Parkstone Grammar School places a great deal of importance on homework and sees it as an integral part of the learning process. Academic research suggests that, for more able students, homework has a positive effect on their individual progress which increases as students move up the school. Through a wide variety of homework assignments in a range of subjects students are encouraged to develop skills, confidence and motivation as they learn to study independently; thus laying strong foundations for the building of lifelong learners. The aims of this policy are to ensure a whole school consistent approach to homework and to make homework manageable for all concerned.
The amount of time spent on homework is not as important to student learning as the quality of the homework assignment. Time spent on homework should be considered in relation to work/life balance, and the many family obligations experienced in our society today.
Homework can give scope for initiative, research and independence and can provide learning experiences additional to those given in school. It can give the opportunity:
- to research a new idea;
- to follow up or complete work started in class;
- to practise and reinforce key skills;
- to prepare work for the next lesson;
- for thinking through an idea or solving a problem;
- to produce an extended piece of work set over a longer period of time;
- to learn facts, vocabulary, poetry, etc.;
- to do some personal reading of both fiction and non-fiction;
- to help to prepare for examinations.
- to provide links between home and school and encourage dialogue between pupils, parents and teachers;
- to evaluate the success of the teaching and learning taking place;
- to provide opportunities for students to show and evaluate their own progress and understanding;
- to encourage independent learning;
- to broaden personal interests and to encourage personal research;
- to help enable students to progressively develop sensible individual study skills and habits which will enhance learning at school and in later life.
The table below gives general guidance as to the amount of homework to be set:
|Year 7||40 minutes per evening, (homework is only set in English, Maths and Science during the first half-term of Year 7||i.e. maximum of 40 minutes in English, Maths, Science.|
|Year 7||40 minutes per evening in 1 subject during the Spring and Summer term||i.e. maximum of 40 minutes in one subject, to include core subjects, humanities and expressive arts.|
|Year 8||60 minutes per evening, usually in 2 subjects||i.e. maximum of 30 minutes per subject.|
|Year 9||90 minutes per evening, usually in 2 subjects||i.e. maximum of 45 minutes per subject.|
|Year 10||90 minutes per evening, usually in 2 subjects||i.e. maximum of 45 minutes per subject.|
|Year 11||90 minutes per evening, usually in 2 subjects||i.e. maximum of 45 minutes per subject.|
|Yr 12Yr 13||All Sixth Formers are expected to do a minimum of 3 hours per subject per week of independent study. This can include formally set homeworks and/or subject specific enrichment (e.g. wider reading or research).|
Students in the main school are given a homework timetable at the beginning of the academic year. The total amount of homework set for students should be consistent and manageable for them on a daily basis. We set reasonable deadlines and students must manage their time carefully to enable them to meet these deadlines.
Staff will mark homework regularly and give appropriate feedback, normally within 2 weeks. Students have student planners which we ask parents to monitor weekly. Planners are regularly reviewed by form tutors. If parents have concerns about homework we encourage them to inform their daughter’s form tutor as soon as possible.
Homework takes various forms, including essays, calculations, research, preparing presentations, revision, work not suited for the classroom, coursework assignments, projects and investigations. Students are also expected to complete further reading in their own time. This is particularly important in Years 12 and 13 where independent learning is essential for A Level success. Sixth form students who have demanding part-time jobs may find it difficult to study for the required number of hours each week. Progress in their studies may be affected as a result.
It is school policy not to set homework during the school holidays with the exception of some investigative work for some A Level coursework. Students are, however, encouraged to complete further independent reading in subject areas during the holidays.