St Paul’s CE Primary School Homework Policy
We define homework as any activity that pupils undertake outside of school lesson time, either on their own or with the support of family members. At St Paul’s we have a strong commitment to parental involvement and see homework as one way of developing this partnership.
Why give homework?
• It can inform parents about work going on in class.
• It can further stimulate enthusiasm for learning.
• It takes advantage of the home environment and resources and provides the opportunity for some one-to-one adult time.
• It provides an opportunity for gathering topic information to share with the children.
• It enables the children to learn key facts such as times tables, number bonds, phonics and spellings, as well as rehearse basic skills such as handwriting.
• It helps to foster good habits of organisation and self-discipline in preparation for the demands of secondary school.
Homework at our school
Whilst we support all of the above key principles, we do not want homework to dominate home and school life. We accept that not every activity will capture children and parents’ imagination and that weekends can sometimes be busy. We believe that homework should be enjoyable and manageable for all concerned and that if it becomes a chore/burden/source of conflict it ceases to be a constructive aspect of teaching and learning.
We do not give specific amounts of time that must be spent on a task, preferring individual children and families to set their own routines.
We hope the children are motivated by positive incentives and by the tasks themselves. Class teachers maintain homework registers, if a child consistently fails to complete and return tasks, this is discussed with the child and their parents.
Our routines and expectations
Before setting homework, teachers consider what it is they hope to achieve and how the work set will relate to the educational needs of the individual child. In setting homework careful thought is given to differentiation amongst the children in the class either by task set, quantity of work expected or level of intended outcome.
The work should always have been explained and discussed in class before coming home; it may be a continuation of classwork, or a maths games already familiar to your child. It is our intention, and good practice, not to send work home that the child cannot already do ie parents are not expected to teach new skills. There should be a clear explanation/reminder from the teacher of what is expected.
The tasks set will not always need to be handed in; there are other ways in which teachers will respond or give feedback, for example, sharing results in class discussion, putting work onto a display or transferring work into class books.
Reception – daily reading, learning key words and engaging with a weekly topic related task to be done alongside your child.
Year 1 and 2 – daily reading, weekly Friday homework that alternates between maths and English/topic. Again, many of the tasks will involve paired work with your child.
Years 3 and 4 – daily reading, weekly times tables (for a weekly test), spellings and a longer weekly task alternating between English/topic and maths.
Years 5 and 6 – daily reading, weekly times tables (for a weekly test), spellings and 2 longer tasks each week – English/topic and maths. Occasionally extended projects running for a few weeks will be set.
We expect children to maintain the same standards for presentation of homework as we set in school ie to use their best handwriting and a sharp pencil or blue/black pen.
As far as possible, homework will be related to class topics. This is important as it helps parents to know more about what is going on in class and to support enthusiasm for learning. Parents might, for example, find themselves supporting research of topics such as The Romans, finding out about grandparents’ experience of school or measuring objects around the home. This also means that each child can pursue a set task at their own level of ability.
Increasingly teachers are using the web for homework. This may be directing children and parents to play a specific game from Interactive Resources or, to comment on a blog.
In the weeks prior to SAT tests, the Year 6 children will be given additional revision work.
It is our policy not to give homework over the holidays and half term breaks. The exception will be where the parent and teacher agree extra work would be beneficial.
Some children may benefit from the continuity of taking on-going tasks home during a holiday to maintain the learning. Again, this will be discussed and agreed with parents.
If you take holiday during term-time, something we actively discourage, parents may not request work from the teacher.
What to do if you have concerns
If you find the homework inappropriate for your child, if they lack interest, if it becomes a battleground or if you are concerned that homework is given inconsistently please talk with your child’s teacher in the first instance.