Homework

Parent's Guide to Homework

What follows is some information for parents about our Homework Policy. The full policy document is available on request from the school office. The purpose of this information is to give guidance to you, the parents, as to how you can work in partnership with the school to ensure your child gets the full benefit of homework set.

CONTENTS

Why Homework is Given

Types Of Homework

Time Allocation and Frequency

Some General Principles

Providing a Homework Environment

 

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Why Homework is Given

There are several good reasons for giving homework:

  • homework can allow practice, reinforcement and consolidation of aspects such as language activities, number facts, tables and paired reading

  • homework can sometimes be considered as preparation for future class work. Children might be asked to learn some spelling words, carry out some research or read an article in a newspaper in advance of work to be carried out in the class

  • the completion of homework can encourage good habits of self-discipline and responsibility. It can help children to form good working habits such as working independently and planning their time. This is perhaps most important in primary 6/7 classes where the giving of regular homework can also be regarded as a preparation for homework in secondary school

  • homework can provide opportunities for parents to have some involvement and information on aspects of their children's school work

  • homework can be given to allow children to catch up on class work which they have missed perhaps because of absence or lack of effort during class time

  • in some cases the giving of homework can be used effectively as a form of punishment eg a letter of apology. In such cases, punishment homework should relate to the 'offence' and the giving of, say, maths exercises as a response to playground misbehaviour should be avoided

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Types Of Homework

Although the types of homework given will necessarily be different in different classes there must be a consistency of approach throughout the school. Homework can be given in any of the following formats:

  • oral homework eg interviewing parents or friends

  • practice exercises eg tables, 'sums', number facts

  • learning spelling words

  • reading practice or preparation and paired reading

  • written homework such us the completion of reading comprehension sheets or Maths sheets

  • finding out eg watching a TV programme or reading a newspaper

  • special assignments eg completing a questionnaire with parents or gathering 'artefacts' for a class project or working on a personal project

  • unfinished class work of various types which can be completed independently

Time Allocation and Frequency

After the children have settled in Primary 1, and on into Primary 2, reading homework should be given 4 or 5 nights. The maximum time spent should be about 15 minutes per night.

Between Primary 3 and Primary 5, the maximum time spent on homework should be about 20 minutes each night on at least 3 nights per week. This can take any of the forms mentioned above but reading should continue to be part of the programme.

By the time children reach Primary 6 and 7, a maximum of 30 minutes per night on at least 3 nights per week is expected. By this stage, homework may still be given on a day- to - day basis or it may be set on a Monday for completion by the end of the week. This will encourage responsibility and organisational skills as the two years progress.

Parents will be asked to inform the class teacher if homework is taking significantly longer than the maximum times mentioned above.

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Some General Principles

  • homework has to be done, and it must be worthwhile. The results must be neat and well presented. Always insist on neat presentation and do not accept 'shoddy' work from your child.

  • homework should be written in pencil, unless otherwise instructed by the teacher.
    please feel free to comment on your child's work. It encourages home/school partnership.

  • please be positive about your child's work.

  • try to lessen the pressure on children, in certain cases, and know that it is fine to stop before too much upset is caused. If there is a problem, let us know.

  • homework is set for 'normal' weeks. Often other activities eg performances, sports activities, end of term activites, overtake the normal day to day work. In such instances the usual approach to homework will not be followed. Please help your child to understand this.

  • please inform the class teacher if homework is taking significantly longer than the maximum time mentioned below or if the child is struggling with work set.

  • our school approach to homework will only be successful if we elicit your assistance and support.

  • a brief guide to the use of the homework jotter will be attached to its inside cover.

Providing a Homework Environment

You know your child better than anyone else, so please help them to find their own quiet place to do their homework. Some prefer the quiet of their bedroom or a dining room, others work better in the 'buzz' of the kitchen. Wherever it is, the child should be free from distractions like television. Please monitor and support your child's homework. Staff will give comment and feedback on homework and it will be marked regularly.

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