Purpose of Homework
- Encouraging pupils to develop the skills, confidence and motivation needed to study effectively on their own.
- Consolidating and reinforcing the skills and understanding developed at school.
- Extending school learning.
- Sustaining the involvement of parents in the management of pupils’ learning, and keeping them informed about the work pupils are doing.
- Managing particular demands, such as preparing for future learning.
Nature of Homework
It would be difficult to produce an exhaustive list as virtually any activity which has a purpose related to the curriculum could be considered valid as a form of homework. It is for class teachers at each stage to determine what skills can be developed and what knowledge and understanding can be acquired through tasks of homework.
The most important consideration is that homework is integrated into the curriculum, has a clear purpose which is relevant to the curriculum and that the homework task is clearly understood by the pupils for whom it is set. It is not new work, but an extension of learning.
When planning homework tasks, teachers will consider:
- Children experience a range of activities including:
- Practical tasks
- Internet based activities
- Numeracy practice
- Preparation of talks
- Learning of tables, spelling or other materials
- Completion and/or extension of work begun in class
- Additional research
- Collecting information
- Investigations etc.
- The purpose of the homework given is clear to pupils and the task itself is fully explained.
- Homework is clearly related to ongoing classroom work. Tasks set will vary in their nature, and will not necessarily be of a formal pencil and paper style. It will rarely be appropriate for homework to be set for new work, which has not been introduced in class.
- Homework will be organised in a clear predictable pattern. This enables older pupils, in particular, to plan their homework pattern.
- Homework will be manageable. (Overburdening pupils with homework often proves to be counterproductive.)
- The level of difficulty of homework will be carefully gauged and will take account of pupils’ needs and abilities. The homework will challenge pupils but not be so difficult that it is beyond their capabilities.
- Homework will, on occasion, allow pupils to exercise initiative and creativity.
- Homework will promote self-confidence and understanding.
- There is appropriate feedback to the pupils about their performance. A long delay between submission of homework, and a response from teachers is not desirable.
- Helping pupils to develop strategies for dealing with homework should be the concern of all staff.
- Every effort should be made to have pupils’ homework completed and submitted as required.