It is widely recognised that homework makes an important contribution to students’ progress. At SJB, it is felt that work completed at home is an essential part of school work. When homework is used properly, it extends the challenge open to the students and ensures that teaching time is used to maximum effect. It also prepares students gradually for the more independent demands of study as they mature. Equally, we believe it is important that all students have time in their day to ‘play’ and spend time participating in extra-curricular activities. For this reason, our homework gradually increases from 50 minutes per night in Year 7 to around 1.5 hours per night in Year 11 and 2-3 hours per day in the Sixth Form.
In Year 7 and 8 there is a blend of ‘subject’ homework as well as the development of literacy and numeracy skills; every night students will complete 30 minutes of ‘subject’ homework as well as a further 20-30 minutes of homework focused on the development of literacy and numeracy skills as we believe these are fundamentally important in being able to access learning across the curriculum. In addition Year 7’s are expected to read to or with their parents every day. From Year 9 onwards there is a greater ‘subject’ focus. Further to this, each half term, there will be a minimum of one homework aimed at improving vocabulary and one aimed at improving reading and comprehension skills.
We set homework for the following reasons:
- It encourages students to develop the skills, confidence, and self-motivation needed to study effectively on their own.
- It consolidates and reinforces knowledge and skills being developed at school.
- It extends school learning (for example, through additional reading).
- It sustains the involvement of parents in the management of students’ learning and keeps them in touch with what is happening in the classroom.
- It helps students to develop their time-management and organisational skills.
- It enables students to better manage the increasing demands placed on them as they get older and become young adults.
It is vital that we stick to the homework timetable so that the students can balance their work and their extra-curricular lives!
Things to consider:
- Homework tasks should be planned so that they support/complement the overall curriculum plan.
- Marking of and feedback on homework tasks is vital; students must feel like the work they are doing at home is valued and valuable.
- What you believe is a 30 minute task may take some 15 minutes and others 1 hour. It should be made clear to students that they should not spend more than the set time on their homework even if the work is not complete.
- Reasonable adjustments to the task set (not necessarily just the length) for some of our SEND children who without this will struggle to access the learning.
- Students should be able to gauge whether the homework they completed in 30 minutes is acceptable for the level they are working at (ie. Linked to the KS3 Frameworks & GCSE target grades)
All homework is to be communicated with the students using Arbor so that they can easily keep track of it and also so that it is visible to the parents. You can set the homework in advance and schedule it to be released at a certain day/time or you can schedule it quickly during lessons – How to set a homework assignment on Arbor
The homework timetable will be issued during the first week in September and should implemented from the start of the first full week back for the students.