 and 2 typical tasks will be:
- Practising pages of reading and discussion of pictures in reading books
- Word recognition practice and playing word games
- Reinforcing sounds/phonics work
- Practising handwriting and number formation
- Maths reinforcement work
- Finding out information and bringing items in for a class activity
From Primary 3 to 7 typical tasks will be:
- Reading practise and reading related tasks
- Sentences and other activities to reinforce spelling words
- Language reinforcement tasks e.g. use of punctuation, connectives etc
- Maths reinforcement tasks (including mental maths activities)
- Research related to topics
- Personal research for personal projects
- Solo talk preparation
- Occasional tasks related to science/art/technology
Time allocation for homework
This varies depending on the age and abilities of the child. The following is an approximate guide to time spent on homework and is not set in stone. Some nights it may take more time and some less time and this is fine. However, if you feel homework is taking too long to complete then please discuss this with the class teacher.
- Primary 1 to 3 up to 15 mins per night
- Primaries 4 and 5 up to 25 mins per night
- Primaries 6 and 7 – around 30 mins per night
How and when homework is given out
With the exception of primary 1 and 2, children will be given their homework out on a Monday and it should be handed into the teacher on allocated days. Homework is given out as a weekly assignment to help the children to plan their homework and manage their time from an early age. It also allows flexibility if the children have other activities on during the week, eg, Swimming or Cubs.
Primary 1 and 2 children will often be given tasks on one day for completion that night as they are at the early stages of learning to organise themselves and their time.
Homework is not usually given out on the first or last week of a term. No homework will be issued on a Friday for completion by Monday. This is to allow the children a break over the weekend.
The parent’s role in homework
- Ensure that homework is completed at a time when your child is alert (for some children it is better to work in several short bursts than for a long period of time)
- Provide a calm atmosphere with as few distractions as possible
- Discussing the work with your child and working along with him/her, especially at the early stages
- Checking that the quality and presentation is of an acceptable standard and signing the work and the homework diary (if applicable)
- Discussing problems arising from homework with the teacher (appointments can be made by contacting the school office)
- Helping your child to manage their time so that all their work is completed on time, taking into account busy evenings and after school clubs.
- Parents may leave a comment on homework jotters/diaries if they wish – positive comments are encouraged. Anything negative or substantial should not be written in the child’s jotter but rather in a letter or a phone call to the teacher.
- Parents are not required to mark homework – pointing out errors is helpful to the child. If you feel unable to help your child, leave errors for the class teacher to see.
We consider homework to be important and therefore expect it to be taken seriously by the pupils. We understand that at times, home circumstances may make it difficult/impossible for homework to be completed. If this should arise please inform the class teacher.
The child’s role in homework
- To note down all assigned homework in their diary/marker/jotter (if applicable)
- To ensure all assigned homework is completed and handed in on time
- To produce work to the standard that is expected of them