This policy was devised by teachers in consultation with pupils, parents/guardians and approved by the Board of Management. Parents were consulted through an online survey and children were consulted through the Student Council. The purpose of the policy is to provide information and guidelines on homework to all staff members, Board of Management members, parents and guardians.
Reasons for homework
Homework fosters independence, self-reliance, self-esteem, co-operation and responsibility and lifelong learning. It is an essential part of primary education as it re-enforces what children learn in school. It provides a link between teacher and parent and encourages parental involvement in their child’s education, therefore an ideal opportunity to foster an educational partnership between home and school.
In general, homework should be achievable by a child working on their own to the best of their ability. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class however sometimes homework may be assigned by a Learning Support/Resource Teacher. It can be used to practice what is done in school or can be designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
How often is homework given?
Homework is given on Monday to Thursday but not on Fridays with certain exceptions:
If homework has been neglected during the week
In senior classes some project work is undertaken at weekends.
Sometimes, at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given an evening ‘free from written homework’ as a treat or as acknowledgement of some special occasion.
Homework usually begins in Junior Infants after the midterm break in October. Homework generally contains a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks. This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.
Homework can contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be learned, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items, projects and finishing work started in class. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring this work is done well.
Duration of Homework
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent 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 and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines:
Infants - 10 - 20 minutes
Rang 1 and 2 - 20 to 30 minutes
Rang 3 and 4 - 30 to 40 minutes
Rang 5 and 6 - 40 minutes to 1 hr
The following is the general type of regular homework content that may be given at each class level:
Junior/Senior Infants: 10-20 minutes
Reading activity, Maths, phonics, sight words, handwriting, oral Irish
First & second class: 20-30minutes
Reading, spellings (English), tables, written homework, Oral Irish
Third & fourth class: 30 – 40 minutes
Reading, spellings (English and Irish), tables, Maths or a written activity every night
Fifth & sixth class: 40 – 1hour
Reading activity, spellings (English and Irish), Maths, two written activities every night
Write homework accurately in homework diary.
Ensure they take home relevant books and copies.
Complete homework assignments to the best of their ability.
Present written work neatly and know their oral work.
- Encourage a positive attitude towards homework in all subjects from an early age.
- Encourage children to work independently as far as possible. Resist over-helping.
- Encourage children to organise themselves for homework. Have all books and materials to hand.
- Agree a suitable time for doing homework, taking into account the child’s age, the need for playtime, relaxation and family time.
- Provide a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from television or other distractions
- Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time.
- Check that the child has all necessary books, homework journal, and writing/colouring equipment.
- Communicate difficulties to the teacher if homework is too difficult or taking too long.
- Sign the homework journal or homework copy to show that homework has been checked (Junior Infants up to 4 th class)
- Cover work missed while a child has been out of school for any reason
- Set homework, review assignments and provide feedback to students.
- Monitor homework to help identify pupils with special difficulties.
- Differentiate, if necessary, for children with particular difficulties.
How often do teachers monitor Homework?
Ideally, teachers check homework on a daily basis. However, due to circumstances such as large classes, it is not always possible to check each child’s homework every day. As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework may be checked less often. Some items of homework and class work may be checked by children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children as it promotes responsibility and allows children to assess their own work.
What happens when Homework is not done?
When homework is not completed and no valid explanation has been provided, the child must do the homework that evening along with the current day’s homework. If homework is not completed regularly, the teacher contacts parents with a view to resolving the situation. If the situation continues, then the matter is brought to the attention of the Principal who will contact the parent(s) and arrange a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved. This usually creates a mutual understanding and resolves the matter. However, should parents/guardians refuse to co-operate with the school, the matter will be taken further. At all times, parents will be kept informed of these matters. Where exceptional circumstances prevent the completion of homework, please forward an explanatory note to the teacher in the homework journal.
If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong as this defeats the whole purpose of homework. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.
All members of the school community, including teacher, parents/guardians and pupils have a responsibility to implement the above policy.
The policy was ratified by the Board of Management of Scoil Naomh Áine in April 2016.