Introductory Statement

This policy was formulated by the policy sub-committee of the Board of Management (BOM) in the spring of 2006 and was reviewed in November 2013. This sub-committee comprised of parents and teachers. This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies, e.g., Code of Behaviour and School Information Booklet.

 


Rationale

Homework is a useful tool to reinforce work undertaken in the classroom. It also promotes independent learning and study skills. The policy is intended as a guide to setting, completing and correcting homework.

Aims

Reinforce work done in class.

  • Develop study skills.
  • Promote a similar approach to homework across all classes.
  • Strengthen links between home and school.
  • Develop work/study habits for the future.

Content

All classes except Junior Infants will get written homework. The amount of homework given will depend on the age and ability of the class. The following times are suggested:

Senior Infants Approximately 10 minutes.

1st & 2nd Approximately 15 minutes.

3rd & 4th Approximately 20 – 30 minutes.

5th & 6th Approximately 40 – 50 minutes.

The time spent should be concentrated activity. This should include homework given by resource or learning support teachers. For children attending these teachers, priority will be given to their homework.

Teacher Guidelines

  • Homework may be given at the end of each lesson or at the end of the day, at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Homework should be given Mondays to Thursdays. Exceptions may be made for the child’s birthdays or special family occasions, if these fall on ‘homework night’.
  • Teachers should be consistent about the amount given and about correction.
  • Homework will not be used as part of a system of sanctions.

Content of homework

Homework given should normally be a reinforcement of work done in class.

Teachers should ensure that assignments given are clear and can be managed by pupils working independently. Exercises should be given in a way which will require only the minimum of explanation by parents/guardians.

There should be a balance between oral, reading and written work, but the balance does not have to be rigid each night. The ratio of oral to written will change as classes get older, with older classes having a higher proportion of written work. It should be noted that homework devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.

Oral work could involve interviews with parents (e.g. family tree—history; or surveys for data purposes in maths). It should also involve some rote learning such as tables, words of songs or poems.

Reading – in junior classes, children will read with an adult. In senior classes reading will be more independent and will have written work based on it.

Written work could include story-writing, exercise from workbooks, history projects, Irish sentences etc. Much maths homework will be written.

Worksheets should be kept to a minimum, except for very junior classes. Homework journals should be used from 1st class up. Ink pens, not biros, may be used in 5th and 6th Class, if the class teacher so decides.

Checking of homework

  • It is important that homework is checked regularly and dated.
  • In senior classes homework may be checked at different times during the day as the subject fits into the timetable.
  • Self-correction or peer correction under supervision of teacher may be appropriate. This should be followed by quick scan by teacher to ensure homework has been done.
  • Children’s’ stories could be read aloud only if child wishes to do so.
  • Copies may be collected and corrected privately by teacher with written comments.
  • Workbooks should be checked and marked by teacher at least once a week.

Homework not done or carelessly done

  • If homework is not done and there is no explanation from parents, children should do it the following night.
  • If a pattern of not doing homework is emerging, dates should be noted and children sent to the principal and parents informed.
  • For homework that is untidy/dirty, or careless children may have to repeat it.
  • If this happens regularly parents can be informed through notes on homework journal, informally in the morning or at going-home time.
  • It should also be mentioned at P/T meetings and on end of year report.

If homework is particularly well done, this can be recognized by:

  • Positive written or verbal comments to child,
  • Positive comments to parents at informal meetings in the morning or going home time,
  • P/T meetings and end of year reports.

Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to the roles and responsibilities set out under the implementation heading, the following roles and responsibilities are identified:

  • Pupils and parents have a responsibility for ensuring that homework is done.
  • Teachers have a responsibility for setting and correction of homework
  • The overall responsibility for the implementation of the homework policy lies with the principal teacher

Pupils:

  • Pupils should do their homework to the best of their ability. It is important that what they present to the teacher should be neat.
  • Homework is almost always follow-on to, or a revision of, what has been covered in class. For this reason children should be able to do it with minimal support.
  • Children may ask parent/guardian for help, not answers. However if they are having ongoing problems, teacher should be informed.
  • If child is unable to do or complete a piece of homework, write a note to teacher the next day.

Parents/Guardians:

  • Parents/guardians should check journal to see what homework the child has been given.
  • It is important to be consistent about the time/place of homework.
  • Distractions should be minimized (e.g. TV should not be on) and parents/guardians should ensure that the child is comfortable and sits at a table.
  • Encourage your child to present work that is neat.
  • If your child is having difficulty with aspects of homework or requires a lot of help, write a note in the journal or copy. If this is happening on a regular basis, talk to the teacher, making an appointment that suits both of you.
  • Stick to a time-limit. If the child is taking considerably longer or shorter than the recommended time limit, the teacher should be informed.
  • Parents/guardians should ensure that children have the required stationary for doing homework (e.g. pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, crayons).
  • The parent or guardian should sign the homework, or the homework journals if s/he is satisfied that the homework has been done.
  • Parents/guardians should familiarize themselves with the handwriting style used in school.
  • All books brought home as part of the school’s book rental scheme should be treated with care.

Remember

If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis please contact the class teacher.

Success Criteria

We will know if the policy is effective by:

  • Satisfactory homework exercises and assignments submitted by pupils.
  • Feedback from teachers, pupils, parents.

Timeframe for implementation

Reviewed November 2015

Timeframe for review

November 2018

Ratification and Communication

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management after review in November 2015. It will continue to be available to staff, children and parents on the website.

Signature of chairperson: Anne Phelan

Date: 8th December 2015