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Homework

POLICY FOR HOMEWORK

The school policy for homework reflects the consensus of opinion by all the staff. It has been drawn up as a result of staff discussion and has the full agreement of the Governing body.

The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the headteacher and all the teaching staff.

What Do We Mean by Homework?

At Ysgol San Siôr we define the term ‘homework’ widely, to mean any work or activities which pupils are asked to do outside lesson time, either on their own or with parents or carers. Children perform at their best when home and school work together. Homework is an opportunity for parents to become active partners in supporting learning. Homework should also be enjoyable for the child involved and should reinforce what is taught in the classroom. Children generally enjoy continuing their activities and sharing their experiences and ideas and bringing work started at home back into school.

Homework can cover a very wide range of activities, depending on the age of the child, but throughout the primary years a consistent emphasis will be put on reading for pleasure and purpose as part of homework.

Why is Homework Important?

There is no legal requirement for schools to provide a set amount of homework or for primary children to undertake formal homework. At Ysgol San Siôr, however, it is a vital means of helping to raise pupil achievement and of enabling the school to offer some pastoral support beyond the school day. As such, at Ysgol San Siôr we believe homework requires a vital commitment by teachers, pupils and parents. Teachers at the school are required to set homework under this policy.

Homework is important for the primary pupil because it provides a means for pupils:

  • to consolidate and reinforce what is learnt in the classroom
  • to build up basic skills (particularly reading, writing and numeracy)
  • to become curious and independent learners
  • to develop good study habits
  • to prepare for the next stage of education.

Homework is meant to fulfill these objectives. In addition, homework is a key part in our home-school policy. It is important that every child sees that home and school are working together in partnership to provide help, support and encouragement. Homework can help to promote a positive attitude to learning at home and provides a vital link between home and school.

Why Do We Need a Written Homework Policy?

Homework is set by class teachers who decide how it can best support teaching and learning in the classroom. A written policy makes the purposes of homework, and the basic principles we follow in setting and marking homework, clear to everyone involved.

Staff, Governors, parents, carers, and children know that the purpose of homework is to:

  • support learning in the classroom and to raise standards of achievement
  • enhance the learning experience for each pupil
  • identify and highlight pupil development and pupil needs
  • ensure that parents and carers have clear expectations about their role and that of the pupil
  • to prepare pupils for the next stage of education
  • to support our whole school development plan.

At Ysgol San Siôr we make homework an enjoyable and positive experience. In particular our homework policy will achieve:

  • a consistent approach to setting, monitoring and marking homework throughout the school
  • differentiation between the needs and learning targets of the individual pupils so that it both challenges and supports students
  • progression as pupils mature and become independent learners
  • opportunities for extended reading at all ages
  • reinforcement and consolidation of learning at all stages of development
  • partnership for parents, carers and pupils in the learning process
  • extra support for children with particular needs.

Our homework policy is not:

  • a means of finishing work not completed in the classroom
  • designed to create anxiety, undue pressure or conflict between parents and children
  • an afterthought at the end of a lesson.

Homework set at Ysgol San Siôr is monitored to determine:

  • that these aims are being met
  • that the full range of types of homework are being set consistently
  • that teachers in the same year group set equivalent amounts of homework

Planning

We have planned our homework policy in terms of:

  • supporting teaching and learning through homework
  • helping pupils to achieve through homework
  • involving parents through homework.

Supporting Teaching and Learning Through Homework

The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that homework is implemented and monitored

Homework needs to be:

  • specific, differentiated and manageable for pupils at different ages and can be appropriately supported by parents and carers
  • regularly monitored to ensure that the demands of homework are as evenly balanced as possible
  • clearly linked to daily progress in the classroom, in particular, in relation to literacy and numeracy

Helping Pupils to Achieve Through Homework

Pupils are different and work and learn at different speeds. Teachers plan homework as part of their schemes of work for different areas of the curriculum, particularly literacy and numeracy.

At Ysgol San Siôr we ensure that pupils of all ages understand what they are expected to do at home, and why, and how it will help them to improve their work in class. It is important that a positive attitude towards homework is encouraged in order to help pupils achieve high standards.

The Government’s Homework Guidelines and recommends certain periods of time to be spent on homework at different stages. This is a helpful guideline for parents and pupils. It also helps to create an expectation and a discipline for regular, independent, learning. However, we feel that the time set for homework is less important than the quality of the tasks set and the way in which they relate clearly to supporting learning in the classroom.

Our planning also ensures that:

  • Pupils at different ages know what resources they will need to have, for example, reading or spelling books, tables and maths books, pencils or calculators and library or reference books to complete set homework.
  • Older pupils know what additional resources might be available, for example, at the local library or on the Internet.

How Parents and Carers Can Support Pupils’ Learning Through Homework

Parents and carers play a vital role in their children’s lasting success. At Ysgol San Siôr, homework plays a valuable part of our home-school policy as a whole. That partnership is reflected in our Home-School Agreement which makes it clear that we see the support for homework as a joint undertaking.

We aim to involve parents wherever possible in supporting their children’s learning.

Most important, parents and carers are asked to:

  • make it clear to pupils how much they value homework and support the school in explaining how it can help their learning
  • praise and encourage pupils when they take pride in their homework
  • provide a peaceful and comfortable place, free from distractions such as television, where pupils can concentrate on their homework. If this is difficult, parents might encourage pupils to attend other places where homework can be done, such as study clubs or study support centres
  • encourage pupils of all ages to read as much and as widely as possible.

Setting Homework for Different Stages

In setting homework we will plan to:

  • establish a familiar routine for pupils and parents
  • reflect the age and capacity of the pupils involved.

For pupils of all ages, homework will be set systematically by class teachers.

Wherever possible, the similar activities and tasks will be given out on the same day each week. It will be made clear, as appropriate, that some homework will take longer than one day and time will be provided to ensure that it can be completed.

Reception, Years 1–2

The activities which teachers set to be done at home support successful learning. The activities or tasks which the youngest children bring home are designed, wherever possible, invite parental interest and involvement. Homework activities for children at this developmental stage will take into account:

  • the vital importance of developing reading, writing and numeracy skills
  • the need for clear, regular and achievable tasks and monitoring
  • the full potential range of partnership by parents
  • the additional needs of some children for extra help.

Class teachers will recommend that reading takes place every day.

We will aim to provide a sensible programme for homework activities. The homework set will be primarily reading, spellings, other literacy work and number work.

Reading can involve parents in listening, discussing characters or plot; asking questions and helping pupils to know sounds and basic punctuation.   other homework activities will be designed to be as enjoyable and active as possible, designed in such a way that parents can easily be involved: for example, recounting the day in school or writing numbers and letters the correct way, counting practice, number games and rhymes, board games, drawing and colouring activities, or learning key words and sounds.

Key Stage 2: Years 3–6

As children get older homework keeps pace with the demands of the curriculum and prepares the children for the transition to secondary school.

Our homework planning for children at this key stage will:

  • maintain the emphasis on raising levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy
  • enable pupils to master key skills, for example, communication
  • enable pupils to extend their knowledge base
  • enable pupils to extend their range of reference and research skills
  • encourage pupils to become independent learners
  • prepare pupils for the demands of the secondary curriculum.

In addition to homework designed to reinforce basic skills, set homework for pupils at Key Stage 2 will have a greater emphasis on written work and on project work.

The homework activities set by pupils class teachers may include, for example:

  • mathematics investigations
  • comprehension and creative writing
  • research and presentation of topics or projects from all curriculum areas.

Homework