Homework Policy

Homework Policy

Clober Primary Homework Policy

Rationale

Homework has for a long time been part and parcel of the work of the school. However, it should now be seen as having both a more positive nature and be directed at a greater range of activities. In considering possible items for homework within these criteria teachers should keep in mind whether

  • The pupils for whom the task is set will be able to carry it out at home or whether they will experience difficulties due to the level of ability expected or the practicalities of it taking place in individual homes
  • Its nature will cause undue work in assessing or correcting it. Problems of this kind can become cumulative and add to workload.

Aims

Homework in Clober Primary is designed to:

  • Provide additional practice
  • Inform parents of what is being taught
  • Inform parents of children’s progress
  • Encourage independent learning

Possible Content

The areas which can be targeted for homework should be seen in two distinct categories.

 

A.                    Routine practise usually within maths and language.

Examples:   Further examples in computation.

                        Consolidation of the learning of spelling words already taught in class.

                        Reading practice i.e. preparation of material from reading book.

                        Consolidation of computation processes e.g. Multiplication tables.

                        Writing on specific topics with clear guidance on format.

                        Revision

B.                  Extensions of learning possibly involving research or investigation.

Examples:   Reading for pleasure of an agreed text.

                        Reading for information eg. from TV or newspaper

                        Finding out more about eg. An item from science or topic work.

                        Completion of a task in art.

Surveys for maths or Social studies.

Open ended tasks eg. Problem solving, find a reason for……

 N.B. For this group it is vital to ensure that pupils have the required materials at home. While it is clear that tasks of the second type may be more suited to older pupils this should not be taken as a reason to have only dull and repetitive ones in the early stages.

 Shared Learning – January Focus

In January of each year there is a key focus on personalisation and choice through ‘Shared Learning’ activity sheets. These are available for each stage and should form the main focus for homework in January of each year.

 

The content of the homework is based on fun, active and practical activities. Staff should ‘lighten’ homework in other areas to allow more time for these activities.

 

Time Allocation

Attention should always be given to the time likely to be needed to complete the tasks set for individual pupils. For this reason care should be taken with regard to having children complete work unfinished in class. In most cases it is better to set precise tasks which are likely to be done in a set time rather than to complete exercises of variable length accumulated during the day.

 

For P1-P3 an acceptable amount of time is 15 minutes per night.

In the early stages homework should mainly be comprised of:

  • The practice of reading
  • Shared reading
  • Language development through talk
  • Work and sound recognition
  • Phonic based spelling activities
  • Simple research ie. Looking for objects, pictures etc. relevant to class work and /or topic work
  • Handwriting
  • Phonics
  • Selected language and mathematics workbook pages.

 

Active Spelling Initiative

Pupils in the Infant classes will receive book bags with active games for their spelling words. This is aimed at making the spelling more fun for these classes through multi sensory approaches to learning. See Active Spelling Guidelines for more information.

 

For P4-P5 an acceptable amount of time is 20-30 minutes per night.

 

For P6-P7 an acceptable amount of time is 30-40 minutes per night.

 

NB. Homework should not normally be given on Fridays or at holiday times however in exceptional circumstances the parent should contact the Class Teacher if this is required.

 

Routines of Homework within the Week

Primary 1-3

Children will typically receive homework each night. The routine will be the same e.g. reading on Mondays and Wednesdays and spelling/phonics on Wednesdays with a maths activity of a Thursday –NB this is a simple example.

Due to the nature of learning in the infant classrooms the specific tasks e.g. the sound taught will be given out each day. It is not good practice to give out homework until it has been taught by the class teacher.

 

Primary 4 to 7

Each child will receive a detailed timetable of tasks to complete throughout the week. This will allow your child to prepare for high school when they will have to schedule their learning into different evenings depending on what they have planned throughout the week. This provides personalisation and choice in their learning.

 

In these classes pupils will receive a homework diary and teachers will set tasks on a Monday to be handed in on the Friday of that week. At times teachers may give additional support homework  for a child needing reinforcement with a concept taught.

 

Responsibilities

 

Pupils should take increasing responsibility for undertaking and completing homework tasks.

 

Teachers have the responsibility to:

  • Provide appropriate homework tasks
  • Provide varied and interesting activities
  • Manage and monitor homework

 

Promoted staff have the responsibility for:

  • Overall monitoring and evaluation of the homework policy and implementation
  • Consulting, informing and explaining the policy to parents.

 

Role of Parents – Since our stated aims involve parents, it is clear that parents should be well aware of the purpose of homework and how we expect them to respond. Therefore they should be prepared to expect homework at the times described above and to enquire if none appears at home. Their role will be made know to parents at induction days, at the beginning of each new session and frequently thereafter at meetings. Teachers should also take whatever opportunities arise to get home this message.

 

With regard to their role while homework is being carried out, parents should be encouraged to try to create an appropriate environment and to take an interest. They should however be discouraged from ‘doing’ the homework task. Discussion of what is being done or contributing suggestions to approaches to investigative tasks without taking over is desirable.

 

If problems arise they should contact the school rather than take matters into their own hands. Should any teacher suspect that homework is being done by anyone other than the pupil concerned, this should be brought to the attention of the Head Teacher.

 

It is helpful if parents initial or sign homework as an indication that the child has carried it out to the best of his/her ability and that some attempt has been made to check the content.

 

Parents should also be encouraged to ensure as far as possible that while their child is doing homework it receives his/her undivided attention. Often problems over homework occur when parents believe it has taken the child an excessive amount of time to complete work which has been subject to frequent interruptions e.g. to watch television, lack of concentration, unwillingness to complete rather than inability.