Home and school are two different but closely related aspects of children's lives. Frequently, these blur into one another as in the case of homework which is the most regular link between home and school. Homework is, therefore, an ideal opportunity to foster an educational partnership between home and school.
This policy, devised by teachers in consultation with parents/guardians and approved by the Board of Management is intended to maximise the benefit to children of time spent on homework. It details reasons for homework, types of homework that may be given to children at different stages, recommendations on time to be spent on homework, advice on conditions that should be available to the child for doing homework and what to do if problems arise.
The Reasons for Homework
Homework is provided in order to:
- re-inforce what the child learns during the day and encourage habits of independent learning and study and to make use of non-school educational resources; and consolidate work in class.
- Develop a child's concentration skills and develop a work ethic.
- Sometimes in senior classes some homework is designed to challenge childrens' ability and provide opportunities for creativity, e.g. individual/group projects, etc.
Parental help should be available on a daily basis.
Homework allows a parent/guardian to:
- become actively involved in the pupil's work.
- see how the child is doing in school.
Homework allows a teacher to:
- assess pupil learning.
- extend school learning.
Types of Homework
Because homework is related to school work it is part of a carefully devised learning programme. It usually consists of a combination of reading, written and oral work. Oral work may include tasks such as learning tables, learning spellings, poetry and learning off facts. Written work may include work from a variety of subjects such as language, mathematics, history/geography, and religion. However, the type and amount of homework given will vary depending on the class of the child.
As Homework is compulsory, a pupil who presents without Homework completed is liable to sanction and his parents will be notified.
It is essential to the child's educational development that the work done in school is reinforced regularly at home. In Infant classes children do not get regular formal homework in the way that older children do. In these classes homework consists of word or number recognition, reading or worksheets to be completed.
First to Sixth Class
Formal homework is given for the first time in First Class. It will have been prepared in school based on work covered in school and suited to the ability of the pupil. Therefore, the child should be capable of completing much of his home exercise independently.
Certain aspects of the work may be unfamiliar to the parent/guardian such as methods used in Mathematics or aspects of the Gaeilge programme. If you are not clear about aspects of these new programmes, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
It is important to hear children read every day, to discuss the text and pictures with them and to question them on the piece read. Oral homework is just as important as written work. Your child may need you to examine your child in such areas as tables, reading, spellings or poetry to see that it has been properly learnt. Memorisation is an important aspect of homework that is sometimes neglected and should include tables, poetry, English and Irish spelling as given. Revision of previous work is important.
If for some practical reason, homework cannot be completed on particular night, please forward a note to the teacher. Each child has a Homework Journal and this should be checked to see if all work is completed and then signed. If there is any problem, a note can be written to the teacher.
In Sixth Class, the final class of the primary school, great importance attaches to homework and to the child's general work habits. In this class there should be an emphasis on co-ordination and order in the approach to homework. Attention should be paid to neatness of presentation in all work. Date, numbering, lay-out, etc. are important. At this stage the child should have developed a pride in his work and good study habits.
Time to be spent on Homework
The issue of how much time a child should spend on homework is difficult to specify exactly in that it depends on a number of factors including:
- the child's age.
- the child's level of concentration.
- the time of day/night that homework is undertaken.
- home factors such as distractions, demands of younger children, etc.
- the child's learning ability.
The following times are suggested as a guide for parents or guardians:
||10 - 15 minutes (Informal)
||20 - 30 minutes
||30 - 40 minutes
||50 - 60 minutes
As a general rule, Homework is given from Mondays to Thursdays. Homework is not generally given at weekends. However, if necessary, work not done during the week may have to be completed at the weekend.
Children are assigned homework regularly. If your child regularly tells you that he has no homework please check his journal in the first place. You should contact the teacher if in doubt to see what he has been given for homework.
N.B. If you choose to take your child out of school during the school term, class teachers should not be asked to set work for this time. The onus is on the parents to cover the work missed.
Pupils with Learning Difficulties
Parents/Guardians of children with learning difficulties should keep in close contact with the Class / Learning Support / Resource Teacher regarding difficulties. Appropriate homework may be given to children with learning difficulties.