Information for parents about the purpose of homework
Students who repeatedly fail to hand in homework will be referred to a twice weekly Study Support detention on Tuesdays and Thursdays
The evidence of the importance of homework in helping students at secondary school being successful is clear. Numerous studies have shown over time that homework, done regularly, helps students make progress in their learning whatever their prior attainment. This links to the latest research on how we learn that shows that regular repetition of new learning is essential to move things into our long-term memory. This ability to learn new skills is going to be essential for all of our young people as automation fundamentally changes the types of jobs available over the next few years.
In order to make sure that we support our students developed the essential skills needed for lifelong learning and in response to your feedback from last year’s parent survey, we have developed our systems to support those students who struggle with homework and make it easier for parents to see what homework is set each week.
Teachers will record the homework on Insight and parents can see when the work was set and when it is due to be handed in.
Because of the overwhelming evidence about the importance of homework to student achievement, we need to make sure that every students completes every piece of homework set. Most students do this already. For those who do not, there will be a twice weekly catch up session called Study Support supervised by teachers where students will complete their homework and any classwork they have not finished.
The first time a student forgets their homework, they will be given an opportunity to get it completed by the next lesson. After this, teachers will refer students to Study Support to get homework completed. Study Support takes place every Tuesday and Thursday after school. If a student misses one or more homework, their teacher/teachers will book them into Study Support. They must then turn up and complete all the homework due in that Study Support session. Some teachers might also keep students in at break or lunch to complete homework.
Study Support runs for an hour, but if students complete the homework before the hour is up, they can leave. The aim is to make sure work is done on time in order to build the important lifelong skills of organisation and resilience that students will need once they leave school. Parents will be contacted and told when their child has been booked into a Study Support session and students will be reminded to turn up on the morning of their detention.
If a student refuses to attend Study Support, they will be booked into a senior detention on Wednesday between 1.50 and 2.50. Not turning up to that will lead to more serious consequences.
We are monitoring the type and quality of homework being set this year to ensure it has the maximum impact on learning and achievement. Each homework should normally be about 30-45 minutes and we recommend that a student spend about an hour on homework in years 7-9 and between one hour and one and half hours on homework at GCSE level, five evenings a week, in order to achieve the right kind of balance between study and pursuing other interests.
We understand that sometimes things get in the way of normal routine. Please just write a note in your child’s planner or e-mail their teacher to explain that it was not completed. It should also explain when it will be handed in. Students can always speak to their teacher before it is due if they need help and are being encouraged to write instructions in their planner.
Here is a link to some useful resources that will help you support your child’s learning.
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.
If you would like to discuss the school’s homework policy, please feel free to contact Mr Goddard.
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.