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Homework Policy

Introduction

Dunipace Primary School is firmly committed to promoting achievement and raising attainment of all pupils. We recognise the significant contribution homework can make to the personal, social and academic success of the individual pupil.

Rationale

Homework is seen as an invaluable contact with home providing an opportunity for parents to be involved in their child’s learning. It provides a setting for parent and child to share purposeful learning opportunities in the supportive atmosphere of the home. It can therefore become a vehicle for developing and enhancing partnership and raising pupil attainment.

Definition

Homework refers to learning that takes place outside the classroom situation. It can be extended over a period of time and is the responsibility of the learner. It is not seen as ritualistic work undertaken as a matter of duty.

To reflect this view of homework, this policy will attempt to guide teachers, parents and pupils on the types of teacher-directed homework which can be expected and the opportunities for parental involvement in supporting their child’s development.

Aims

  • To foster a partnership between home and school, allowing parents an opportunity to share in their child’s learning and celebrate their ongoing successes.
  • To reinforce and consolidate the skills and concepts taught in class and enhance knowledge and understanding.
  • To provide opportunities for pupils to develop as independent learners.
  • To issue homework that is purposeful, manageable and relevant to the learning needs of individual children.
  • To respond to homework timeously in order to provide constructive feedback to pupils and parents.

Time Allocation and Flexibility

It is difficult to be wholly prescriptive regarding the amount of time spent on completing tasks. Consequently the allocation of time spent on tasks should follow these recommended broad bands, whilst teachers should retain a degree of flexibility in the choice of content and variety of tasks.
INFANTS - 15 minutes nightly
JUNIORS - 20 minutes nightly
SENIORS - 20 – 30 minutes nightly

Equal Opportunity

The use of differentiated resources and tasks appropriate to pupils’ levels of ability and attainment will always be given careful consideration by teachers in setting homework. This will be done through consultation when necessary with relevant partners in supporting pupils i.e. Support for Learning Teacher, Speech Therapist, Educational Psychologist.

Health and Safety

In setting tasks due consideration should be given for the welfare and safety of pupils in completing work requested, especially when a task involves completion out with the home e.g. visiting library, places of local interest etc. In setting such tasks it may be appropriate to discuss a “safe conduct code” with pupils.

Teaching and Learning Issues

In Dunipace Primary homework tasks take place within a variety of curricular areas and requests made of the child should be at their appropriate level of understanding. This school policy, arrived at through consultation with teachers, parents and pupils will be operated by all staff.

Suggested activities include:
 
P1 – 3
  • Reading/phonics/spelling – regularly
  • Language – related activities
  • Mathematics – related activities
  • Topic work (Science; Social Subjects; Health Ed.; Personal and Social Development; R.M.E.)
P4 – 7
  • Language activities e.g. reading, spelling, writing, talking/listening (preparing talk/report).
  • Mathematics e.g. oral practice of tables, Heinemann Home Linkups, consolidation of new skills.
  • Topic work (Science, Social Subjects; Health Ed; P.S.D.; R.M.E.)
  • General knowledge e.g. varied activities, possibly generated from any cross curricular teaching or incidental teaching arising, e.g. topical news, particular issues generated by pupil’s interest. The school encourages the pupils to make use of local amenities and community sources of information 
P6 – 7
  • French
  • Tasks set through Primary/ Secondary Liaison links(P7)

Implementation

Teachers Role in Homework

We aim at all times to explain the purpose of the homework and give clear instructions in order that children and parents understand the nature of the task and the expectations of the teacher. Teachers will make parents and pupils aware of the anticipated homework patterns for the forthcoming term. Pupils will be given adequate time to record homework tasks.

Parental Role in Homework

This will vary depending on the specific purpose and nature of tasks set ranging from informal discussion between child and parent to the need for parental supervision in visiting library, health centre etc. There are however general matters central to the parent’s role:

  • To be aware when homework is set.
  • To encourage their child to undertake and complete task.
  • To monitor child’s performance.
  • To participate in learning tasks as requested.

It is essential that all work completed at home should be signed by a parent or guardian. If a child experiences a difficulty with homework and is becoming stressed, parents should use their judgement to end the task and inform the class teacher via the homework diary. If a child consistently fails to return completed homework their class teacher will use the homework diary to notify parents. If this fails the matter will be discussed with the school Management Team and a course of action will be agreed.
Parents will be asked to sign a Homework Charter when children enrol at school.

Pupil Role in Homework

  • To keep a note of what is required and when it is due.
  • To present work of a neat, acceptable standard.
  • To look for help when stuck or frustrated.
  • To ensure completed homework is handed in on or before due date.
  • To provide feedback to teacher on areas of difficulty experience.

Assessment Strategies

Assessment methods and criteria should be neither over elaborate nor time consuming and encroach upon class teaching time. There is a clear case for a number of strategies being used, ranging from self-correction of work, group correction, teacher corrected. Two homework samples per term should be kept as part of each child’s assessment record. Assessment of homework will be monitored.

Reporting

All written homework should be dated. Teachers will report to parents and future class teachers on the quality of a child’s effort, presentation and attitude towards work completed out with class. Examples of homework may be displayed within the school. Usual incentives will be provided to promote and reward good practice.

A fuller picture of a pupil’s achievements and areas of difficulty assists in the setting of new targets and next steps in learning.

Resourcing

It will be necessary to allow pupils to take textbooks, reading books etc. home to complete a task and pupils should be reminded of the school’s expectations with regard to the return of materials in good and sound condition. Parents will require to pay for any lost or damaged resources loaned to their child.

Consumable resources i.e. jotters, homework diaries, will be issued at the beginning of the school year or term as appropriate.