Homework Policy 2016-17
Homework is an integral and important part of learning for Saddleworth students.
Homework is set in order to:
- Encourage pupils to develop the skills, confidence, motivation and self-discipline needed to study effectively as independent and life-long learners
- Consolidate, reinforce and extend what pupils know, understand and can do at school
- Extend school learning: not all learning takes place at school
- Involve parents and carers in pupils’ learning and keep them informed about what pupils are doing at school
- Help pupils to get to grips with managing particular demands, such as GCSE coursework
Homework activities might include the following:
- Short or long answer questions or pieces of writing
- Project based learning
- Learning key vocabulary
- Developing coursework
- Making a model
- READING: an invaluable support to learning
- Report writing
- Simple experiments
- Teaching parent(s)/ carer(s) what has been studied at school
- Visit to a public library or museum
Pupils may expect to receive two or three pieces of homework per night and on those nights when less is set to engage in reading, research, coursework improvement and project based learning tasks.
Years 7 & 8 approximately 45-90 minutes in total
Year 9 approximately 60-120 minutes in total
Years 10 & 11 approximately 90-150 minutes in total
The homework timetable ensures that pupils are able to organise their time more effectively. All subject areas will be expected to set homework for all pupils. Some subject areas, such as Art, History and Geography will set extended project work, however this will still be written in the diary on a weekly basis as a reminder.
Subjects will set roughly one piece of homework for each one hour and fifty minute period of curriculum time during each two week timetable cycle. This means that pupils should expect rather more homework from English, EP, maths and Science as they have far more lessons in these subjects. Homework should always be recorded in the student diary ad time allocated in the lesson to do this; ideally it should also be set via SIMS so that it appears on the student VLE pages as a reminder until it times out or is completed.
Pupils are expected to ensure that:
- Homework details (including the name of the subject) are copied accurately into their Diary and that the date due has been noted.
- If they are expecting homework, but none is set, write ‘NS’. If their teacher is absent, put ‘TA’.
- Do their best with each piece of work.
- Ask for help if they find the homework too difficult, either from their teacher or from their parent(s) or carer(s).
- Establish a routine with regard to homework, aiming to complete the homework if possible on the night that it has been set, then returning to it late and looking over the work with a fresh pairs of eyes, checking upon quality and accuracy.
- Complete homework on time.
How can parents and carers help?
- Sit down with pupils, checking (and signing) their Homework Diary and talking about the homework that has been set
- Support pupils with extended project work by helping them to plan and manage their time
- Provide a quiet and suitable work space (e.g., a desk or table with a chair) for pupils where they are not distracted by interruptions (and preferably away from watching the TV!)
- Keep younger children out of pupils’ way as they work
- Help pupils establish a routine with homework setting aside time for it to be completed and ensuring that it is seen as a priority
- Support and praise pupils’ work, not just when it is completed, but as it is being done
- Give help if required without doing the homework for pupils!
- Encourage pupils to meet deadlines
- Encourage pupils to attend the Homework Clubs at Saddleworth School and, for older pupils working towards GCSE, the revision classes on offer
If pupils find the homework too difficult, parents or carers are encouraged to let us know by writing a short note in their son/daughter’s Homework Diary. We also want parents to let us know if too much if too little work is being set.
Subject teachers are expected to work closely with the SENCO and SEN colleagues and make reference to the Code of Practice and the school’s SEN register/ IEPs, etc.. SEN pupils are required to receive homework tasks that cater for their individual learning needs, including consolidation or reinforcement of skills practised in class.
Rewards & Sanctions
Pupils should be rewarded for producing good homework. For example, constructive feedback may be given orally or in writing, credits may be awarded in line with school policy and faculties and departments are encouraged to contact home to inform parents/carers, e.g. via a note in the Homework Diary, a standard letter/ postcard of praise or a phone call.
If a pupil forgets his/ her homework, he/ she will need to speak to the subject teacher before or during the next lesson. The subject teacher may extend the deadline for the piece, but if homework is not produced thereafter, a detention will be issued in line with Departmental policy.
History and Geography (and to some extent Art) operate a project based learning approach with History in particular offering a choice of activities and students will be asked to write a reminder into their homework diaries.
Y9 RE and Y7 and 8 ICT, Music and Drama will set their homework once a fortnight .
Y10 Health subjects and Y11 PE will set homework once a week, particularly when there is a theory lesson, the timing of which will vary.
Y10 and 11 Science will also set one additional homework per cycle and the timing of this will vary.
In GCSE classes, the nature and spread of homework changes throughout the year depending on when controlled assessments and extended pieces of work are being completed. The above is a guide to the picture as it is now but this may change slightly depending on need; however it is important that students with the support of parents and staff manage their time to ensure that all work is completed thoroughly. It is equally important that we try to avoid overload so any parents who have concerns over this should contact the school immediately it arises so that the matter can be resolved; the person to contact in the first instance is the Home School Leader.
Project or Research-Based Homework Guidelines (from Marzano and Pickering)
Research provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework benefits student achievement. To make sure that homework is appropriate, teachers should follow these guidelines:
- Assign purposeful homework. Legitimate purposes for homework include introducing new content, practicing a skill or process that students can do independently but not fluently, elaborating on information that has been addressed in class to deepen students' knowledge, and providing opportunities for students to explore topics of their own interest.
- Design homework to maximize the chances that students will complete it. For example, ensure that homework is at the appropriate level of difficulty. Students should be able to complete homework assignments independently with relatively high success rates, but they should still find the assignments challenging enough to be interesting.
- Involve parents in appropriate ways (for example, as a sounding board to help students summarize what they learned from the homework) without requiring parents to act as teachers or to police students' homework completion.
- Carefully monitor the amount of homework assigned so that it is appropriate to students' age levels and does not take too much time away from other home activities.