Homework is not an optional extra, but an essential part of a good education. We strive to ensure that homework supports the ethos of the school by encouraging students to take charge of their learning and to become independent, confident and reflective learners. Students and parents are able to view the homework that teachers have set by using Google Classrooms. The school no longer uses Show My Homework or Satchel.
It would also be fair to say that homework can be a source of frustration for students, parents and teachers alike and can, unfortunately, be the root cause of friction and tension, both within the home and within the classroom. So, the purpose of this brief article is to provide practical advice and guidance to help you feel better equipped to support your child and confident about approaching the school, when in your view things are not going quite so well.
The table below sets out guidelines on age appropriate allocations:
|Years 7 and 8||45 - 90 mins per day|
|Year 9||1 - 2 hours per day|
|Years 10 and 11||1.5 - 2.5 hours per day|
|Year 12 and 13||15 - 20 hours per week|
We would hope that over the course of a week your child will be set a variety of different activities, from short, easily managed tasks, to longer term projects spanning several weeks. Typically, this might include research, and be more project-based in scope.
Periodically, pupils may be asked to consolidate their learning, either by completing a piece of work or by learning something in preparation for an assessment. However, as students move up the school, some of the most useful tasks set are those that direct them towards preparing for the next lesson and, if we are absolutely honest, these are often viewed by the students as somehow less valuable, because they are not marked. Yet we know that students who come to a lesson with prior knowledge will learn more quickly and make more rapid progress over time. They also enjoy their learning more because successful learners are happy learners.
To be effective learners, students must learn to organise their time effectively and take responsibility for their learning. As your child has to manage his or her time whilst balancing school work against social commitments (including social networking) and leisure activities, they increasingly learn to prioritise, and in so doing, will become more independent over time.
They will have the opportunity to develop their communication skills, through reading, writing, and information technology. Over time they will become skilled in the field of research and increasingly be able to formulate their own hypotheses and ideas. Periodically they will face barriers and obstacles and when the temptation to give up becomes all too powerful they will have to learn how to be more resilient and to develop strategies to enable them to move on. But, most important of all, they will have you to support them in the acquisition and development of these essential life-skills.
If there is a problem with any aspect of the homework, be it the quantity set, the quality of the work set, or even if your child has a particular problem organising himself or herself, then please get in touch. You can write a note in the planner, contact your child’s tutor (in the first instance) or contact your child’s teacher, if the problem is subject specific. Occasionally, you may wish to contact the Head of Faculty, if you feel that an issue remains unresolved.
We live in a rapidly changing world. In five years’ time the technology of today will be out of date and in some cases redundant. It is essential that we equip our children, in their formative years, with the skills to prepare them for the rapidly changing world in which we live. Homework has a crucial place in this process.