Summary of homework policy
This school’s homework policy aims:
- To benefit pupil learning on a day-to-day basis
- To reinforce work done in class
- To help children develop study skills and work ethic
- To ensure uniformity of approach from class to class
- To keep parents/guardians informed and involved in their children’s day-to-day school work
- To provide a channel of communication between parent/guardian and teacher for the benefit of the child
- To promote independent working
- To provide opportunities for creativity and a challenge for the more able children
Homework is given Monday to Thursday on a regular basis
Homework may be necessary at week-ends if:
- Homework has been neglected during the week or badly done
- In Senior classes projects may require work at week-ends
“Homework Off” may be given on occasion at the discretion of staff or to celebrate a special occasion or event.
Infants: Homework tasks are assigned using homework folders. Comments from parents/guardians are welcomed. Parents are asked to sign reading record or homework page as appropriate.
All children from 1st to 6th classes use pupil journals
All children are required to record their homework carefully in their journals. Each item should be ticked off when it has been completed.
Parents/guardians should sign homework journal each night. This provides an opportunity for praise and affirmation.
The journal is an important record of a child’s homework. Parents/guardians should feel free to use the comment section each week.
Letters/notices from the school are placed in the homework journal to ensure delivery.
The following are guidelines only for times spent on homework. Different children will complete the same homework in times that vary hugely. Times will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are suggested average times for completion:
Junior Infants: 0-10 minutes (language work/reading)
Senior Infants: 20 minutes (story /language work/maths sheet)
1st and 2nd classes: 30-40 minutes
3rd and 4th classes: 50 minutes-1hour
5th class: 1 hour 15 minutes
6th class: 1 hour 30 minute
Reading should be done each evening
These suggested times may include reading, being read to, project research, computer work, etc.
Content of homework
- Homework will regularly contain reading tasks, spelling, tables, music, work sheets, memorising, colouring/drawing, researching, recording and finishing of tasks started in school.
- Ideally homework will contain a balance between the different types of tasks.
- This balance is not always possible and may vary from day to day and from class to class. However it should be noted that time devoted to reading, learning and undertaking practical tasks is as productive as that spent on written work.
The role of the child
- It is important to remember that homework is the responsibility of the child (not the parent/guardian). If you take responsibility for it children can turn it into a battleground.
- Children should attempt written homework themselves and parents/guardians should only intervene when they have difficulty.
- Children may want you to test them orally on some aspects of their homework
The role of parents/guardians
Parents/guardians are asked to make adequate provision for the completion of homework. Each family situation is different. However it is important that children have regular routines. A regular time for homework is important. So also is a quiet and comfortable location where distractions can be kept to a minimum. Help should be given as appropriate. Homework should be signed as required. Lots of praise and encouragement should be given when children do well. Effort is also worthy of praise.
How to help
- When a child has difficulty parent/guardian should provide explanations and try further examples. It is not helpful to do the homework for the child.
- If a child is having persistent problems this should be discussed with the teacher. An occasional difficulty can be explained by writing a comment in the journal.
- Children with special needs may, after consultation between staff and parents, be given reduced or differentiated homework in keeping with their needs and abilities.
- While reading/being read to is not homework it is proven that it is a determining factor in developing high standards of literacy. Reading to children should not stop when they have learned to read for themselves. They still need to be exposed to literature of a standard higher than their own reading level.
When to contact the teacher?
- If your child cannot do homework due to illness/ family problems etc. A note or a comment in the journal is adequate.
- If your child is spending time far in excess of that suggested doing homework
- If your child is experiencing a lot of difficulty understanding /completing tasks
- If you need advice in helping your child constructively
- If doing homework is a constant source of stress between you and your child