Homework Policy

Purpose/Rationale

“Homework is not an optional extra, but an essential part of a good education.”
1999 White Paper, Excellence in Schools

Homework enhances pupil learning, improves achievement and develops pupils’ study skills and as such is an integral part of the curriculum.

At Redmoor, we place great value on Homework or work done outside of timetabled curriculum time and believe that it can make a significant contribution to pupils’ progress at school 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.

We understand, however, that homework can be a difficult and controversial issue for any school and can, at times, be divisive and unhelpful to the overall learning process, particularly where : it is viewed by pupils as a chore or even as a form of punishment; it meets parent but not pupil agendas.

Not all homework is completed at home; in fact, for some pupils who find it hard to work at home, or for some tasks which may require resources (books, software, equipment) more readily available at school, it is necessary or desirable to carry out the task at school.

We believe that homework is important in:

●  Reinforcing positive attitudes to work;

●  Encouraging self­organisation and self­discipline;

●  Reinforcing, broadening and extending the school curriculum;

●  Developing home/school partnership;

●  Preparing pupils for life opportunities and experiences.This policy statement has been produced on the basis of consultation with staff. It is designed to provide a coherent framework from which departments can develop a consistent and effective approach to homework taking into consideration pupils of all ages and levels of ability.

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 school

●  Develop skills in using libraries and other learning resources

●  Provide opportunities for individual, personalised work

●  Allow assessment of pupils’ progress and mastery of work

●  Provide evidence for the evaluation of teaching

●  Provide training for pupils 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 home­school dialogue

The time allocation for Homework

There is an understandable concern among parents about the amount of time spent each night on homework. While possibly unhelpful and contrary to the tenor of our policy, we cannot brush parental attitudes aside and an element of compromise is essential.

At Redmoor we believe that the intrinsic value of Homework activities is far more important than the number of Homeworks and the precise amount of time devoted to each Homework.

Types of Homework

Therefore, 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.

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

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

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

2. Ensure pupils are given adequate notice of homework tasks

3. Support pupils 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 pupils 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 pupil achievement

9. Evaluate homework tasks regularly

Types of Homework

Core Homework

Departments set Core Homework on a regular basis and this is linked to the Scheme of Work for each department. This homework is marked and recorded in line with department policy. A summary of the Homework grades are held by each member of staff and Head of Department. The average of these grades is then submitted in line with reporting to parents and the Progress Reports.

Grade A is awarded if all Core Homework is completed to a satisfactory standard by agreed deadlines.

Grade B is awarded if most Homework has been completed on time to a satisfactory standard. (A small percentage of deadlines have been missed but homework has then been completed– number depends on how many Homeworks the department have set in a term).

Grade C is awarded if Homework record is variable. Some Homework is completed on time but others are missed and/or Homework is of a variable standard.

Grade D is awarded if there is a problem with Homework being completed on a regular basis.

Monitoring and Marking of Core Homework

Staff record Homework in line with department policy.

Most departments use a Grade A­D for quality and grades 1­4 for effort and/or a Level with a target for improvement. (See Marking Policy)

If the quality of the Homework is not acceptable, according to the ability of the pupil, pupils may be required to re­do the Homework and, if appropriate, may be issued with a sanction.

Failure to complete a Core Homework

If a CORE Homework is not completed but has been deemed essential for the next part of the learning, or it might have an impact on achievement, staff can ask pupils to complete the work at lunchtime or after school and/or recorded by staff in­line with department policy

Staff will inform parents either by note/email or phone if there are any concerns.

Extension Work

Departments have in place Extension work / Projects for pupils to complete.
This will be made clear to pupils whether this is compulsory or optional.
This may be a short piece of work or a longer project (indeed, some after school clubs fall in to this category).

Skills Work

If a Core Homework is not set, pupils may be directed to complete or undertake some skills work. Departments will have identified a range of skills that pupils can work on to improve in their subject area (again, some after school clubs fall in to this category).

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

Pupil Responsibilities

●  Pupils should have either their Organiser or electronic device available for each lesson to record Homework;

●  Homework should be noted either in the Organiser or electronically, ensuring that they note the subject, what is to be done and when it is to be completed by;

●  If there is anything they are unsure about, that they seek advice or help before the date that homework is due (pupils are able to email staff directly 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 school with any concernsMonitoring of Homework

●  Subject staff will monitor Homework regularly and contact parents if they have concerns about the completion and/or quality of Core Homework.

●  Heads of department will receive and act upon regular updates from subject staff.

●  Tutors and, if necessary, Pastoral Managers will monitor Homework and contact parents if there is a whole school issue regarding Homework.

●  Termly reports will provide regular overall feedback to parents.

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 youngsters 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 school website.

4. ‘I don’t know enough about a specific topic to help my child. How can I help?’
Youngsters 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 school has several homework clubs which run from early in the morning until 4.30pm. There are also opportunities at lunchtime to complete homework.

6. ‘How much homework should my child be doing?’

See outline of Homework timetable above as a guide.
At Redmoor, however, we believe that the intrinsic value of Homework activities is far more important than the number of Homeworks and the precise amount of time devoted to each Homework. Many of our pupils attend after school activities, which extend their learning beyond the classroom and, as such, constitutes extra Homework.

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

Ask them open questions about today’s learning at school.

8. ‘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 subject member of staff in the first instance or the Form Tutor.

9. ‘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.

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

Youngsters work at different speeds. However, if they are spending inordinate amounts of time on tasks, contact the member of staff 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 youngsters become independent learners and, more importantly, form a base of good practice which can be built on in future years. Redmoor 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 school.

Also please note that not all Homework is completed at home; in fact, some pupils, who find it hard to work at home, prefer to work during their free time, or for some tasks which may require resources more readily available at school (books, software, equipment), it is necessary or desirable to carry out the task at school.