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Homework - Learning beyond the lesson

Purpose/Rationale

Homework is a vital part of the school curriculum as it gives students necessary practice in thinking, writing, comprehension and problem-solving. It also allows students to become responsible and independent learners; a vital skill for students to achieve their future ambitions. 

At Consett Academy, we place great value on homework or work done outside of timetabled curriculum time and believe that it can make a significant contribution to students’ progress at the Academy and therefore needs to be an integral part of the educative process. Homework is work that is set to be completed outside the timetabled curriculum. It contains an element of independent study, in that it is not usually directly supervised by a member of staff.

Not all homework is completed at home; in fact, for some students who find it hard to work at home, or for some tasks which may require resources (books, software, equipment) more readily available at the Academy, it is necessary or desirable to carry out the task at the Academy. Homework club is open to all students Monday-Thursday 3-4pm and Friday 3-3:30pm

We believe that homework is important in:

  • Reinforcing positive attitudes to work;
  • Encouraging self-organisation and self­-discipline;
  • Reinforcing, broadening and extending the Academy curriculum;
  • Developing home/Academy partnership;
  • Preparing students for life opportunities and experiences.

 

The Purpose of Homework

Homework can serve a range of purposes. It can:

  • Allow practice and consolidation of work done in class
  • Allow preparation for future class work
  • Offer access to resources not available in the Academy
  • Develop skills in using libraries and other learning resources
  • Provide opportunities for individual, personalised work
  • Allow assessment of Students’ progress and mastery of work
  • Provide evidence for the evaluation of teaching
  • Provide training for Students in planning and organising time
  • Develop good working habits and self -discipline
  • Encourage ownership and responsibility for learning
  • Provide information for parents and create channels for home­ Academy dialogue

 

The time allocation for Homework

At Consett Academy we believe that the intrinsic value of homework activities is far more important than the number of homework’s and the precise amount of time devoted to each homework.

The nature and frequency of homework will vary according to stage, ability and the subject. The main objective when setting homework is to ensure that there is relevance and connection to the work in curriculum time.  All homework will be set via the Frog VLE, and students receive their login for this when the start in year 7.

The quality of homework set, rather than the frequency of it, is of paramount importance.

 Types of Homework

The following guidelines are, therefore, generic in nature. Staff will aim to:

1. Provide varying types of homework set within a student’s capabilities

2. Ensure students are given adequate notice of homework tasks

3. Support students who experience difficulty in completion of homework tasks to ensure a sense of achievement and to allow their self­-esteem to grow

4. Be sensitive to the social environment in which each child lives

5. Make available any resources required to complete the homework task

6. Establish a routine, known to both students and parents, regarding setting, collecting and giving feedback on homework

7. Ensure feedback is positive with constructive criticism where necessary

8. Maintain records of homework set and individual student achievement

9. Evaluate homework tasks regularly

Literacy: ­ Students should be reading books on a regular basis, ideally every day for 15 minutes
Numeracy: ­ Students should ensure that they know all their tables and practise the four rules of number (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division).

At KS3 students will receive a mixture of weekly homework from Maths, English, Art and MFl and then fortnightly tasks over the term from the other subjects.

At KS4 the homework should be set regularly and should enhance the learning of each student, allowing them to apply their knowledge, practise skills needed for the exams and develop extended answer questions. 

 

Student Responsibilities

  • Access the VLE every evening to check what homework has been set, by whom and when it needs to be completed by;
  • Look to complete (where appropriate) any homework tasks on the same evening as them being set.
  • If there is anything they are unsure about, that they seek advice or help before the date that homework is due (Students are able to email staff directly from their school account about any concerns or problems – see list on website);
  • Make an effort to complete homework that has been set if absent;
  • Show work to parents and explain what they have been doing;
  • Always complete homework to a good standard and be proud of it.

 

Parental Responsibilities

  • Provide a quiet place for child to complete homework
  • Support child in completing homework
  • Encourage and praise their efforts
  • Contact the Academy with any concerns

 

Monitoring of Homework

  • Subject staff will monitor homework regularly and contact parents if they have concerns about the completion and/or quality.
  • Learning Leaders will receive and act upon regular updates from subject staff.
  • Tutors and, if necessary, Achievement Leaders will monitor homework and contact parents if there is a whole Academy issue regarding homework.

 

Frequently asked questions about Homework

We have received questions and queries from parents/carers concerning a
variety of aspects regarding homework. We have summarised these below in what we hope will be a helpful guide which will enable you to further support your son/daughter

1.  ‘What is my role in homework?’

Encouragement is a major role. Ensure that your child manages and copes with the workload. Sit with them. Talk to them about the tasks. If children verbalise their learning they are more likely to retain the knowledge.

2.  ‘I’m busy and don’t have time to help. What can I do?’

It’s not essential that you sit with them and work alongside them, but showing an interest is imperative. Ask them what tasks they’re undertaking tonight and sound enthusiastic!

3.  ‘I can’t help because education has changed since I was at school. I don’t know what my child is taught.’

You can support by appearing interested in school: attend parents’ evenings. Generally show an interest in school. Check the Academy website.

4.  ‘I don’t know enough about a specific topic to help my child. How can I help?’

hildren thrive on rewards and encouragement. Maybe look at some information together; help collect information. Supporting is an excellent way of helping.

5. ‘It’s noisy and there’s no space at home.’

The Academy has a homework club which runs until 4.00pm on a Monday – Thursday and 3:30pm on a Friday. There are also opportunities at lunchtime and break time to complete homework.

6.     ‘My child doesn’t tell me about homework. What can I do?’

Ask them open questions about today’s learning at school and access the homework via the VLE.

7. ‘My child’s homework is set irregularly and then doesn’t get marked.’

The first thing to do would be to talk to your child and make sure of the facts. If there is an issue, contact the Head of Subject in the first instance or the Achievement Leader.

8.  ‘All my child seems to do is finish off work done in class.’

It is important from time to time to finish off classwork. However, homework should take many forms. If you aren’t sure, ask or send in a query.

9.  ‘My child spends more time than is necessary on her homework.’

Children work at different speeds. However, if they are spending inordinate amounts of time on tasks, contact the school via email or phone. The teacher will then take charge of the situation.

 

Finally…..

Homework is used to support classwork. It is an attempt to help children become independent learners and, more importantly, form a base of good practice which can be built on in future years. Consett Academy regards homework as an integral part of the learning process as detailed above.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful. If you would like to make any suggestions, please contact the Academy.

 

Page reviewed and updated April 2019