At Newsome High School, we consider homework to be an important part of a student’s learning experience.
The expectation is that all students complete any homework which is set.
In particular we see it
- Encouraging students to be independent learners
- Helping students to take responsibility for their own learning
- Helping to consolidate or extend work done in the classroom
- Helping to engage parents with their child’s school work
Our aim is to create an environment in which learning is valued to such an extent that consolidation of class work is seen as a natural and important part of the learning process. In providing homework, teachers would thus be supporting students’ learning beyond the classroom. Parents are encouraged to become active partners in this process.
The nature of the homework activity is crucial. To ensure that pupils are convinced of the value of out of school learning, we aim to provide meaningful and relevant tasks or activities.
To sum up, therefore, homework:
- Must be relevant to the teacher’s curricular objectives
- Takes place in addition to formal classroom teaching
- Is primarily the responsibility of the learner
The Purpose of Homework
Homework can serve a range of purposes ie:
- Allowing practice and consolidation of work done in class
- Allowing preparation for future class work
- Offering access to resources not available in the school
- Developing skills in using libraries and other learning resources
- Providing opportunities for individualised work
- Allowing assessment of students’ progress and mastery of work
- Providing evidence for the evaluation of teaching
- Training for students in planning and organising time
- Developing good habits and self-discipline
- Encouraging ownership and responsibility for learning
- Providing information for parents
- Providing opportunities for parental co-operation and support
- Creating channels for home-school dialogue
- Fulfilling the expectations of parents, students, teachers and the public
- The role of parents in supporting the out of school learning of their children is crucial.
Types of Homework
The nature and frequency of homework will vary according to age, ability and subject. It is not appropriate, therefore, to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The following guidelines are, therefore, generic in nature. Staff will:
- Provide varying types of homework set within a pupil’s capabilities
- Provide homework tasks which run parallel and feed into course work
- Ensure students are given adequate notice of homework tasks in the Passport to Learning.
- Support students who experience difficulty in completion of homework tasks to ensure a sense of achievement and to allow their self-esteem to grow.
- Be sensitive to the social environment in which each child lives
- Make available any resources required to complete the homework task
- Establish a routine, known to both students and parents, regarding setting, collecting and giving feedback on homework
- Ensure feedback is positive with constructive criticism where necessary
- Maintain records of homework set and individual student achievement
- Evaluate homework tasks regularly
Setting and accessing Homework
All staff members are required to set homework tasks on line using ‘Show My Homework’. This enables students and parents to access the tasks on line through the school web site, giving information about the expected duration of the work, dates for completion and how to hand the work in. A hard copy of the work should be available for any student who has not got access to the internet at home.
Students and parents access the ‘Show My Homework’ web site through a personal password or PIN. In the event this has been lost or forgotten, a fresh PIN can be obtained from the School Network Manager. Details of all homework set across the school can still be obtained without a password or PIN using the link on the front page of the web site.
Amount/Frequency of Homework
The school endeavours to ensure that students get a reasonable distribution of homework demands across the week. On many occasions, teachers will give a week to complete a piece of work so it becomes a student’s responsibility to organise their work to meet the dead lines given.
If a student is experiencing regular difficulty with the demands of homework on a particular day, parents are encouraged to contact their relevant Head of Year
Monitoring of homework
Leaders of learning have the responsibility of ensuring that homework is set regularly by all members of their teaching team. They also monitor that homework tasks are appropriate for the teaching group and feedback is given to students. The use of homework will be monitored through regular work scrutiny and can be checked though ‘Show My Homework reports. Application of the homework policy will be a feature of faculty spotlight monitoring.
Rewards and Sanctions
The school places great value on homework and it is important to emphasise to both parents and students that learning in any subject can be significantly enhanced by undertaking work out of school.
Where a student does a piece of work which shows excellence or good progress, the teacher may decide to reward this by issuing a NEWS POINT. These add into the school rewards system. Good homework will normally be entered under the EXCELLENCE section of the News system
When a student fails to complete homework, they will be issued with a negative behaviour point on Sleuth. The teacher will do their best to give the student a way of correcting the problem.
Repeated failure to complete homework demonstrates a different problem from occasional mishaps. In this case the teacher will try to resolve problems but may hand onto the Leader of Learning to support them to address any issues. Typically this can result in phone calls or letters home.
Whole School Monitoring
Four times a year, attitude to learning data is collected from each member of staff. As part of this they can indicate individuals who are causing concern due to lack of homework.
The tracking teams pick up on these concerns following the data collection and implement intervention which can include
- Student interviews and target setting processes
- Student / Parent meetings at school
Differentiation of Homework
Homework should always be differentiated, in the same way that class work material should be, being appropriate to the ability and reading skills of the learner. Consideration should be given to making homework freestanding i.e. aimed at consolidating, but not dependent on, full understanding of work done in class. Occasionally, however, homework may also be issued to complete work being done in the classroom.
The Passport for Learning
All students are provided with an attractive passport to learning at the start of the year. This is a key vehicle for communicating homework activities to parents and should be used as fully as possible.
Record what homework has to be done
The date by which it has to be done
Class teachers should insist that the Passport for Learning is out on the desk during a lesson and should plan a moment into their teaching routines allowing enough time for students to record their homework. Support staff should ensure that students who find writing more difficult have a clear indication of the work set before they leave the classroom. Where more complex instructions are required to access a task, students can be directed to more detailed information on ‘Show My Homework’,
Parents should sign that they have checked the Passport for Learning each week to monitor the amount of homework being set and completed. Form teachers check the passports once a week in Form time.