At Willingdon School we attach great importance to the links that exist between home and school, since we believe it is by working together that we can ensure the best possible education for your child.
One important aspect of this joint effort is HOMEWORK.
The school believes that homework is an essential part of learning. It can contribute very effectively to raising achievement, for the following reasons:
It gives students an opportunity to work independently, and to take responsibility for their own learning;
It helps students to recognise the link between good study habits and higher standards of achievement;
It helps teachers check that students have understood class work;
It can be used to extend work covered in class;
It can strengthen liaison between home and school.
We believe that students can best benefit from the work they bring home if they have full parental support, and it is for this reason that we have taken this opportunity to outline the school’s policy on homework and the part you can play in ensuring that your child develops and maintains good homework habits.
Timing & Quantity of Homework
Quantity of homework at Key Stage 3 Guidance - Years 7 – 9
Homework in set weekly in core subjects (English, Maths & Science), fortnightly in other EBAC subjects (languages, history and geography) and when it is appropriate in all other subjects.
A range of homework tasks will be set, as appropriate, to individual subject areas, including written and reading tasks, collecting information and objects, conducting simple experiments or making models, sketching or designing, and carrying out surveys and interviews. It is important to note that homework does not always take a written form. Many subjects use a range of online resources to include Seneca, Maths Watch (vle.mathswatch.com), https://classroom.google.com/ and https://willingdon.musicfirst.co.uk/app/ to support students with independent study. Such resources and often take the form of self- marking quizzes and tests which provide useful feedback to students on their learning.
Students in Year 7 should be spending around 20 minutes on each piece of homework. This would equate to 40 minutes of work if two subjects are set in one evening or one hour if three subjects are set.
Students in Year 8 should spend around 25 minutes on each piece of homework. This would equate to 50 minutes if two pieces of homework are set and 1 hour and 15 minutes if three pieces are set.
By Year 9 and in preparation for GCSE, the time spent should increase to 30 minutes per subject, equating to one hour if two subjects are set and 1.5 hours if three subjects are set.
We do not, of course, wish to discourage students from spending more time than this if they are keen to do so, but we would not expect your child to struggle on throughout the evening with a piece of work that he or she found too difficult. If your child has worked conscientiously on the assignment for a reasonable amount of time, a note in the jotter to that effect, to the subject teacher or tutor, would be very useful. We encourage students to carry out their homework tasks in a quiet place away from distractions, but recognise that this may not always be possible.
Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11 (science from year 9)
All students in years 10 and 11 will be set a substantial homework task each week in each subject they study for GCSE.
At Key Stage 4, It is recommended that students spend between 1.5 and 2 hours on the completion of homework for each subject, each week. This may be spread out over several evenings so that homework completion across a number of subjects is manageable.
The use of Edulink as the portal for all homework that is set every day across all teachers and subjects means that homework is accessible from home by both students and parents. All students and their parents receive log-ins to access Edulink in order to view what has been set, when it is due and how it should be submitted. Teachers will regularly provide additional information and resources in the form of links and attachments to help learners work through the set tasks and to ensure tasks are differentiated and provide additional challenge where appropriate.
It is difficult to draw up a formal homework timetable with specific evenings allocated to specific subjects, since students in any one tutor group belong to a number of different teaching groups being taught a particular subject at different times of the week. We need, therefore, as teachers and as parents, to help students see the importance of planning their time sensibly, so that work does not accumulate, and deadlines are not missed.
Adequate time will always be allowed for completion of work. Staff will avoid requiring homework to be done for the next day as far as possible, realising that students may have family or extra-curricular commitments on certain nights.
The Student Jotter
Every student is issued with a Student Jotter at the beginning of the new academic year. This is an important means of communication between the school and home.
Students are responsible for entering brief details of their homework in the planner. This is used as a reminder to the student to look on Edulink for the full homework details. Parents can monitor when homework has been set by logging on to Edulink.
Subject teachers will ensure that the task is explained clearly, both verbally and in writing on the board, with a date for handing the work in. Assistance will be given to those students who may have difficulty noting down the homework. Where a piece of homework is to extend over a number of weeks, students should make sure that they enter it up appropriately each week. Students should make sure they ask for clarification, if they are not clear about the homework set.
If homework is not completed by the date expected or is not completed to the expected standard, teachers will establish if the student had difficulty in completing the task and arrange for an extension. However, if homework is not completed satisfactorily or is late on a second occasion, the student can be given an after-school departmental detention during which time the task should be completed. If the problem continues, individual departments or your child’s Director of Student Progress (DoSP) will inform you of the situation, and may suggest a meeting to discuss the problem. Where there are problems in a number of subjects, a student may be put on a Homework Monitoring Report until the situation improves.
We hope that the above outline of our policy on homework will help you to support your child and to monitor the work that he/she brings home. If you require clarification on any of the points made above, or wish to discuss any aspect of the policy further, please do not hesitate to contact the school.