1. Introductory Statement
Preparatory work was done in formulating this policy by sending a questionnaire to all parents. Results of the questionnaire were used when drafting the policy at a staff meeting on January 17th.
This present draft was discussed and extended at the staff meeting, which was held on Friday the 14th of March 2003 and was reviewed again on Tuesday the 8th of May 2007 and February 2015.
2. Why we give Homework?
- So that parents are aware of the work carried out during class.
- To encourage the use of information and communication technology and to enhance learning.
- To re-inforce 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 practise work already done. It 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 – no more, no less.
- To help children to learn how to learn.
- To develop children’s interpersonal skills.
- To provide opportunities to think critically.
3. How often is Homework given?
- Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday but not on Fridays.
- If homework has been neglected during the week it will be given on Fridays.
- Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “homework off” as a treat or as acknowledgement of some special occasion or as a reward for good behaviour.
- The Learning Support and Resource teacher may also assign homework.
4. What is the content of Homework?
- 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.
- Parents of children attending Learning Support Classes should discuss homework with class teacher.
- 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.
- Rehearsing oral work is vital for language development.
- Research projects are an integral part of the learning process.
5. How much time should be allocated to 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 only:
Up to 20 minutes
Up to 30 minutes
Up to 40 minutes
Up to 50 minutes
Up to 1 hour
Up to 1 hour and 15 minutes
Up to 1 hour and 30 minutes
Children are not restricted to the above recommended times. If parents need guidance in this area they can contact the class teacher. We believe that the more children read the more literate they become. With this in mind it is recommended that children join their local library and pick out books of their interest. Teachers encourage children to read at weekends and discuss stories they have read.
6. How much help should parents give?
- Parents should try to help their children with homework by:
- Providing them with a suitable learning environment and time to do their homework without any interruption e.g. television, radio.
- To ensure minimum distraction during homework time.
- 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 them. In this case the parent should write a note for the teacher explaining the problem.
- Parents should give their children written spelling tests and table tests based on the set spelling/tables for that week.
- Parents should listen to their children reading and check their comprehension by asking them questions about what they have read.
7. How often should parents monitor Homework?
- Parents should check and sign a child’s homework journal every evening after the work has been completed.
- 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 your child’s teacher should be put in the homework journal.
- Please check that your child records its homework neatly in the correct page and ticks each item of homework when completed.
- All letters sent to parents should be folded and placed in the current day of the homework journal. Please check your child’s journal for such notes on a regular basis.
8. How do teachers monitor Homework?
- Teachers check homework on a regular basis.
- However with large class numbers it is not always possible to check each child’s journal every day, but teachers will check these on a regular basis.
- Children themselves under the direction of the teacher may correct some items of homework or classwork.
- Teachers will monitor the children’s spelling and writing.
9. When should parents communicate with the teachers about Homework?
- When your child cannot do the homework due to family circumstances.
- When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect.
- If the time being spent at homework is often longer then the recommended amount of time.
10. When should Homework be done?
- Each family situation is different – both parents working, child minders etc. Ideally homework should be done as early as possible in the evening while your child is fresh.
- Some children need a break after school before starting homework.
- Homework should never be left till the next morning.
Ratification of Policy; This policy document was discussed and ratified at the Board of Management meeting on the Monday of 9th June 2003. It was reviewed in 2008 and February 2015 and will be reviewed in 5 years time or earlier if necessary.
If Homework is a stressful experience between the 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.