Homework is a key tool to help students learn. Research shows that in order to learn things effectively, it is vital that we go over things again and again and that we need to revisit the things we learn at regular intervals in order to ensure they move into our long term memory. The diagram below illustrates the importance of regular, spaced repetition in helping us remember things.
At Wood Green, we will be setting homework that falls into 3 broad categories to ensure that we use the most effective methods to help deepen student’s understanding and learning.
Understanding – This type of homework will underpin all learning. If we are not secure in our understanding of the key terms and concepts, we will not be able to deepen our learning. Students will be given activities that will ask them to learn or revise key terms or information. Students should use the revision techniques they have been shown to learn the information and parents can help by testing their child when after they have learnt the information, the next day and then again a few days later. This homework should take between 20-30 minutes for students in KS3 and 30 mins in KS4.
Applying – This type of homework will ask students to apply the terms or concepts they have learnt by completing different activities such as answering questions, practicing a skill, analysing something or comparing things. This homework should take between 30-40 minutes for students in KS3 and 45 mins in KS4.
Evaluating – This type of homework will ask students to look at something in much more depth. Examples of these activities could be essays, designing solutions to problems or evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of something.This homework should take between 40-60 minutes for students in KS3 and 60 mins in KS4.
Please click on the links below for the homework timetable for your year group. It also contains tips on how to revise effectively. Parents can support their child in learning by helping with the regular spaced testing.
The homework timetable is a guide to what type of homework will be set. There will be times when the class teacher feels that they may need to change the type of homework being set due to the learning needs of the class, so although the frequency of homework will be followed, the type of homework set may change.
Sixth Form students should expect to be spending at least three hours on homework per subject per week. Most of this time will be spent on work to be handed in and assessed by teachers. In most subjects, students are also expected to spend a considerable amount of time on independent research and wider reading. It should rarely be the case that your son or daughter has “done everything”.
Students also have an additional hour on their timetable allocated to private, supervised study in each of their subjects. Teachers will set work to be completed during this hour, which may include tasks such as research on a particular topic or re-drafting of a particular piece of work.
If you would like to do more in order to maximise your chances of succeeding in school (and life as these tips will help you learn anything), you should apply the following advice to learning the work you have done in your lessons. Use your books and any other supporting resources you might have access to at home to do the following:
Regular testing is the most effective way to learn something. It is actually retrieval practice as you are training your memory how to retrieve information.
Re-reading and highlighting remain the most common study practices but on their own are very ineffective. Consider written notes and visual organisers and always create flash cards to help with testing.
Space out tests rather than cramming in repeated re-readings of a textbook in one long session.
Interleave different topics, returning to them from time to time instead of dealing with them in blocks and moving on.
Students should generate their own answers with essays or a few sentences, rather than using multiple choice tests.
Vary the conditions of practice to prevent learning becoming rote and tied to one context.
Change the test format or the room you study in, often.
Please click here for the Sixth Form Independent Study Guide. It has a thorough range of additional tasks and research resources to allow students to make the most of their time and develop their skill base and knowledge to the highest level.