At Hoole St. Michael CE School, we believe that pupils learn best when school, parents and the church work closely in partnership with each other. As a result, we feel it is vital that there are clear channels of communication between home and school, particularly in relation to homework. Homework can be used as an important method of support to enhance learning already taking place in school. It offers pupils the opportunity to consolidate and extend skills, building confidence, self-esteem and independence.
We aim to:
- Ensure that parents are clear about what their child is expected to do.
- Ensure consistency of approach throughout the school.
- To use homework as a tool to help continue to raise standards of attainment.
- Improve the quality of the learning experience offered to pupils and to extend it beyond the classroom environment.
- Provide opportunities for parents, children and the school to work together in partnership in relation to children’s learning.
- Encourage pupils and their parents to share and enjoy learning experiences.
- Reinforce work covered in class by providing further opportunities for individual learning.
- To practise or consolidate basic skills and knowledge, especially in Numeracy and Literacy.
- Encourage children to develop the responsibility, confidence and self-discipline needed to study independently.
- To prepare Year 6 pupils for the transfer to secondary school.
The Nature of Homework
It should be noted that homework can be set in many different forms with many different expectations and outcomes. It is important to remember that when expecting and setting homework there are a number of points to consider:-
- The nature and type of homework changes throughout a pupils school career.
- Amount and frequency of homework should increase as a pupil gets older.
- Homework should not cause undue stress on the pupil, family or the teacher.
- It will not necessarily come in the form of a written task.
- Homework should be set regularly from the Foundation Stage to Year 6.
Recommended Time Allocation
Homework should never be too onerous nor should it ever create stress within the pupil’s family. If parents have any concerns they should not hesitate to contact the school. Normally, more than one day will be allowed for the completion of a homework task, except where daily practice is to be encouraged e.g. reading, spelling and times tables.
The following are government recommendations as appropriate time allocations for homework activities.
Year R 1 hour per week
Years 1 and 2 1 hour per week
Years 3 and 4 1.5 hours per week
Years 5 and 6 30 minutes per day
Role of the Class Teacher
- To provide an explanation of homework tasks to parents when necessary and give guidance of how they might assist their child. This may be done by a note with the work, at a pre-school parents meeting or at parents’ evenings and parents’ workshops.
- To set up regular homework in an easily followed routine.
- To ensure that homework is set consistently across classes in the cohort/Phase.
- To set homework that takes equal and racial opportunities into account.
- To ensure any homework is purposeful and links directly to the curriculum being taught.
- To reward and praise children who regularly complete homework tasks.
- To mark homework when necessary and give feedback to pupils.
Role of the Head teacher and Governing Body
- To check compliance of the Policy.
- To meet and talk with parents when appropriate.
- To discuss with staff how far the policy is being successfully implemented.
- Inform new parents to the school so that they are aware of the home/school agreement and what it entails.
Role of Parents/Carers
- To support the school by ensuring that their child attempts the homework.
- To provide a suitable place for their child to carry out their homework.
- To encourage and praise their child when they have completed their homework.
- To become actively involved and support their child with homework activities.
- To make it clear that they value homework and they support the school by explaining how it can help learning.
At Hoole St Michael we are very keen for parents to support and help their children with homework. We take the view that children are likely to get more out of an activity if parents get involved as long as they do not take over too much. However, there are times when we will want to see what children can do on their own. It is particularly important, as they get older, for children to become increasingly independent in their learning. If a parent is unsure about what their role should be, they should discuss it with their child’s teacher.
Racial Equality & Equal Opportunities
All children have equal access and inclusive rights to the curriculum regardless of their gender, race, disability or ability. We plan work that is differentiated for the performance of all groups and individuals. Hoole St Michael CE Primary School is committed to creating a positive climate that will enable everyone to work free from racial intimidation and harassment and to achieve their full potential.
- Wherever possible, staff should try to mark any homework that is returned by pupils. This will help to give the whole process of setting and completing homework a higher profile and status. It will also send out the message that homework is an important and valued aspect of school life. Marking homework is a way of keeping track of who has completed their homework, and giving them feedback on how well they have met the objectives of the work. Marking may be done in a variety of forms, some of which will not be written. Feedback may be given to individual pupils, or to groups of pupils.
- If a child is absent for a length of time e.g. with a broken leg, the teacher and the parent will agree what should be done, how it should be marked and what sort of help needs to be given. In such circumstances the teacher should consult the Head Teacher first.
- Parents/Carers who have queries about homework should not hesitate to make an appointment to see their child’s class teacher.
- Homework will be given in line with each child’s ability and it is expected that pupils will complete tasks independently. As stated earlier, homework should be a positive experience that enhances pupil’s self-esteem. Therefore, if a child becomes upset or distressed whilst completing tasks, parents are advised to consult the child’s class teacher at the earliest opportunity e.g. during the next school session.
- Pupils with special educational needs may receive different work in line with their Individual Education Plan.
- It is the responsibility of the senior leadership team to monitor and review this policy on an annual basis.
Tips for good homework habits
Do find a quiet place at home to use as a homework area. It needs a flat surface, a good light source and the right equipment eg pens, pencils, ruler, scissors, glue.
- Do be aware of the school’s teaching methods, eg in long division. If you are unsure, ask your child’s class teacher
- Do plan a homework timetable and agree on when your child will do their homework.
- Do allow your child to have something nutritional to eat before starting on homework.
- Do discuss any homework tasks with your child and how it connects with what they are studying at school.
- Do turn off the TV – but you could have music on if they find it helpful.
- Don’t give your child the answer in order to get a task finished. Instead, explain how to look up information or find a word in a dictionary.
- Don’t teach your child methods you used at school. It could confuse them.
- Don’t let homework become a chore. Keep it fun and make it a special time that you both look forward to.
How to help with Primary reading, maths and homework
Helping your child with reading
Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it’s the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education. It’s best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.
Think of ways to make reading fun – you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you’re both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.
Books aren’t just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:
- Encourage your child to pretend to ‘read’ a book before he or she can read words.
- Visit the library as often as possible – take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
- Schedule a regular time for reading – perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
- Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language – you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language.
- Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in – maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
- Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.
Helping your child with maths
As with reading, try to make maths as much fun as possible – games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It’s also important to show how we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this.
Identifying problems and solving them can also help your child develop maths skills. If you see him or her puzzling over something, talk about the problem and try to work out the solution together.
Don’t shy away from maths if you didn’t like it at school. Try to find new ways to enjoy the subject with your child.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy maths:
- Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
- Take your child shopping and talk about the quantities of anything you buy.
- Let your child handle money and work out how much things cost.
- Look together for numbers on street signs and car registration plates.