Homework

St James’s Homework Policy

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. We see homework as an important way of establishing a successful dialogue between teachers and parents. 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 enable pupils to make maximum progress in their academic and social development.

•To help pupils develop the skills of an independent learner

•To promote a partnership between home and school in supporting each child’s learning

•To enable all aspects of the curriculum to be covered in sufficient depth

•To consolidate and reinforce learning done in school and to allow children to practise skills taught in lessons

•To help children develop good work habits for the future

Main features of Homework Tasks

The content of the 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 the Early Stages typical tasks will be :

•Practising pages of reading

•Reinforcing new words

•Reinforcing sounds

•Practising writing

•Simple maths tasks

•Finding out something and bringing items in for a class activity

•Personal reading ( library book)

•Spelling

 

At the middle stages typical tasks will be :

•Reading practise and reading related tasks

•Spelling

•Maths ( Including mental maths questions)

•Research related to topics

•R.E. depending on the class and time of year.

 

At the upper stage typical tasks will be :

•Reading practise and reading related tasks

•Spelling

•Maths ( Including mental maths questions)

•Research both related to topics and personal research tasks

•R.E. depending on the class and time of year.

•Preparation and research for Solo talks.

Homework Diaries

To help both the parent and the child to focus on the homework all stages are given a diary. Primaries 4 -7 will be given time to note down their homework tasks for the week, encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning, while primaries 1 -3 will receive their homework diary with their homework already printed out for them. The diary can be used for both parent and teacher to pass on any comments about the homework and should be signed by the parent to indicate that that have overseen the homework and are happy with the effort that has been put in by the child.

Time allocation for homework

The following is a guide for time that should be spent on homework averaging out per night:

  • Primary 1 and 2 – up to 1 hour per week
  • Primaries 3 and 4  – up to 1 hour and 15 minutes per week
  • Primaries 5 – up to 1 hour and 30 minutes per week
  • Primaries 6 and 7  – up to 2 hours per week

How and when homework is given out

With the exception of primary 1, 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 form an early age. It also allows flexibility if the children have other activities on during the week, eg: Swimming or Cubs. Homework is not usually given out on the first or last week of a term.

How parents can support our homework policy

•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 a long period of time.)

•By trying to provide a calm atmosphere with as few distractions as possible.

•By discussing the work with your child and working along with him/her, especially at the early stages

•By checking that the quality and presentation is of an acceptable standard and signing the work and the homework diary.

•By discussing problems arising from homework with the teacher.( Appointments can be made by contacting the school office)

•By 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.

We consider homework to be important and therefore expect it to be taken seriously by the pupils.

We understand that home circumstances may make it impossible for homework to be completed occasionally. If this should arise please write a brief explanation to the teacher.

How teachers can support our homework policy

  • Teachers provide varied, stage appropriate homework for pupils each week
  • Teachers prepare the homework with the pupils to ensure they are aware of what is expected of them at home
  • Teachers volunteer to support the completion of homework and development of good homework habits by leading a school Homework Club for pupils and parents
  • Teachers will provide either verbal or written feedback for completed homework
  • Teachers will inform parents through homework diaries or parents evening if a pupil is consistently not completing homework

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