We have reviewed our previous homework policy in order to respond to parental feedback regarding the existing system. In particular, our aim is to make homework consistent for students in a Key Stage whichever class they may be in, and to ensure that the homework that is set is a meaningful and productive exercise which enhances their progress and understanding of the subject.
Our approach to homework has three main principles:
1. Amount of Homework
At Key Stage 3, students should receive 1 piece of homework a week in the core subjects (English, Maths and Science) and 1 piece a fortnight in other subjects which is reflective of the amount of curriculum time given to these subjects. In Languages, homework may be given as a number of short pieces of homework rather than as a single task in order to support the learning of new vocabulary.
Drama and PE are the exceptions to this. As students only have one Drama lesson each fortnight there will be one piece of homework per half term. Most areas of PE are assessed practically in class, however Year 7 students will receive one formal piece of written homework each term. This will assess their knowledge of health and fitness.
At Key Stage 4, students should receive 1 piece a week of homework from each examination subject, although where subjects have an extended piece of work this may be one piece of homework that takes several weeks. If a student is studying the separate sciences, they will receive 3 pieces of homework from science over a fortnight.
At Key Stage 5, the reduced number of subjects and the increased demands of the courses means that the amount of homework set for subjects will similarly increase. Students must be prepared to devote both their study periods and a significant amount of home study to meeting the demands of the course.
2. Homework Deadlines
There is no homework timetable in order to avoid the setting of artificial homework. Homework should be set at the point in the week at which it is relevant to the learning of the group. As a result, a student may be set several pieces of work on one day. In order to help students with their time management and to ensure their workload is reasonable, we ask that staff do not set work to be completed for the next day.
3. Type of Homework
Homework is most effective for younger students when it is specific, rather than open ended and homework should build on, reinforce or extend in-class learning rather than serve as a way of catching up work not done in class. Students should therefore expect that homework tasks are often additional to the work in class at Key Stage 3 only involving completion of in-class work occasionally.
The nature of the Key Stage 4 and 5 courses and the increased ability of older students to cope with open ended and longer term pieces means that homework at Key Stage 4 may involve continuing to work on class work, or researching and working on more open ended tasks than at Key Stage 3.