Homework is an important part of a child’s education and can add much to a child’s development. The government made clear its commitment to homework in the 1997 White Paper, “Excellence in School”, where homework was seen as ‘essential part of good education’. We recognise that the time and resources available limit the education experience that any school by itself can provide; children benefit greatly therefore from the mutual support of parents and teachers in encouraging them to learn both at home and at school. We see homework as an important link between teachers and parents. One of the aims of homework 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.
Homework plays a positive role in raising a child’s level of attainment. We also acknowledge the important role of play and free time in a child’s growth and development. While homework is important, it should not prevent children from taking part in the wide range of out-of-school clubs and organisations that play an important part in lives of many children.
Aims and objectives
The aim 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 practice skill taught in lessons;
- To help children develop good work habits for the future.
Types of homework
We set a variety of homework activities. In the Early Years we encourage the children to read by giving them books to take home. We give guidance to parents to help them achieve the maximum benefit from the time spent reading with their child. In Years 3 and 4 we also ask children to learn spellings or mathematical tables as part of their homework. Sometimes we ask children to talk about topic at home prior to studying it in school. For example, in history topic on toys, we ask children to find out what toys were popular when their grandparents were young and, if possible, to bring examples into school to show the other children. Sometimes we ask children to find and collect things that we then use in science lessons, and occasionally we ask children to take home work that they have started in school when we believe that they would benefit from spending further time on it. When we ask children to study a topic or to research a particular subject, we encourage them to use the school and local library and the Internet. From years 4 to 7 we continue to broaden homework activities. Literacy, numeracy and Science homeworks are set each week and tasks on geographical, historical or health/safety issues are frequently set.
By this stage we are encouraging children to work more independently. All set homework reflect and reinforce current classroom issues. They consolidate learning done in school through enrichment at home.
Amount of homework
We increase the amount of homework that we give children as they move through the school. We expect Years 2 and 3 to spend approximately 20 minutes daily in assignments. This will include reading with a parent.
Children in Years 4 and 5 should spend approximately 40 minutes per night on homework and children in Years 6 and 7 should spend approximately 1 hour per night.
These times are related to how efficiently each child works. At times some children may day-dream and consequently take much longer. This should be discouraged.