Homework Policy - St. Malachy's BNS website

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Homework Policy

To devise a common system for the provision of homework throughout the school so that there is cohesion and uniformity from year to year.

This policy facilitates the co-operation of teachers and parents in the provision and completion of the pupils’ homework tasks. It encourages the involvement of parents and allows them to see the progression of homework through the school from junior to senior classes. It underpins a uniformity and cohesive approach to homework.

• To reinforce what the child learns during the day.
• To provide a link between teacher and parent
• To develop a child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
• Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practice work already done. The teacher in class normally prepares it however, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
• Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability.

• Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays. There are two 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
“ homework off ” as a treat or as acknowledgment of some special occasion.
• Please note extra homework may be sometime be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.

• Ideally homework will contain 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 will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.
• Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done well.

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 only:

Rang 2 Up to 30 minutes
Rang 3 Up to 45minutes
Rang 4 Up to 45 minutes
Rang 5 Up to 1 hour
Rang 6 Up to 1 hour
It is the policy of this school to give homework to its pupils, which is appropriate to their level of attainment.

At Home:
Each family situation is different, both parents working, child minders, etc. Ideally, homework should be done before any television is watched soon after school while the child is still fresh, however, some children need a break before starting homework.

Parental Involvement:
Parents should try to help their children with homework by:
• providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework
• to prevent interruptions or distractions, like TV or other children
• Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty
• If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child. In this case the parent should write a note to the teacher explaining the problem.
• Shared reading is not homework in the regular sense and it is simply meant to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child. If it’s not enjoyable, shared reading should not be done.

Parental Monitoring:
• Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening.
• The pupil’s journal is an important record of the child’s homework. It is also a valuable means of communication between parents and teachers.
• Ideally, all written messages to a child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal (additional pages available at the end of the journal)
• Parents are asked to check that the child records its homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
• School bulletins and other letters to parents are folded and placed in the current day of the homework journal.

Communication with School:

• When a child cannot do homework due to family circumstances
• When a child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect.
• If the time being spent at homework is often longer than the recommended amount of time.

Teacher Monitoring:

• Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis. However with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day.
• As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often e.g. every second day or once per week.
• Some items of homework (and classwork ) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
Success Criteria:
The success of this policy is measured by:
Teachers, pupils and parents being comfortable with the process and practice of completing homework.
Having a consistent and continuous two way communication between school and home.
Pupils classwork showing improvement.
Teaching and learning being tailored with pupils’ needs.
This Policy has been in operation since Sept ’02 updated in Sept ‘08

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